Erection date: 1951
In Grateful Memory of LAWRENCE WENSLEY CHUBB, Knight to whose genius the preservation of open spaces and the provision of playing fields were largely due. He was for 52 years Secretary of the Commons, Open Spaces and Footpaths Preservation Society and for 20 years Secretary of the National Playing Fields Association. 1873–1948.
We are guessing that the plaque was fixed to the oblong section of wall that you can see in our photo, above the head of the seated person.
Site: Lawrence Chubb shelter - lost plaque (1 memorial)
NW3, Hampstead Heath
The shelter, actually two shelters back-to-back, straddles the boundary between Kenwood and the Heath, just to the west of a gate. It's built on a hill, such that it is level with the path inside Kenwood, and steps (not the muddy desire-line in our photo) are provided to reach it from the path on the Heath. It's a substantial building - very useful to know if you are caught on the Heath in a storm.
The location was probably chosen because of a good view towards the City. This was still true in 2004 when the Heath and Hampstead Heath Vision referred to the Sir Lawrence Chubb shelter having a 'distinctive outward view' to the City. However the view is now (2023) lost behind trees.
We couldn't find the shelter on any maps so a few visits were needed to find it, only finally achieved with some hints from Marc of the Heath and Hampstead Society. There was no signal on the Heath but we think we've positioned the pin in the right place.
We were delighted to find the following information in Open Spaces, the magazine of the Open Spaces Society, Spring 2010: "Chubb memorial When Tony Ghilchik, vice-chairman of the Heath and Hampstead Society, appealed in the society’s newsletter for the wording on the missing plaque of The Sir Lawrence Chubb memorial shelter, we were able to help.
"Our Journal of April 1952 recorded the opening ceremony and gave the inscription: .. In reporting our discovery in the September newsletter, Mr Ghilchik points out that the Heath and Old Hampstead Society’s 1951 annual report stated: ‘The Committee cannot approve the appearance, or the position on the Heath of a memorial to the late Sir Lawrence Chubb. In spite of objections made by this Society to the Commons, Footpaths and Open Spaces Society (sic) the latter proceeded with their plan and it was carried through without the cognizance or approval of this Society.’
"Fortunately, amends were made and the local society reports that ‘the shelter is now a cherished bit of the Heath landscape’ and that the City of London is arranging for the plaque to be replaced."