‘Queen’ Flick Rea’s big red book!
She was wearing the same shocking pink blazer as she wore to her first ever council meeting in 1986
22 October, 2021 — By Harry Taylor
Flick Rea in the council chamber during her time at the Town Hall
FROM starring in the Avengers to helping save Kentish Town Baths, Flick Rea has packed a lot into her 83 years.
However she won’t have any problem remembering some of the highlights, after members of the community in West Hampstead came together to present her with a This is Your Life red book.
Dozens crowded into the Alliance pub in Mill Lane for the event last Wednesday, organised by a group including former Liberal Democrat leader of Camden Council Keith Moffitt and local resident Jill Henry, to present an album of memories, based on the famous former TV show.
The group was joined by Flick’s daughter Kate and son Robert.
Mr Moffitt said she had been the reason he had got involved in politics.
“I think one of the happiest days of my life was when we got Flick elected in 1986 after it had taken so much work,” he said.
“The centre of the universe in Camden for Liberal Democrats for so long was Flick’s kitchen table, and many memorable conversations took place there, not just Liberal Democrat ones but personal ones as well, and I count her as one of my very dearest friends.”
Ms Rea had two spells as leader of the party’s group on Camden Council. She had previously trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
Friends and family celebrate Flick Rea’s contribution
When her party led the administration between 2006 and 2010, she was the culture chief and the galvanising force behind the regeneration of Kentish Town Baths in Prince of Wales Road.
She stepped down as leader and as councillor earlier this year. A resulting by-election saw the party hold the seat, with Nancy Jirira winning in July.
Flick with daughter Kate and son Robert
Ms Rea’s son Robert said: “Growing up with Flick as your mum was not the easiest childhood, or not the most conventional.
“There were always strange people in your house at odd times. You would walk across Fortune Green to the shops and you would never make it because it would take an hour because you’d keep bumping into people and she would have to solve their problems.”
He added: “What I’m proud of is that feeling I still get when walking around West Hampstead that everybody knows my mum and regard her as the Queen of the neighbourhood.
“She’s the Queen of West Hampstead and she always will be.”
Ms Rea, who was a highly effective orator in the council chamber, said: “I had more fun performing in the council than I ever did on stage, I never always got the laughs mind you. In the early days I’d come home and my husband Charlie would say ‘did you get your laughs then?’”
She was wearing the same shocking pink blazer as she wore to her first ever council meeting in 1986.
“I thought, I won’t let the buggers get me down, I won’t get intimidated or cowed or just walked over,” said Ms Rea.
“A journalist once described me as doing lots of little things, moving bus stops, getting dustbins, making sure pot holes get fixed. And she said ‘is that all you do?’ and I said ‘I can’t solve Bosnia or the Middle East but I can fix those little things for people that they have to deal with every day’.”