Unveiling of Tribute Paving Stone Draws Large Crowds & Tv Crew

Residents dressed up to honour ex resident David McKee and his TV & book character Mr Benn

Mr Benn enters the Fancy Dress Shop
copyright David McKee
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On Saturday author David McKee unveiled the commerative paving stone to him and his creation the cartoon character Mr Benn. This happened in Festing Road, Putney which he renamed Festive Road for the series.

In the series Mr Benn leaves his terrace house and goes to a dressing up shop and from there into different adventures. On the day nearly twenty Mr Benn's and their families dressed as Mr Benn characters-clowns, chefs, knights, pirates, cavemen not to mention the distinctive shop keeper in his fez and coloured waistcoat –all turned up to celebrate.

Nearly 100 turned up for the event which was filmed by ITV News and well as an independent film crew. Councillor ex Wandsworth mayor Jim Madden said a few words but the day belonged to David McKee and the present residents of Festing Road . The author personally drew Mr Benn in the dozen or so books which had been donated by the publishers as prizes for the children's fancy dress. Special mention must go to Ben Nicholson (wizard) and Zac Hyner (caveman).

After the unveiling the party went back to no 52(Mr Benn's house in the series) and enjoyed refreshment and a specially made cake shaped as the distinctive bowler.

Street resident and organiser Hugh Thompson said:
“It was a wonderful day for the street and fans came from all over London, quite incredible. David was an absolute saint, such a modest genius. All Mr Benn stories end with the world being a better place and this one was no exception .Deeper friendships and a stronger sense of community have been achieved in the street and the world now has a permanent
Residents dressed up as characters from Mr Benn's adventures
reminder of one of its favourite cartoon characters".

Current residents clubbed together to purchase the paving stone as a tribute to author & illustrator and ex-resident David.

In 1965 When David McKee purchased his house on Festing Road he paid £4,200 - to buy it today would cost over £800,000!

November 30, 2009