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      Further Information
      Lady Allen of Hurtwood -
The Times Newspaper Obituary
(13kb - PDF)
      Lady Allen of Hurtwood - An Appreciation by Susan Harvey in the HAPA 1976 Yearbook (735kb - PDF)
      BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour Archive - Bob Holman talks about Lady Allen's life, including excerpts from her earlier interviews (links to BBC website)
      Lady Allen of Hurtwood Memorial Trust (links to new website)

In considering Lady Marjory Allen’s lifetime, one realises that it would take most people numerous lifetimes to accomplish even a proportion of her achievements. So great was her humility, tenacity and purpose that it is a struggle to even accurately chart such exploits. Some are better known and yet others remain less visible. To name but a few of these:

  • Accomplished Landscape Architect

  • Founder member of the Institute of Landscape Architects

  • The campaigner and ‘architect’ behind the Curtis Report and the very first Children’s Act (1948)

  • Chairman of the Nursery School Association

  • Founder member of the World Organisation for Early Childhood Education (OMEP)

  • Founder member of the Children's Cinema Clubs

  • Writer for the Manchester Guardian

  • Pioneer of British Adventure Play

  • Creator and originator of British Adventure Play for Disabled Children

  • Key member of the National Playing Fields Association (NPFA) Playground Committee

  • Chairman of the London Adventure Playground Association

  • Chairman of the Handicapped Adventure Playground Association

It is noteworthy that much of the above accomplishments were achieved after her husband, Clifford Allen, died in 1939 and as a single mother bringing up her daughter.

It was Lady Allen who on observing the first junk playground at Emdrup immediately understood its wide and far reaching significance and application. She publicised the junk playground concept internationally through her Picture Post article in 1946.

It was Lady Allen who facilitated the development of adventure play, often speaking publicly, writing leaflets and pamphlets on the subject and continually campaigning for its acceptance. She was a key player in the Playground Committee of the NPFA, then of LAPA and then of HAPA. There is little doubt that it was her driving force that enabled adventure play to become established in Britain, her tenacity that developed adventure playgrounds into the mainstream of children’s playgrounds and her courage that facilitated the creation of so many adventure playgrounds across the country.

Without Lady Allen, there would probably never have been British adventure play. It is testimony to her extraordinary life that so many of us remain in debt to her, without even knowing the details of her efforts.