Recycling with a social conscience: Meet Marianne Gilbert

You’d be hard pressed to find something that Marianne Gilbert can’t recycle. And we’re not talking about knowing which recycling facilities will take a worn-out or unwanted object. Marianne recycles objects into beautiful art projects, or uses them to raise money for causes close to her heart.

Marianne, who’s lived in Brentford since 1972, was born at home in Chapel Street Market, in Islington. Her family was bombed out during the war and then sent to King’s Cross to live, later moving to Islington.

Her knack for making much from little started young. When Marianne was 11 years old, she was awarded a place at a school that required a uniform. Her mother thought she would have to turn down the place because the family couldn’t afford the uniform. “Give me 10 bob [10 shillings, or about £1.20 in today’s money],” Marianne said to her mother, and she went to a local market and bought the materials needed to make the uniform.

Since then, Marianne hasn’t looked back. If you’re lucky enough to have come across GLADs Club at Brentford School for Girls, you’ll have some idea of the breadth of her creativity. Continue reading