Donate your memories

If you knew Olive Morris and you would like to share your memories about her, you can use the comments box at the bottom of any page to do so. If the comments box is not visible, click on the word Comments to open it up.

Even if you only remember a date, a name, a lead or a reference to a person or a place that might have more information, please take a minute to contribute. If you knew nothing or little about Olive Morris before visiting this site, it would be great to read your comments after learning about her life, and the value this might have for us today.

You will need to enter your name and email address. Your email will not be made public in any way and it is only requested for security purposes. If you want to remain anonymous, please state so in your message. All comments are moderated before being published. All the contents of the log are being archived at Lambeth Archives and the British Library. Entering your comments imply that you grant Lambeth Archives and the British Library permission to archive them and make them publicly available through their websites. Copyright of the contributions remain with the authors.

The Remembering Olive Collective was disbanded at its last AGM on October 2010. The Olive Morris Collection is housed at Lambeth Archives and any queries regarding research materials about Olive Morris or any of the groups she was involved with should be directed to them.

If you have any documents or images that you would like to donate to the Olive Morris Collection, please contact Lambeth Archives:

Lambeth Archives, Minet Library, 52 Knatchbull Road, London SE5 9QY
Phone: +44 (0)20 7926 6076

You can also check ROC’s blog library for further references.

10 Responses to “Did you know Olive?”

  1. 1 Errol Morris
    October 2, 2007 at 11:52 am

    As Olive’s younger brother, she was a key figure in our family setup.

    For me she was an advisor as well as a sister with all kinds of problems I had in my life at that time. It was only when she died did I find out about all of her achievements which made me and the family proud. I do remember when I was young, my mum talking to my dad about Olive being arrested “again” for some demo only to be released without being charged, yet again, which made me feel stronger about fighting injustice throughout my life.

    She was one of my role models and a good role model to women and all black people living in the UK. If young people knew Olives story, they would find it very interesting, sad, funny and entertaining. It took over 2 years to come to terms with olives death, but now i still feel her presence, watching me and when i pass Olive Morris House, Brixton, it reminds me that she made a difference to people, now my whole family try to do the same.



  2. October 21, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    Good luck with your interesting project. We are trying to do something similar, using a blog to colect memories, in our case about the anti-National Front ‘Battle of Lewisham’, 30 years ago in 1977. I wonder whether Olive Morris was there in August 1977? Darcus Howe was, and seemingly just about everybody in London radical movements at that time. We are holding an event at Goldsmiths in New Cross on November 10th, you would be very welcome to come (details on website). Also a couple of us have been planning to start another blog on the history of 121 Railton Road – we have a lot of material, although most of it relates to the later anarchist centre.

  3. 3 Maria
    December 11, 2007 at 2:27 am

    I went to Olive Morris House to see if I could make an appointment at the new Customer Service Centre. The answer is NO it is not possible to make an appointment. I still cannot see the plaque or the photographic portrait of Olive Morris displayed prominently.

  4. December 11, 2007 at 10:33 am

    The plaque and photograph has not been reinstated yet. However, Lambeth’s Corporate Communications Team approached Lambeth Archives at the end of 2007, expressing an interest in creating a permanent exhibition about Olive Morris to go with the reinstated picture and plaque. Liz Obi and I were brought into the conversation, and asked for our feedback on what would be an appropriate tribute to Olive Morris memory, and what kind of information about her should be presented to the public. We had two meetings with them, one in December 2007 and one in March 2008, and here is a summary of their proposals and our responses.

    The Corporate Communications Team proposed to reinstate the plaque and picture of Olive on the new staff entrance to Olive Morris House, and to add an A1/A2 information panel with perhaps 3-4 pictures with informative captions. To this proposal Liz Obi and myself suggested some alternatives that might be more in tune with Olive’s character and legacy.

    * creating a play area for children in the new Customer Service Centre in Olive Morris House (a one-stop shop for all Council Services including benefits, housing, parking etc), as a “living memorial” to Olive Morris – no child play facilities exists at the moment
    * recreating Liz Obi’s original exhibition as a permanent display – with updated content and design and install the display in the public area rather than the staff area, so the general public could also benefit from it.

    It was agreed that the Communications Team was to explore available budgets and time-lines and get back to Ana Laura and Liz about the feasibility of developing some of these proposals. At our last meeting the Communications Team confirmed they will launch the new Customer Service Centre in May and re-dedicate the building with the installation of the picture, plaque and some additional information about Olive in the staff entrance. To our suggestions, they responded:

    Permanent exhibition on public area

    There is some interest in creating a permanent public display about Olive’s life on display, but there are very strict restrictions about what can be displayed and where, as set by their Corporate Design Style Guidelines. It will be at the discretion of the Director of Customer Services to decide if a display that is more artistic or community oriented could be installed in the building, as it might clash with their design guidelines. It will be helpful if you could let the Communications and Customer Service Teams what you think of our proposal of re-creating Liz Obi’s original exhibition. You can leave your comments here.You can see some pictures of its original state on this blog.

    Children play area in Customer Service Centre

    The new Brixton Customer Service Centre in Olive Morris House has no play-area for children despite having lots of space and a large number of users. We have been to the Centre a number of times and noticed the children running up and down and crawling on the floor under the designer seating. We suggested that they create a small play area in the Customer Centre, as a “living memorial” to Olive Morris, and her ongoing dedication to women’s rights. On our request the Communications Team raised the issue with Customer Services, and the reply was that they had run a focus group prior to the refurbishment, and this focus group had rejected the proposal of a play area. The reasoning behind this, was apparently that the whole focus of the new Customer Centre is that you won’t have to wait for more than 10 minutes to be seen. In reality this is not happening and waiting times are longer, according to the Council because of “staff shortages that will soon be resolved”.

    At our insistence that as mothers and grandmothers of small children, we really feel it is not a bad idea to have at least one of those littles table with a bead-game that you usually find at GP Surgeries, the Communications Team said that they were able to resubmit the idea of creating a play area. This proposal could be presented to the Head of Customer Services next week, if we can produce some comments from residents and users of the Centre that the play area is useful or necessary. If you are in favour of supporting the idea of a play-area at Olive Morris House, and in particular if you have children and you have visited the new Customer Centre recently, please leave your comments here.

  5. 5 Oniel WIlliams
    March 10, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    The new Brixton Customer Service Centre in Olive Morris House faces on to Brixton with big smiling brightly lit pictures of its beautiful energetic residents and eager to serve staff. But are the listening to customers or just facing them?

  6. 6 Marina De Giorgi
    March 10, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    I have experienced queuing in the Customer Centre more than 20 min every time I was there and reception desk is not very useful. Sometime I got the feeling they just like to show their power to coordinate people in that building. I imagine children get a suffocating feeling in that new customer service area where the lack of fresh and artificial lighting, on top of that the lack of a children area is a shame for the name of that building. The memory of Olive Morris shouldn’t be offended in this way. (SE11 4RP)

  7. 7 Mia Jankowicz
    March 11, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    I encourage the idea of a play area at Olive Morris House. Even when the waiting time reaches the council’s target of ten minutes, they should consider the time and effort it takes for a parent to bring her child there in the first place. In total it can be a long day out, involving hassle, public transport, and re-arrangement of appointments. With this in mind, even ten minutes’ play makes the whole experience easier for both child and parent. I think we should also be realistic about the waiting time anyway; it may not get better soon. Facilities like this should be the norm in such public buildings – they should be tailored to the needs of those who use them most, which is often lone mothers managing busy lives singlehanded. We should think of who this building is named after, and who she fought for.

  8. 8 Lottie Child
    March 11, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    A play area is needed at Olive Morris House. Children have to have space to play, to grow and live!

  9. 9 Jodie A
    December 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm


    I am currently researching the life of Winfried Atwell and wonder if there is anyone who may have known Mrs Atwell?

    Many Thanks,


  10. 10 Dean Smith
    March 2, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    My godmother is Doris Morris and was happy to see her taking part in “Black women in Britain” Black Cultural Archives at Windrush Square.

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