Punk News

Poly Styrene’s East Sussex Home Gets a Blue Plaque.

Punk icon remembered with blue plaque on the late singer’s former home in St Leonards on Sea

A blue plaque has been unveiled at the former home of punk icon Poly Styrene in St Leonards On Sea. The late X-Ray Spex singer lived in the house from 2004 until she sadly passed away from breast cancer in April 2011.

The plaque was poignantly unveiled on what would have been the singer’s 64th birthday which was also the 45th anniversary of Poly seeing the Sex Pistols play on Hastings Pier – an event that ultimately led to Poly forming X-Ray Spex.

Poly blue plaque
Photo by Mark Richards.

The blue plaque was unveiled by Karen James who now owns the house following a short speech by Andy Gunton of 1066 Music Blue Plaques.

Poly’s daughter Celeste Bell was also at the unavailing and gave 1066 Music Blue Paques her full blessing.

“Celeste was great,” Andy told Punktuation. “She helped us with and approved the wording for the plaque and gave us her full support throughout our campaign.”

The blue plaque on Poly Styrene’s former home is the first in a campaign by 1066 Music Blue Plaques to celebrate and commemorate the lives of local musicians and music venues in the Hastings area.

poly blue plaque2
Tony Davis, Jim Breeds and Andy Gunton of 1066 Music Blue Plaques with Karen James Photo by Mark Richards.

The group raised the money for the Poly Styrene blue plaque via a Crowdfunder appeal, an appeal that was so successful that they raised the money needed within five hours of its launch.

Although the fundraising target was initially £500, the appeal finally raised £760, which enabled 1066 Music Blue Plaques to donate £350 to the local St Michael’s Hospice where Poly peacefully passed away in 2011.

“We’ve been blown away with the amount of interest in this blue plaque, from local media to the BBC, ” Andy says. “It shows just how well thought of and well-respected Poly Styrene was. It’s obvious that her influence is still felt today, especially among women. Her music lives on and her lyrics are as relevant today as they were back in the late 1970s, if not more so.”

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