THE artist behind Hammersmith’s iconic Greek Runner and the gardener who first imported fuchsias into the country are just two former residents who deserve to be given a heritage plaque.
This is according to Chronicle readers who sent in their suggestions to honour those who have lived or worked in the borough.
Sir William Blake Richmond, who designed the famous Greek Runner which sits in the centre of St Peter’s Square, lived in the borough for 50 years until his death in 1921.
Unfortunately, nothing remains of his house in Beaver Lane, but his great-grandson, Shepherd’s Bush resident Christopher Walker, believes he deserves to be recognised with a plaque.
“He was a great character of the borough, a friend of William Morris and other local artists,” said Mr Walker. “The statue by him in St Peter’s Square has an inscription which records his beneficence to the borough, but he deserves, in my opinion, a blue plaque as well.”
There are about 40 plaques across Hammersmith and Fulham marking locations where important historical figures lived or worked. They can be granted by English Heritage or by the Hammersmith and Fulham Historic Buildings Group.
Market gardener James Lee (1715-1795) was famed for being the first man to import exotic flowers into the country. With partner Lewis Kennedy, he introduced fuschias to Britain, believing rare flowers should be for the masses and not just for aristocrats. He also owned a vineyard and produced his own wine. Staff and students at James Lee Nursery School, in Gliddon Road, West Kensington, have been researching the man their school is named after.
School business manager, Eileen Grant, said: “He owned 18 acres and had a nursery which was considered one of the finest of its time.
“He lived in a thatched cottage with his wife and daughter which is now where the school stands and at the time he was well respected in the area. We are very proud of our school heritage and would love a plaque in his honour.”
Other suggestions include prolific artist Mary Sloane, who lived in Hammersmith Terrace and whose drawings are on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Angela Dixon, of the Hammersmith and Fulham Historic Buildings Group, said: “It’s extremely good news that people are getting involved, we would welcome any more suggestions.”
Do you have any suggestions for blue plaques in the borough?