Call for rock star Bonham to be remembered

By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 22 February 2013 Updated: 22/02 10:04

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Buy photos » A campaign has restarted to get a John Bonham statue put in the bandstand area. (s)

A LED Zeppelin fan is calling on the council to incorporate a tribute to drummer John Bonham into their redesign of the bandstand area.

Former Webheath resident Andrew Hatcher has restarted his campaign to have a statue made in honour of the legendary skinsman, after Redditch Borough Council asked for residents' views on how the Church Green area could be used.

He told the Standard he first set-up a Facebook group around six years ago which attracted more than 100 members.

"I originally envisaged this tribute as a life-sized bronze statue of the man himself, with drums going hell for leather positioned in the centre of town, but the bandstand would be perfect," he said.

"Outside of Redditch all it's known for is roundabouts and disgraced former MPs, maybe springs and needles if you're old enough. Let's celebrate our hippest export, this is our chance to shine and rock.

"John Bonham was an integral part of one of biggest rock'n'roll bands of all time, and something of a legend in the world of music, and indeed wider pop culture - Redditch should celebrate its cultural heritage."

Bonham was born in the borough on May 31, 1948 and the family lived in Hunt End. At the age of 11 he attended Lodge Park County Secondary School before leaving in 1964.

John tragically lost his life on September 25, 1980 following a day of heavy drinking.

His brother Michael died suddenly in 2000 but his sister Deborah still returns to the town to visit family.

John Bonham's name has been put on the council's list of potential future street names but has yet to be used.

A council spokeswoman confirmed they had received a request for a John Bonham statue to be incorporated into the bandstand area.

"This will be taken into account when the consultation ends and officers will collate the responses and present them to the portfolio holder," she said.

The consultation runs until March 15. The plans are available online at www.redditchbc.gov.uk/towncentre and all of the council's customer service centres. Email towncentre@redditchbc.gov.uk or write to Lyndsey Berry, Town Hall, Walter Stranz Square, Redditch B98 8AH to comment.

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