Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Jill Allott RIP

A  while back I posted about the death of Katy Watson, feminist, Brixtonite, and radical (among many other things). Sad news today from my friend Roseanne of the death of somebody else from that scene:

'With great sadness I’m writing to let people know about the death of Jill Allott, a former stalwart of Brixton squatting and a wonderful friend. Jill died last Friday on 6 January from a secondary brain tumour, though she had fought off two earlier bouts of cancer. She was surrounded by family and friends.

Some of you might know Jill from the 80s and the 90s in Brixton, where she lived on Brailsford and Arlingford Roads, Sandmere Road, Brixton Water Lane and Mervan Road. Like many women involved in squatting communities, Jill trained in a manual trade and became an electrician. She generously shared her skills and knowledge, whether in Brixton or further afield when she trained women electricians in Nicaragua. Later, she studied to become a Shiatsu practitioner. She was always helping people – opening squats, wiring up houses, giving Shiatsu treatments or simply being there as a friend.

Jill’s enthusiasm boosted many anarchist, feminist, lesbian/gay and community projects. She helped at 121 Bookshop in the early 80s, and played a major part in organising women’s café nights and gigs there. She galvanised resistance to evictions, helped produce the women’s zine Feminaxe, and took part in actions against Clause 28 and the Gulf War.

Jill was also a talented drummer who played in bands such as the Sluts from Outer Space and Los Lasses. She loved a good party, especially if it involved dancing to reggae. Her birthday parties were among the best in Brixton.

The Sluts from Outer Space (late 80s), with Jill on drums

In the late 1990s she moved to Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. She had two children – Corinne and Finley – and continued to play an active part in communities there. Always a fighter, Jill helped form a support and action network for women affected by cancer. She worked as a Shiatsu practitioner in projects offering treatment to drug users and women facing health and mental health problems.

Many people through the years have known Jill and loved her. Our lives and struggles have taken us many places and scatter us throughout the world; often we move on and lose touch. But hopefully everyone who was close to Jill will read this, share our sadness but also celebrate the life of a great friend, activist and mother'

Las Lassies - Jill bottom left
I didn't know Jill very well personally - she was more of a friend of a friend in my Brixton days - but like many people around at the time I can say 'Thanks for fixing my electricity Jill'.

[photos by Jill's friends from Roseanne's facebook wall - hope that's OK]


Rosanne said...

Of course it's OK!


Rosanne said...

I could be wrong... but didn't you once come to dinner at my house on Josephine Avenue around 1990 or so? Ilya and Jill came too. We ended up listening to RDF and laughing hysterically, and then I played some Trannsylvanian folk music and you made up words to it that had us laughing even more (something being heartbroken about not meeting the quota).

Olympia L. said...

'I'll build a nest in the sky and only descent when I want a good laugh'
A Greek song from a Greek friend for you Jill.