Honouring some of the town’s famous names

Blue Plaque unveilled on The James Figg pub to show the association the town's association with champion prizefighter Jimmy Figg
Blue Plaque unveilled on The James Figg pub to show the association the town's association with champion prizefighter Jimmy Figg

WHAT do a champion prizefighter, a famous brewer, a world renowned violinist and a poet laureate have in common?

They are all past Thame residents who were honoured in a ceremony last week.

A11 Week 15'MCBH'DP'Blue Plaque unveilled on The James Figg pub in Thame to show the association of James Figg with the town

A11 Week 15'MCBH'DP'Blue Plaque unveilled on The James Figg pub in Thame to show the association of James Figg with the town

Four plaques were unveiled at separate locations across the town in celebration of some of the famous people who have lived here.

A delegation led by Thame mayor Adam Buckland visited sites which were special to the four historical celebrities to unveil the blue disc memorials.

The plaque to Henry Boddington, founder of the Boddingtons beer empire, can be found at 14 Wellington Street where he was the master of the old workhouse in the mid 1800s.

The second plaque, located at the James Figg pub, is in honour of Jimmy Figg, the famous prizefighter who is said to have had his headquarters at the pub which now bears his name.

Born in 1684 in Thame, he was the national champion in boxing, wrestling, swordplay and cudgel fighting.

He was known to boast: ‘Here I am Jemmy Figg from Thame. I will fight any man in England’.

The third memorial is at 39 North Street where Alfredo Campoli, virtuoso violinist, lived in retirement.

Thame was the home town of his wife, Joy. Born in Rome in 1906, he became famous as a child prodigy, making his debut as a soloist at the age of 13 at the Wigmore Hall.

In the 1920s and 30s, he became a household name through radio broadcasts and recordings. The final plaque was unveiled at 42 High Street where William Butler Yeats, the great Irish poet and Nobel Laureate, lived in 1921 and where his son Michael Butler Yeats, the Irish Senator, was born.