Caroline Pidgeon calls for blue plaque for Ealing’s Olympic tennis player Charlotte Cooper

Ealing had a women’s Olympic tennis champion, but I’d never heard of her until earlier this week.

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member has linked up with Southfield Councillor Gary Malcolm to support a Blue Plaque being installed to remember  Charlotte Cooper.

The tennis player, who was born in Ealing was the first ever woman to win an Olympic title, when women were admitted into the Games in Paris in 1900. She became the first woman in history to win a First Place Prize in tennis (medals were not given out until 1904).

Charlotte Cooper was five times Wimbledon singles champion, she also won the mixed doubles event, as well as the Swiss, German and Irish titles which were prestigious championships at the time.  Yet despite her numerous achievements there is no Blue Plaque to commemorate her life and her association with Ealing.

Caroline Pidgeon AM and Councillor Gary Malcolm’s nomination of Charlotte Cooper is part of a wider campaign by the London Assembly to ensure more women are recognised by Blue Plaques.

Caroline said:

London’s Blue Plaques are iconic, but they are deeply unrepresentative of our city.

It is simply incredible that of the 943 plaques installed to date, only 14 per cent commemorate women. That needs to change and it is vital that we start to recognise the immense contribution of women such as Charlotte Cooper.

Councillor Gary Malcolm set out why he has joined Caroline Pidgeon and nominated Charlotte Cooper:

It is always great to uncover successful people who have lived in Ealing. Charlotte Cooper was a very successful tennis player, winning five singles and two mixed doubles titles at Wimbledon as well as becoming the first female Olympic tennis champion. It has been a pleasure to nominate her for a Blue Plaque.

Are there any unsung women from your area who should be recognised?

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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