Felixstowe: Mrs Simpson will get plaque after sponsor is found at last

felixstowe: One of the resort’s most famous former residents will have a plaque to mark where she lived after all.

Out of 25 being put up, it was the one no-one wanted to sponsor, but Pat and Mike Todd have not been put off by Wallis Simpson’s notoriety – and have agreed to pay for the plaque to mark the seaside town’s association with a woman who caused a king to abdicate.

“We are really delighted to do it,” said Mr Todd, of Burnt House Lane, Kirton.

“When we heard that no-one would sponsor Mrs Simpson’s plaque, we said we know exactly who will do that.

“Had we been asked at the beginning, she is the one we would have fancied doing – she is far more fascinating than many of the others who will be commemorated.”

The couple are part-owners of the Reunion Gallery in Felixstowe and Mrs Todd has been making the plaques for the project, which is being co-ordinated by George Buckland in association with the Felixstowe Society.

“Whether you condone or praise her is irrelevant, she was here and is part of Felixstowe’s history and should be remembered just as the other people are,” said Mrs Todd. “She was a very iconic character and epitomised an era in which I am very interested.”

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Mr Buckland said he had been worried that no plaque sponsors had chosen Mrs Simpson.

“Whenever I ask people for famous people connected with our town they always immediately say Sir John Mills and Mrs Simpson. I didn’t want her to be the one missing person, the one without a plaque,” he said.

Mrs Simpson stayed at Beach House, Undercliff Road East, for six weeks in 1936 while she obtained the divorce which would allow her to marry Edward VIII after he abdicated.

Other people being honoured with plaques include Lawrence of Arabia, the Empress of Germany, codebreaker Harry Fensom, Edward III, Thomas Cavendish and Sir John Mills.

? Should the resort commemorate its association with Wallis Simpson? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk