14/04/11......Another 'first' for Thame as Blue plaques unveiled -
THE first Blue plaque in Oxfordshire, to commemorate the residence of a musician, was one of four unveiled today in Thame.
Dignitaries, friends and family members of those commemorated, and members of the 21st Century Thame partnership which promoted the project, toured the town to witness the unveiling of Blue Plaques to Henry Boddington, founder of the Manchester Brewer, the virtuoso violinist, Alfredo Campoli, the poet, William Butler Yeats, and fighter and sportsman, James Figg.
Eda Forbes, Secretary to the Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board was on hand with snippets of facinating facts about the lives of Thame's illustrious former sons and residents, augmented by the more personal memories of great, great grand-daughter of Boddington, Nora Watkins, a cousin of Campoli's wife who was a Thame girl.
The Mayor of Thame, Adam Buckland, unveiled the plaque on the front of The James Figg pub, where visitors and guests enjoyed lunch and refreshments courtesy of Frazer, the manager.
The last of the four Blue Plaques to be revealed was in honour of poet and Nobel laureate, William Butler Yeats whose son, Irish senator, Michael Butler Yeats, was born at 42 High Street, in 1921.
Actor and Thame Players member, Peter Sawyer, gave a speech about the poet and read two of his poems, Down by the Sally Gardens and Clothes of Heaven, in a very convincing Irish accent.
Clothes of Heaven with the well known line: “Tread softly because you tread on my dreams,” is said to have been written by Yeats for Maude Gonne, a woman he loved and proposed to three times before she married an Irish nationalist.
Yeats lived in Thame for six months in 1921. the same year that he wrote the memoir, Four Years, concentrating on the years between 1887 - 1891.
As the BBC said in its news report this evening, "Today Thame was the Blue Plaque capital of Oxfordshire!"
SEE LINK HERE for more information about those commemorated.
PHOTO: The Mayor of Thame in pugilistic mood after unveiling a Blue Plaque to commemorate James Figg.