Search on for famous houses

WHOSE house should be immortalised forever?That is the question being asked today as the search is on to find Suffolk's finest residents worthy of a famous blue plaque.

WHOSE house should be immortalised forever?

That is the question being asked today as the search is on to find Suffolk's finest residents worthy of a famous blue plaque.

English Heritage is launching an appeal for nominations of people to be named on blue plaques that will appear in the East of England.

It is looking for famous names from the area to be remembered in the streets forever.

Dr Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, said: "We are thrilled to be launching the Blue Plaques Scheme in the East of England.

"Blue plaques inspire local pride and engage people of all ages.

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"They will give an added insight into the culture and history of the East of England, commemorating a range of the region's most famous and accomplished residents.

"There is a great wealth of historic figures connected with the area - from Lord Nelson, born in Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk, to Edith Cavell, born in Swardeston, Norfolk, Thomas Gainsborough, born in Sudbury, to Benjamin Britten, born in Lowestoft.

"We are asking everyone to become involved and nominate a famous person for a blue plaque, helping us to transform bricks and mortar into living history all around us."

There are already several plaques commemorating some our heroes in Ipswich town centre.

The Ipswich Society have put a round plaque on the East Suffolk Mind building in Foundation Street in honour of the Thomas Gainsborough.

The inscription says that the Suffolk painter lived at No 34 which stood next door from 1752-1759.

Another plaque in Fore Street celebrates the Dutch artist Cor Visser who lived at number 44 from 1962-1982.

In Tower Street there is a plaque stating to commemorate the family of Geoffrey Chaucer which owned a tavern on the site now occupied by Superdrug.

English Heritage is encouraging as diverse a range of nominations as possible but all proposals must meet strict selection criteria.

The person to be commemorated must have been dead for at least 20 years or have passed the centenary of their birth, whichever is earlier.

This allows a person's reputation to mature and ensures that their fame is long-lasting.

They must have a national reputation, have gained outstanding recognition through their life and work, or have made a positive contribution to human welfare or happiness.

At least one of the person's addresses must survive unaltered in order for the proposal to be considered.

The first Blue Plaques, designed and manufactured by hand, will be erected in the region in 2006-7, once extensive historical research has been carried out and consent has been granted by the property owner and local authorities.

N Who do you think should be immortalised with a blue plaque at their house? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email or visit the forum at

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