Blue plaque unveiled for famous entertainer who lived in Weston

PUBLISHED: 11:55 22 September 2020

A blue plaque was installed for Bob Hope. Picture: Weston Town Council

A blue plaque was installed for Bob Hope. Picture: Weston Town Council

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The 20th blue plaque has been installed in Weston.

A blue plaque was installed for Bob Hope. Picture: Weston Town CouncilA blue plaque was installed for Bob Hope. Picture: Weston Town Council

Weston Town Council and Weston Civic Society’s joint project has seen historical markers installed across Weston and Worle.

A plaque for Bob Hope was unveiled on September 11.

Though born in London, Leslie Townes Bob Hope hales from a West Country stonemasonry family.

His grandfather helped build Weston’s seafront wall in 1883 and then crossed the Atlantic to join stone carvers on the Statue of Liberty in America, little realising his own offspring would become one of the country’s best-loved entertainers.

A blue plaque was installed for Bob Hope. Picture: Weston Town CouncilA blue plaque was installed for Bob Hope. Picture: Weston Town Council

The Hope family lived for a short time in Orchard Street and at 14 Lindley Terrace before moving to Bristol.

Many street names and house numbers have changed over the years and the use of terrace names has all but disappeared, the current address is 20 Southend Road.

In 1907 the family emigrated to America where schoolboy Leslie later adopted his new name of Bob Hope.

Bob’s performing career began in Vaudeville shows and Broadway productions.

A blue plaque was installed for Bob Hope. Picture: Weston Town CouncilA blue plaque was installed for Bob Hope. Picture: Weston Town Council

His first film contract was with Educational Pictures in 1930, and he was later signed by Paramount Pictures.

For a number of years he was one of the most popular stars in the world.

During the Korean and Vietnam wars he spent a lot of time entertaining the troops.

Although never nominated for an Academy Award, he was given five honorary awards for his services to film and the Queen made him an honorary knight in 1976.

Cllr John Crockford-Hawley, chairman of the town council’s heritage arts and culture committee, said: “Two Americans have now been honoured with blue plaques in Weston, showing we are a seaside resort with clear trans-Atlantic appeal.”

An audio tour of the town’s 20 blue plaques is now on the town council’s website, written and narrated by Mr Crockford-Hawley.

People can arrive at a plaque and use their phone to access the page and play the film that gives you the history of the plaque. This is the first stage of what the town council hopes will become a digital walking audio-guided app.

To use the audio tour, click here.


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