Donovan's childhood home in Hatfield gets blue plaque

PUBLISHED: 16:52 29 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:09 30 April 2019

Donovan playing at 230 Bishops Rise in the 1960s. Picture: Courtesy of Hatfield Town Council

Donovan playing at 230 Bishops Rise in the 1960s. Picture: Courtesy of Hatfield Town Council

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A blue plaque has been unveiled on a Hatfield road to celebrate singer-songwriter Donovan's time in the town.

Donovan posing at his Blue plaque ceremony. Photo: Courtesy of Hatfield Town CouncilDonovan posing at his Blue plaque ceremony. Photo: Courtesy of Hatfield Town Council

The folk rock/psychedelic music star, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, lived in Hatfield during his teenage years in the early 1960s.

The 72-year-old returned to his old home – 230 Bishops Rise – for the plaque unveiling on Friday.

“In that little wallpapered bedroom, my dreams were dreamt of being a voice for freedom for my generation,” he said on the day.

Donovan, who was born in Scotland before moving south of the border to Hertfordshire, became an overnight success when he was just 18 after appearing on the Ready Steady Go music show in 1965 and is best known for the hits “Catch the Wind”, “Colours” and “Universal Soldier” from that period.

The blue plaque after being unveiled. Picture: Courtesy of Hatfield Town CouncilThe blue plaque after being unveiled. Picture: Courtesy of Hatfield Town Council

Hatfield Town Council was delighted to have Donovan there to kick off its blue plaque scheme.

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“I personally visited Donovan's house many times in the 60s, it was the first house on my paper round back then,” Councillor Lenny Brandon, who is the current leader of Hatfield Town Council, told the WHT.

In May, two more blue plaques will be erected to honour some of Hatfield's famous faces.

Cllr Brandon has revealed that one will be on the site of Roe Green Farm South, where English actor and comedian Sir Norman Wisdom lived as a teenager.

Another one will be unveiled in Batterdale, where ship's steward Joseph Gunn lived before he died on the Titanic in 1912.

Cllr Brandon introduced the Hatfield Blue Plaque Scheme and nominated Donovan for the honour along with the town council's deputy mayor, Councillor John Fitzpatrick.

“There are more planned and Hatfield residents have been asked for suggestions as to who they would like to see recognised. It is hoped they will form part of a town-wide heritage trail,” Cllr Brandon added.

The town council wants to honour people while they are alive and is one of the few schemes in England to do so.

To find out more about the scheme, including eligibility criteria and how to nominate someone, visit hatfield-herts.gov.uk/blue-plaque-scheme or email jane.anderson@hatfield-herts.gov.uk.

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