Michael Leslie Gray – Hackney historian and community activist: born London March 3rd 1938, died Toledo 10th January 2015
Mike Gray, who has died in Spain at the age of 76, said that his life was defined by three locations Dulwich, Hackney and Mora de Toledo, Spain. He was a lifelong community activist and animateur, who was the first Chair of Chats Palace and who will be most remembered for his leading role in saving Sutton House Hackney. Read more
Bob Lee adds:
Mike Gray, who was instrumental in discovering and securing Chats Palace for the people of Hackney and beyond, passed away in a Toledo hospital on Saturday January 10th 2015. Back in the mid 1970’s, Mike, along with Freeform (a voluntary sector organisation then based in Dalston) and other local organisations took up the battle to transform the old library in Chatsworth Road into a community project that lives on to this day.
Mike Gray also discovered the Elizabethan Sutton House and fought a successful campaign to have it restored and turned into another Hackney miracle. His portrait was/is on the staircase in Sutton House.
Brian Walker adds:
I am so sad to hear that our good mate Mike Gray has died. Although he has been very ill for the last couple of years it is still a shock. Mike was a good friend and a very fair and dutiful Chairman of Chats Palace. We never realised at the time what a great campaigner and forward thinking organiser he was. He made such an impact on Homerton and Hackney, but to many of us he was just our friend and companion, Mike. Thank you! RIP Mike.