Pictured Top: Chris’s mum Karen and brothers Sean, Kevin, Ben, James and Tony with Mayor Jilani Chowdhury
Pictured Middle: Chris Pullen Plaque
Pictured Bottom: friends and neighbours remember Chris Pullen
Published: 17 August, 2012
by CATHERINE ETOE
THE memory of a “friendly, gentle and kind” boy who was tragically killed on an Islington estate 12 years ago was commemorated on Sunday when his family unveiled a plaque in his honour.
Chris Pullen was 12 years old when he was fatally injured after a heavy steel door fell on him as he walked down a stairwell on the former Market estate, between Market Road and North Road.
On Sunday, Chris’s family and friends gathered together on what would have been his 24th birthday to unveil a plaque commemorating his memory and the naming of a road after him.
Chris Pullen Way, which will open soon, links North Road to Clock View Crescent on the newly-refurbished estate, which is now a mixed-use neighbourhood called Parkside Place that features new homes with patios, gardens and balconies.
“Chris would be pleased to see the changes,” said his brother Sean. “When our family lost Chris we all pulled together, stuck together and became stronger. We were touched and blessed to have known him. He was a one-in-a-million guy and we know that he would have grown to be a very popular, fun-loving man who would have done his family proud.”
Residents campaigned for the redevelopment of the estate in the aftermath of Chris’s death and many who attended the plaque unveiling said the improvements to the area were a result of that tragedy.
“Chris was a typical kid, liked football and was a friendly kid, very gentle and kind,” said Clockwork Tenants’ Association chairwoman Sharon Jobe. “He is not forgotten and if it wasn’t for Chris this estate would probably be exactly the same. It was like living in Beirut, with burnt-out cars around the place. It was falling apart.”
Joining Chris’s mum Karen and brothers Sean, Kevin, Ben, James and Tony at the unveiling were Stephen Ross, of Southern Housing Group, and Islington Mayor Jilani Chowdhury.
Cllr Chowdhury spoke of the “poignancy” of the plaque unveiling, adding that he had lived on the estate and that he believed the improvements were a “new chapter for residents”.
Chris’s mum Karen said that she took some comfort from the changes to the area.
“It is a memory that will live on forever and it feels like he hasn’t died for nothing,” she said.
“It’s a tragedy that it took a child’s death to improve the estate, but no other child will lose their life in such a stupid accident, which is another good thing that has come out of his death.”