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The first six

We had thousands of votes from you to decide who should be honoured in the county’s blue plaque scheme and the first six winners were:

The clear winner was Baroness Olave St Clair Baden-Powell, heroine of the Girl Guides Association.

The other five to be awarded plaques were Richard Arkwright Junior, Jedidiah Buxton, Arthur Lowe, Joseph Paxton and George Stephenson. More information about all 12 of our shortlisted finalists are on the pages on the left.

And here’s what the nominators of the successful six had to say:

Baroness Olave St Clair Baden-Powell

Nominated by Louise Collins of New Whittington 
Louise Collins cites Lady Baden-Powell as a major influence in her life and so was very excited that her nomination was successful. Louise became a Guide aged 10 and is now a Brown Owl running Ranger and Brownie Units in Chesterfield.
Louise said: “Lady Baden Powell was a truly inspirational forward-thinking woman, whose legacy continues today through a worldwide movement of 10 million women in 145 countries.

“I believe it empowers girls and young women and gives them the confidence to try new things and take on new challenges – it’s also about great friendships and having fun!

“It was pioneering for women to set up such groups at a time when those kinds of activities were not seen as ‘suitable’ for girls, but there was a call for it then and with 50,000 girls currently on the waiting list, there’s obviously still a call for it now.

“There are more than 10,000 members in Derbyshire and for Lady Baden Powell to be honoured in this way is especially brilliant in what is Girlguiding UK’s centenary year.”

Richard Arkwright Junior

Nominated by Bakewell and District Historical Society

“We are delighted that Richard Arkwright junior was a popular choice,” said Jan Stetka, Chair of the Society.

“This success means a lot to our Society because of our associations with Arkwright. We run the Bakewell Folk Museum and have recently expanded it to interpret the town’s nationally significant industrial history.

“The Museum is in a building that was formerly converted into mill workers’ cottages by Arkwright and it includes a two storey high display of part of the water wheel, which the Arkwrights installed in their mill.”

Jan added “We hope the plaque can be erected on Lumford House in Bakewell which was Arkwright’s home for 15 years.  He managed the nearby cotton spinning mill which was the largest in the UK when it was built in1777.”

Jedidiah Buxton

Nominated by Elmton with Creswell Local History Group

“What wonderful news both for our history group and the village of Elmton that Jedidiah Buxton has been chosen for a blue plaque when in competition with such famous people,” commented Enid Hibbert, joint secretary of the Group.

“His life as a farm labourer must have been so hard - today his mathematical ability would have changed all that.”

She added: “We always knew he was special but to think that over 200 years later the people of Derbyshire agree with us is quite something. We hope they will visit Elmton to see his plaque and reflect on his life here – a simple, honest man with an outstanding gift.

“If he were with us today he would be showing everyone the village, working out problems set to him and basking in admiration when solved”.

“Well done Jedi, you deserve this recognition!”

Arthur Lowe

Nominated by Hayfield Civic Trust

"The Hayfield Civic Trust is thrilled that the village is to get a blue plaque to commemorate the actor Arthur Lowe, who grew up in Hayfield.  His famous portrayal of Capt. Mainwaring in 'Dad’s Army' brought a smile to millions and immortalised a wry personification of Britishness at a critical time in our history - maybe one that only the British can truly understand.

“We are delighted that the voters supported our suggestion and we would like to thank them” said Sheila Booth, Chair of The Hayfield Civic Trust.

Joseph Paxton

Nominated by Rowsley Parish Council

“It is great news that Joseph Paxton got the vote of Derbyshire people” said Councillor Kath Potter, Chair of Rowsley Parish Council. “He was a really gifted man and he left such a legacy in this area and beyond.”

Paxton’s started his career as a garden boy in Bedfordshire but his wide-ranging skills, imagination and enthusiasm so impressed the 6th Duke of Devonshire that, at just 20, he was appointed Head Gardener to Chatsworth House.

Kath added: “Sir Joseph Paxton MP - as he became - never looked back. His talents for horticulture, landscaping, architecture and railway management hugely benefited Rowsley and Chatsworth. They were also a blueprint for many national and local treasures, including a 40 acre arboretum at Chatsworth, a rebuilt Edensor Village and modern glasshouse structures that inspired the design and build of Crystal Palace.”

George Stephenson

Nominated by William Eyre of Dronfield Woodhouse

“I am delighted by this news,” commented William Eyre.

“George Stephenson is a worthy winner of a blue plaque and someone of whom we should be very proud.

“He had humble beginnings but through hard work and dedication became a huge success and a household name.

“If you just think about his nickname - ‘Father of the Railways’ - you realise how important he was. Imagine being the engineer who built the first public railway in the world to use steam locomotives.

“Quite simply his ingenuity transformed transport in this country”.