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Blue plaques in Kent to The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, David Bowie, Carry On stars and James Bond creator Ian Fleming


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Want to take a walk in the footsteps of famous names from the past?

Take a trip with your local blue plaques and pick up some nuggets of knowledge along the way. Find one near you here...

The Beatles’ film, Magical Mystery Tour, some of which was filmed in the West Malling area
The Beatles’ film, Magical Mystery Tour, some of which was filmed in the West Malling area

The Beatles

When you get your kebab in West Malling, you get a slice of history with it too as the kebab house is home to a blue plaque commemorating the time The Beatles came to town. John Lennon and Ringo Starr can be seen in the High Street in the opening of The Beatles’ 1967 film Magical Mystery Tour. The Fab Four spent several days filming in the town, including at the disused West Malling Airfield. There is also one to George Orwell at the station.

MP Tracey Crouch at the unveiling in West Malling Picture: David Hodgkinson
MP Tracey Crouch at the unveiling in West Malling Picture: David Hodgkinson

Oliver Postgate

The author, producer and narrator of classic children’s programmes including Ivor the Engine, Noggin the Nog, Bagpuss and the Clangers, with puppet maker Peter Firmin, has a blue plaque remembering him - and the Clangers - on the wall of his seaside house where he wrote the majority of his works at 9 Chandos Road, Broadstairs.

The plaque to Oliver Postgate at 4 Chandos Road, Broadstairs. Picture: Chris Davey
The plaque to Oliver Postgate at 4 Chandos Road, Broadstairs. Picture: Chris Davey
Peter Firmin (left) and Oliver Postgate at work on the children's TV Programme The Clangers in their Blean studio back in the 60s
Peter Firmin (left) and Oliver Postgate at work on the children's TV Programme The Clangers in their Blean studio back in the 60s

David Bowie

Music icon David Bowie was immortalised in Maidstone thanks to a blue plaque unveiled by Nick "Topper" Headon, former drummer with The Clash, and Bowie's ex-bandmate Bob Solly in the Royal Star Arcade in the High Street in 2017.

The blue plaque to David Bowie who played with the Manish Boys at the Royal Star Hotel in Maidstone Picture: Gary Browne
The blue plaque to David Bowie who played with the Manish Boys at the Royal Star Hotel in Maidstone Picture: Gary Browne

Bowie played a number of times at the Royal Star Hotel Ballroom once on the site between 1964 and 1965 with Maidstone band The Manish Boys.

David Bowie played in Maidstone Picture: BBC Pictures
David Bowie played in Maidstone Picture: BBC Pictures

The Rolling Stones

The spot where Mick Jagger and Keith Richards first met, by chance, before going on to form The Rolling Stones in 1961 on Platform 2 of Dartford Railway Station is marked with a plaque, unveiled in 2015.

Dartford Railway Station is home to a blue plaque Picture: Simon Hildrew
Dartford Railway Station is home to a blue plaque Picture: Simon Hildrew

It marks the moment when the two rock gods forged their friendship. Keith also has one at 6 Spielman Road, Dartford.

Mick and Keith went on to form The Rolling Stones Picture: From Exhibitionism in London
Mick and Keith went on to form The Rolling Stones Picture: From Exhibitionism in London

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Racing driver and creator of the iconic cars, Count Louis Zborowski, is remembered with a blue plaque in St Radigund's Street, Canterbury, where his workshop was in the early 1920s. The Count, who lived at Higham Park at Bridge, was a well-known engineer but died in a crash in the Italian GP in 1923.

Count Louis Zborowski
Count Louis Zborowski

Charles Hawtrey

Carry On actor Charles Hawtrey moved to 117 Middle Street, Deal, in 1968 and stayed until his death in 1988.

Carry On star Charles Hawtrey Picture: Gregory Holyoake
Carry On star Charles Hawtrey Picture: Gregory Holyoake

The accomplished musician, actor and director has a blue plaque to him on the front exterior wall of the house.

Charles Hawtrey's closest female friend Joy Leonard unveils the blue plaque outside his home in Deal
Charles Hawtrey's closest female friend Joy Leonard unveils the blue plaque outside his home in Deal

Hattie Jacques

There is a blue plaque on the house where the Carry On actor and her then husband John Le Mesurier (who played Sgt Arthur Wilson in Dad's Army), lived at 25 Trinity Square in Margate in the 1960s.

Hattie Jacques and John Le Mesurier lived in Margate Picture: Gary Browne
Hattie Jacques and John Le Mesurier lived in Margate Picture: Gary Browne

There is also a plaque to her on the house where she was born at 125 High Street, Sandgate.

Hattie Jacques and Barbara Windsor
Hattie Jacques and Barbara Windsor

JMW Turner

English Romanticist landscape painter Joseph Mallord William Turner, who the Turner Contemporary gallery is named after, attended Coleman’s School on the corner of Love Lane and Hawley Street in Old Margate Town. There is a blue plaque marking where he studied from 1785 to 1788.

The Turner Gallery in Margate
The Turner Gallery in Margate

Ian Fleming

The creator of James Bond, who sold 30 million books in his lifetime and spawned a multi million dollar film franchise, is said to have written You Only Live Twice at the Duck Inn, Pett Bottom, Canterbury in 1964.

Bond creator Ian Fleming lived in Kent
Bond creator Ian Fleming lived in Kent

Fleming had a holiday home, White Cliffs, at St Margate's Bay, which he bought from Noel Coward in 1951, and used many locations around the county in his books.

Ian Fleming wrote You Only Live Twice in Kent
Ian Fleming wrote You Only Live Twice in Kent
The unveiling of a Plaque for Jane Austen in Dartford High Street Picture: Jim Rantell
The unveiling of a Plaque for Jane Austen in Dartford High Street Picture: Jim Rantell

Jane Austen

The author had many connections with the county, as her father had attended Tonbridge School and her brother lived near Canterbury, but the blue plaque devoted to her is on the side of Boots at 46-52 High Street, Dartford. She stayed at the former inn the Bull and George on the site when travelling to see her brother.

A plaque to Eric Morecambe at The Bulls Head, Market Square Picture: Gary Browne
A plaque to Eric Morecambe at The Bulls Head, Market Square Picture: Gary Browne

Eric Morecambe

The comedian may not have lived in the county, but there is a blue plaque on the wall of the Bull's Head at 1 Market Place, Margate, where he had his wedding reception in the first floor function room in 1952. He married the daughter of a previous landlord, Joan Bartlett.

The Bulls Head
The Bulls Head

English Heritage began the blue plaque movement back in 1866 in London, celebrating the links between notable figures of the past and the buildings in which they lived and worked.

The first plaque went to poet Lord Byron in 1867, but his house in Holles Street, near Cavendish Square, was demolished in 1889. A John Lewis department store occupies the site today, and bears a Westminster City Council plaque to the poet.

More recently, local councils have taken ownership of the scheme in their areas.

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