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Donovan helps unveil plaque in childhood home of Hatfield

PUBLISHED: 11:07 20 May 2019

Donovan playing at 230 Bishops Rise in the 1960s (photo: Courtesy of Hatfield Town Council)

Donovan playing at 230 Bishops Rise in the 1960s (photo: Courtesy of Hatfield Town Council)

Archant

A blue plaque has been unveiled in Hatfield at the childhood home of singer Donovan

A blue plaque has been unveiled in Hatfield at the childhood home of singer Donovan. Born in Scotland in 1946, Donovan Leitch moved to 230 Bishops Rise with his family when he was 10. The eclectic folk-rock singer-songwriter (pictured at the house in the 60s) became an overnight success at 18 after appearing on the ATV Friday night show Ready Steady Go in 1965. He went on to have international hits with Catch the Wind, Colours, Universal Soldier, Sunshine Superman and Hurdy Gurdy Man.

The 72-year-old, who returned for the unveiling, said of his former home: 'In that little wallpapered bedroom my dreams were dreamt of being a voice for freedom for my generation.'

The plaque is the first in a scheme by Hatfield Town Council to celebrate the area's heritage. More are planned for actor and comedian Norman Wisdom who lived on a farm in Roe Green as a teenager, and ship's steward Joseph Gunn of Batterdale, who died on the Titanic in 1912. The council has asked residents for nominations for more remarkable people to be recognised - both deceased and alive - one of the few schemes in England to do so.

Council leader, Lenny Brandon, who delivered to Donovan's house on his paper round as a boy, said the aim is for the blue plaques to form part of a town-wide heritage trail.

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