Jackie Murphy of Leyton presented with Points of Light award for decades of charitable work

Jackie Murphy with her Points of Light diploma

Jackie Murphy with her Points of Light diploma

First published in News
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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter, covering Chingford, Highams Park and Woodford. Call me on 07795 476 625

A Leyton Pearly Queen has been honoured by David Cameron for her charity work. 

Jackie Murphy, 73, of Claude Road, married into the Pearly tradition in the 1970s after she met her late husband Daniel Murphy - the former Pearly King of Hackney. 

On Friday, Mrs Murphy received a Points of Light award and a personal letter from the prime minister, who described her as an "outstanding individual".

"It is the first time we've really been recognised," she said.

"It is a tradition in our families to raise money for special causes and they (Pearlies) work incredibly hard, so this is especially nice for our association." 

Her family, the Hitchens, are one of the oldest Pearly families, with the members fulfilling the role back to 1884.

Many of Mrs Murphy's relatives carry various titles today, including her daughter Linda, 48, who is Pearly Queen of Shoreditch. 

In September 2008, Mrs Murphy lost her husband following a short battle with cancer, but she has continued to help others. 

Last year, she helped raise £65,000 for a hydro-pool for children with disabilities at Oak View School in Whitehills Road, Loughton,  

Donations at her husband's funeral were given to the same school to help build a sensory garden. 

Mrs Murphy has raised thousands for other local charities, including Woodford Green's Haven House, Hackney's Homerton Hospital and St Joseph's Hospice. 

She said: "You name it, we've raised it and after Daniel's death I still fought to carry it on.

"Our work improves other people's lives, and it won't happen by sitting on your backside.

"The tradition is very precious to us. No one can just walk out with our title on their back.

"I will not give up my title until I peg out but already my grandchildren, the princes and princesses, are fifth generation of Pearlies."  

The Leyton couple were granted the Freedom of the City of London in 2003.  

Comments (1)

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3:04pm Fri 1 Aug 14

jonny mash says...

Well done Queen Jackie - richly deserved. I doubt any of the new gentrifiers from Walthamstow Village who are trying force out local people such as Mrs Murphy will ever receive such public recognition for doing good deeds
Well done Queen Jackie - richly deserved. I doubt any of the new gentrifiers from Walthamstow Village who are trying force out local people such as Mrs Murphy will ever receive such public recognition for doing good deeds jonny mash
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