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BBC to honour music icon John Peel with blue plaque at Great Finborough Village Hall

PUBLISHED: 07:22 15 June 2017 | UPDATED: 07:22 15 June 2017

John Peel, pictured at his Suffolk home with part of his vinyl collection. Picture: CLIFFORD HICKS

John Peel, pictured at his Suffolk home with part of his vinyl collection. Picture: CLIFFORD HICKS

Legendary radio broadcaster John Peel is to be honoured with a blue plaque in the Suffolk village where he lived.

Poet Hollie McNish performing at The John Peel Centre in Stowmarket. Picture: CONTRIBUTED Poet Hollie McNish performing at The John Peel Centre in Stowmarket. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

The memento will go outside The Village Hall in Great Finborough, near Stowmarket, in recognition of John’s contribution to the music industry.

John’s blue plaque is one of 47 to be unveiled across the country today to mark BBC Music Day.

The final list, covering a wide range of musical genres, from pop and rock to folk and classical, was whittled down from nominations made by BBC Local Radio listeners.

The ceremony will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Suffolk’s drive time show with Stephen Foster, who will visit John’s former home where his studio was during the report.

The John Peel Centre. Picture: PHIL MORLEY The John Peel Centre. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Stephen said: “John Peel has left behind a tremendous legacy within the music industry. He has been credited for helping many bands and solo artists with their careers. John graced Radio One’s airwaves from the beginning in 1967 right up until his death in 2004.”

John Robert Parker Ravenscroft OBE, aka John Peel, was a world-renowned and influential radio presenter, music producer and DJ.

He died suddenly at the age 65 from a heart attack when he was working in Peru, leaving behind his wife, Sheila Ravenscroft, and their four children.

In 2013, the Stowmarket Corn Exchange was refurbished and turned into a creative arts centre in John’s name to commemorate his life and connection with the area.

Radio DJ John Peel, who is to have his contribution to the music industry celebrated with the unveiling of a blue plaque in his honour. Picture: IAN WEST/PA WIRE Radio DJ John Peel, who is to have his contribution to the music industry celebrated with the unveiling of a blue plaque in his honour. Picture: IAN WEST/PA WIRE

Mike Read, chairman of the British Plaque Trust, said: “A blue plaque is a recognised symbol of our national heritage, a visible milestone in our history which serves as a permanent reminder of who we are, where we’ve been and what we’ve achieved.

“The British Plaque Trust commemorates notable people from all walks of life who have made an important contribution to the history of our nation.

“We are delighted to have worked with the BBC towards Music Day 2017 for the last six months, making it possible to add deserving local music legends to the footprint of British history.”

BBC Music Day, which is returning for its third year, is a UK-wide annual celebration that aims to unite communities through the love of music.

What is a blue plaque?

A blue plaque is a permanent sign installed on a building to honour a notable person with a connection to that location.

The 47 which will be unveiled tomorrow have been granted by The British Plaque Trust, but they can also be administered by other organisations, such as English Heritage.

Many famous figures from Suffolk and Essex have been celebrated in this way.

A blue plaque for Roger Crompton Notcutt, who founded Notcutts Garden Centres 120 years ago, was installed at his former home in Woodbrige in February.

Another was unveiled on The Minories building in Colchester last year for the town’s first female doctor, Ruth Bensusan Butt.

And the Ipswich Women’s Festival Group has successfully campaigned for a number of blue plaques to mark the contributions of women to the town, including Margaret Tempest, Nina Layard, Constance Andrews and Mary Whitmore.

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