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#PHHeroes Category

Plymouth History Heroes: Robert Borlase Smart

Robert Borlase Smart was born in Kingsbridge, Devon in 1881. During his early life he attended Plymouth School of Art and Plymouth College of Art. From 1900-01 he attended the Royal College of Art, training as a teacher. From 1903-1913 he lived in Plymouth and worked as an art critic for the Western Morning News. […]

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Plymouth History Heroes: Beryl Cook OBE

With the ‘Our Beryl’ exhibition currently on display at the Council House and receiving brilliant feedback from everyone who visits it, we just had to feature Beryl Cook OBE (1926-2008) as this month’s History Hero! Born Beryl Frances Lansley in Egham, Surrey in 1926, she would go on to produce an array of artworks full of larger […]

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History Centre Heroes: Benjamin Robert Haydon

Plymouth-born Benjamin Robert Haydon (1786-1846) was an historical painter, teacher and writer who had a stormy life and career. Intensely ambitious, he was the only son of another Benjamin Robert Haydon, a prosperous printer, stationer and publisher, and his wife Mary, the daughter of the Reverend Benjamin Cobley, rector of Dodbrooke, near Kingsbridge. Haydon showed […]

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History Centre Heroes: James Rich Steers

Only the fishes see a shipbuilder’s finest ideas once his vessel has slipped into the sea. It is the precise shape of the hull, the swell and curve of the timbers that give the ideal compromise between stability and speed. The secrets of ship design were known only to their makers two centuries ago, and […]

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History Centre Heroes: Sir Francis Chichester

by Rosemary Babichev We’ll be hearing lots about Sir Francis Chichester over the next couple of weeks. Perhaps the largest crowd ever to gather on Plymouth Hoe – a quarter of a million people – saw the 65 year-old sail home to finish the first west-east solo circumnavigation of the world fifty years ago, on […]

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History Centre Heroes: Ellen MacArthur DBE

by Rosemary Babichev It was ‘Swallows and Amazons’ the classic children’s story of sailing and adventure on the Norfolk Broads that led Ellen MacArthur to choose the tack that made her a record breaking yachtswoman. She first hit the headlines sailing solo round the world aged only 24, little more than a decade after saving […]

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History Centre Heroes: Reverend Henry Moore Dauncey

Like the explorer and mountaineer Gertrude Benham, today’s History Centre Hero didn’t come from or live in Plymouth. Like Benham though he did contribute a number of items to our collections, all of which have provided us and our visitors with a fascinating insight into a country and culture that we may otherwise not have […]

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History Centre Heroes: Antony Jinman

by Rosemary Babichev Supreme Plymouth hero Robert Falcon Scott attempted to conquer the Antarctic by being the first to set foot there, and won fame for the boldness of his efforts to obtain this accolade for the nation, although it ended in tragedy for him and his team. In contrast Antony Jinman, the twelfth Britain […]

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History Centre Heroes: Jamie Lawson

Jamie Lawson was born in St Budeaux in 1975. He went to school in Plymouth and continued to be based here for much of the time afterwards, but shot to the heights of pop celebrity in 2015 with the single ‘Wasn’t Expecting That’. This was an appropriate title given that he was already in his […]

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History Centre Heroes: Dawn French

Some of the best Christmas television in recent years has been provided by today’s History Centre Hero. Who can forget the Vicar Of Dibley Christmas specials – particularly the last one in 2006 when the character of Geraldine Granger finally fell in love and got married?   Dawn French has had a long career as a […]

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