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Help celebrate Kingston's heroes - call for funding to support heritage scheme
Plaques, artworks, signs and information boards could all be used to celebrate the famous people that lived in the borough or contributed to it - if funders are found.
Although Kingston Council has discussed commemorating famous people and places before, no plans for how to fund the project have been decided.
But now councillor David Ryder-Mills, lead member for schools and continuing education, has made an appeal for financial backers to help get the scheme off the ground.
He said: “Kingston has a huge huge amount of history and we simply must make sure we don’t lose it.
“When I first came to Kingston I did not realise they built aeroplanes here. Kingston was incredibly important in the production – there are still Kingston-built aircrafts in service around the world.
“It is a work in progress, an awareness raising exercise.
"We are hoping that funders might come along or we're looking at putting in some sort of English Heritage bid.”
Dr Helen Sharman was a Surbiton resident when she became the first Briton in space in 1991. She is now technical manager of Kingston University's faculty of science, engineering and computing
A spokeswoman from English Heritage said such a scheme would be suitable for Heritage Lottery funding.
If the idea was to get the go-ahead, names such as children’s writer Enid Blyton - who worked in Surbiton as a governess - and aviation pioneer Harry Hawker could be recognised.
Aviation pioneer Harry Hawker (above) - one of Kingston's most famous sons
The legendary folk and blues singer John Martyn was born in New Malden
Jennifer Butterworth, chairman of the Kingston Society, said: “We are very much in favour of it and have made two suggestions – people who were convicted of petty crimes in the late 18th or early 19th century were transferred to Australia and one of them founded the first brewery.
“It will make people aware that there were interesting people living here. But it comes down to money every time – if they say they want to promote Kingston as an interesting place, then this is one way of doing it.”
Another musical legend, Eric Clapton - he attended Hollyfield School in Surbiton and Kingston College of Art
War hero and New Malden resident Ian Willoughby Bazalgette already has a street named after him in his home town - but is that enough?
More than 40 famous Kingstonians have been suggested for the scheme which could help educate children about their home town.
Councillor Howard Jones, leader of the opposition, said: “I really like it. We want to celebrate the people who have made Kingston famous and put it on the map.
“When it’s locally instigated and not a national thing the council ought to put a small fund aside.”
Which famous Kingstonian do you think deserves recognition? Leave your comments below or email email@example.com
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