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Famous Folk

Available from Bear Steps £1.00

Charles Darwin is one of Shrewsbury’s most celebrated sons – but there are many others who have been recognised by various deeds over the centuries.A selection of names and their exploits are shown on this web page, but many more ‘names’ can be discovered in our booklet.For “CHARLES DARWIN”  see dedicated webpage.
  ADMIRAL BENBOW– the “Nelson” of his day.       John Benbow was born on 10 March 1653 and was the son of William, a tanner  in Shrewsbury. They lived in the parish of St. Mary in Shrewsbury. According to one source, John began his career as a waterman along the River Severn in Shropshire. Another source claims that he was initially apprenticed to a butcher but then ran away to sea. Myth has it that he left the key to his house hanging on a nail in a tree at Coton Hill, where the recent apartment development is called “Benbow Quay” and the ‘key’ relic is on show in a glass case at the front.  Also remembered in Shrewsbury by a pub and by the memorial shown in St Mary’s Church.Biography, Admiral John Benbow
 PERCY THROWER.             Gardener, author, with frequent appearances on television & radio: creator of the “Blue Peter” Garden.  Even has a bedroom in Lion Hotel named in his honour.       Shrewsbury Parks Superintendent 1946 – 1974   Biography here.
MARY WEBB    Novelist & poet 1881 – 1927.  Lived with her parents at Meole Brace: later with her husband had Spring Cottage in Lyth Hill.  Throughout her life she loved Shrewsbury & the South Shropshire hill country: “Silverton” [now name of Boutique Hotel in Frankwell] in her books is modelled on Shrewsbury.  She is buried in Shrewsbury cemetery.  Her books centred on the Shropshire countryside & Shropshire characters, and her work was made universally famous by the film adaptation “Gone to Earth” in 1950.      Biography here.
  John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, OBE (30 August 1939 – 25 October 2004), known professionally as JOHN PEEL, was an English disc jockey, radio presenter, record producer and journalist. He attended Shrewsbury School in the 60’s although he was not very complementary about the behaviour of his fellow students.  He was the longest-serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting regularly from 1967 until his death in 2004.He was known for his eclectic taste in music and his honest and warm broadcasting style.He was one of the first broadcasters to play psychedelic rock and progressive rock records on British radio.Peel appeared frequently on British television as one of the presenters of Top of the Pops in the 1980s, and he provided voice-over commentary for a number of BBC programmes. He became popular with the audience of BBC Radio 4 for his Home Truths programme, which ran from the 1990s, featuring unusual stories from listeners’ domestic lives.
     Recipe         Shrewsbury biscuits or ‘cakes’ were first mentioned in a recipe book dated 1658, but doubt exists as their true creator.    Mr PAILIN is given credit on plaque in Castle St.     Shrewsbury biscuits are among the most popular snacks in India.
 Flight Lieutenant ERIC LOCK DFC           Highest scoring British pilot during the Battle of Britain.    Lived at Bayston Hill and attended Presfelde school. Road named after him in Bayston Hill.    Killed in action at age 21.   Biography
BENJAMIN DISRAELI      Prime Minister, novelist, Leader of the Opposition, Chancellor of the Exchequer – and MP for Shrewsbury 1841 – 1847.  His life history.