Kathleen Humphreys

Kathleen Humphreys is a Christian socialist who joined the Labour Party in 1945 with her twin sister. She observes that political young people today are more likely to “go for the fringes” than join mainstream parties. Kathleen taught in Kenya in 1954 at the height of the Mau Mau insurrection, leaving in 1963, the year the country gained its independence. She then became a clerical officer for Woolwich Arsenal. Kathleen joined Kingsway Methodist Hall and started supporting Donald Soper in the open air at Tower Hill and Speakers’ Corner in the 1960s. Kathleen helped to carry Soper’s stand whatever the weather, an essential service when he was old and frail. Impressed by Soper’s mastery of the English language, oratorical skills and politics, she became a fervent pacifist after hearing him speak. She also heckled the Hyde Park Tories. After her retirement, she became a friend and helper to the Soper household and cared for him when he was sick. She is still in touch with his family.

Audio of Kathleen

“Old Soper”

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Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London.

About the project

Sounds from the Park is a unique oral and visual history of Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park: the UK’s last great open air oratory site.

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© Chris Kennett

Exhibition

Our exhibition can be seen online here or read our booklet about Speakers' Corner.

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© Philip Wolmuth

Radio show

Our radio show can be listened to here.

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Young man talking at Speakers' Corner, 2013 © Sophie Polyviou

Education resources

History and Citizenship resources for Key Stage 3 and 4. Complete with a timeline of events at Speakers' Corner and other resources.

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