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Bugle praised as editor unveils new Sir Henry Newbolt plaque

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: January 01, 2014

By John Butterworth

  • Bugle editor John Butterworth (right) unveils the new Sir Henry Newbolt plaque watched by Barry Hodgson, (left), vice chairman of the Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society and Suhail Rana, chairman of the society (centre)

  • Spot the difference - The old plaque left with the incorrect date for Sir Henry's death and the new correct one on the right

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THE Bugle was praised at the unveiling ceremony of the corrected blue plaque remembering Bilston's famous son Sir Henry Newbolt.

The new heritage sign will be put up on the Barclays Bank in the town by the Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society early in the New Year.

Last June Bugle reader Peter Higginson pointed out that the plaque said the Bilston-born poet, novelist and historian died in 1932 when in fact it was 1938.

At first the society, who thanked the paper for pointing out the mistake, said they would correct it. But a week later they said they could not afford it and the error would have to stay.

Retired English lecturer Peter, who is also from Bilston, decided, through The Bugle, to find the £350 to pay for the repairs. Thanks to generous donations from the Premier Foods supermarket in Tettenhall, an anonymous lady in Bilston and Sir Peter's former college in Oxford, Corpus Christi, the money was raised.

Barry Hodgson, the society's vice chairman and blue plaques secretary, said it was only the second error in the 97 blue plaques they had put up in the Black Country since 1987.

He added that this was the first time they had had two unveilings of the same plaque.

Mr Hodgson said they would top 100 blue plaques early in 2014 as there were plans to honour Bilston entertainer Tommy Burton; Wolverhampton canal engineer Paul Dadford and John Wilkinson, the father of the Black Country iron trade.

Suhail Rana, chairman of the society, said at the unveiling at Bilston Town Hall just before Christmas: "We are delighted to correct this error as it is an important plaque to an important person who was responsible for the literary quality of English spoken around the world."

He added: "I would also like to thank The Bugle and Peter Higginson for pointing out the error, raising the money and for booking the Town Hall room for the unveiling ceremony."

Peter Higginson said: "I am glad we have recognised properly the existence of this great man in our community. After five months of effort we can say we have played up and played the game."

The society are always looking for volunteers to help. If you are interested email wchs@mail.com

Are there any Black Country heroes who you would like to see honoured with a blue plaque? Email editor@blackcountry bugle.co.uk

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