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Aylesbury Estate streets to be named after local heroes

More streets at the re-built Aylesbury Estate will be named after well-known Southwark characters – and the hunt is on to find their surviving relatives to inform them of the honour.

The streets will make up Harvard Gardens, the second phase of the Aylesbury redevelopment which is due for completion this September, and will be named after an East Street racing tipster, a Peckham bus driver, a Walworth bobby and an anti-crime campaigner.

Prince Ras Monolulu is one of the more dramatic characters to have lived in the borough and will be honoured with a street located thousands of miles from the place of his birth. Born Peter Carl Mackay, the West Indies immigrant made his way to London in 1902. He quickly became a reputed racing tipster, operating out of the East Street Market, where his exclamation of “I’ve gotta horse!” was well-known.

He was also described by Charlotte Benstead, Chief Executive of the Creation Trust, the street-naming project co-ordinators, as “the first black face on the BBC” after he was filmed at a number of high profile racing events in the early-twentieth century.

Another street will be named after Anthony Severin, a bus driver from Peckham. He was a well-known face in the area due to his many years driving the number 12 bus and was even honoured with a people’s choice MBE in 1994 (staying true to his trade and driving his bus to collect his medal at Buckingham Palace). However, like Monolulu, Creation Trust have struggled to track down his relatives.

PC Harry Cole on his well-known bicycle
PC Harry Cole on his well-known bicycle

Harry Cole, a former Walworth policeman who served for over 30 years in the area, will also be honoured with a street name. The bobby was a common sight cycling through the neighbourhood before he died in 2008 and was honoured with a Southwark Blue Plaque at Charles Dickens School, which he attended as a child.

The final street will be named after Keib Thomas, who also died within the last decade. Headhunted by the police after years in the voluntary sector in 2000, he spent the rest of his life fighting to make Southwark a safer place. Working on gang violence and community integration, he had a huge influence across the borough. Like Monolulu, Severin and Cole, the Creative Trust are desperate to get in touch with Thomas’ relatives to let them know of their tribute.

If you are related to any of the people above please email You can find out more about our street naming project at


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