You can vote for the next person to receive a Green Plaque in Leicestershire – and the list includes two historical figures from the Harborough district

The 32 nominees have been narrowed down to a shortlist of 12 – and now it’s up to you to vote for the top six to receive a plaque

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 5:28 pm
Frances Deacon and Samuel Swinfin Burdett

You can now vote for the next person and place to receive a cherished Green Plaque in Leicestershire – and the list includes two stand out historical figures from the Harborough district.

Some 32 nominations flooded in after people were asked to nominate individuals who played a seminal part in Leicestershire’s past.

The possible recipients are all now in with a shout of being honoured in the sixth round of Leicestershire County Council’s awards scheme.

Just weeks ago top Market Harborough boxer and all-time sporting great Jack Gardner was saluted in his hometown with a green plaque.

They have been narrowed down to a shortlist of 12 by a panel of judges – and now it’s up to you to vote for the top six to receive a plaque.

And you can throw your weight behind brilliant 19th century Harborough female trailblazer Frances Deacon.

Born in Kibworth in 1837, Frances became the first woman to pass tough qualifying tests to become a pharmacist.

She registered as a Chemist and Druggist on February 5, 1869 after passing the Pharmaceutical Society’s exam with flying colours.

Despite paying her subscription and complying with all the Society’s rules and regulations, as a woman Frances was not allowed to become a member of the Pharmaceutical Society until a decade later in 1879.

She worked alongside her father, who was also a chemist, later opening her own pharmacy in Fleckney.

When she died in 1930 at the age of 92, she was the oldest-registered chemist in England at that time.

Frances has been put forward for the honour by Fleckney Parish Council.

Also in the frame to be recognised is Samuel Swinfen Burdett.

He emigrated from Harborough to the USA when he was just a boy of 12.

But Samuel remained a staunch lifelong benefactor to and supporter of Broughton Astley - where he was born and grew up.

The highly-gifted visionary played a pivotal role in developing the policies, laws and traditions of his adopted country 3,000 miles away across the North Atlantic.

Samuel became a senator serving in the US Congress and a general in Abraham Lincoln’s Union army during the bloody American Civil War of 1861-65.

It was during one of his visits back to his beloved home town of Broughton Astley that he became ill and died in the house where he was born on September 24, 1914, aged 78.

Samuel is being nominated by Broughton Astley Heritage Society.

The other nominees are:

- Lt Col Eric Bent VC DSO, attended school in Ashby-de-la-Zouch. He was awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War

- Sgt Herbert Ernest Black RAFVR, Second World War bomber pilot from Measham

- George Fox, of Fenny Drayton, who founded the Quaker Movement

- William Lilly, astrologer and author who was born in Diseworth

- Regt Sgt Major Thomas Meredith DCM from Wigston Magna. He was a member of the Royal Leicestershire Regiment and WWII prisoner of war

- Military Stables at the Defence Animal Training Unit, Melton

- The Pound, an historic site in Countesthorpe where stray animals were kept

- William Railton, architect who designed Nelson’s Column and many Leicestershire landmarks including Beaumanor Hall in Woodhouse

- Theodora Salusbury, Arts & Crafts stained glass artist who designed stained glass windows in churches across Leicestershire

- Count Louis Zborowski, racing driver and engineer who lived for a time in Melton Mowbray.

Cllr Dan Harrison, the county council’s chairman, said: “This is the sixth round of Green Plaque awards.

“They always get a fantastic response from the public, who have the opportunity to pay tribute to people and places who have made a mark on the history of their communities.”

He added: “We received 32 nominations this time around - and the shortlisting panel had a very difficult job to narrow them down to 12.

“We’re now asking the people of Leicestershire to have their say by voting for their favourites – you can vote for up to six. “The six who get the most votes will be honoured with a Green Plaque.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to take part in the voting to decide which historic people and places should be honoured.”

Voting is now open and will close just before midnight on Sunday October 24.

To find out more information about the nominees and to vote, visit www.leicestershire.gov.uk/greenplaquesA postal voting form is also available for anyone without internet access by calling 0116 305 4112.

Just weeks ago top Market Harborough boxer and all-time sporting great Jack Gardner was saluted in his hometown himself.

A Green Plaque was unveiled in Market Harborough to honour formidable fighter Jack as his delighted daughter, Jackalyn Bradford-Turner, said her late dad would be very “proud”.

Gardner fought for Great Britain at the famous London Olympics in 1948 and became the heavyweight champion of both Britain and Europe.