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Blue plaque to salute founder of John Coles Park
Chippenham Town Council’s magnificent John Coles Park is to receive a Blue Plaque award from the Chippenham Civic Society.
Mayor David Powell will be unveiling the plaque at a ceremony in the park on Thursday at 2pm.
A blue plaque is a historical marker, permanently installed in a public place to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person or event.
Coun Powell said: “When I started my year in office I was keen to make sure that Alderman and former Mayor John Coles was duly recognised for his service to the town and particularly for his legacy which allowed the Borough Council in 1921 to acquire land for the park. It gives me great pleasure to be involved in the unveiling of this blue plaque in conjunction with the Chippenham Civic Society, which recognises his great efforts and keeps John Coles’ memory alive.”
John Coles Coles was born in 1842 and died in 1916 at his home, 25 Market Place, Chippenham. He is buried at the London Road Cemetery. Coles was a chemist, businessman and benefactor whose legacy enabled the purchase of 14 acres of land to create John Coles Park which opened on May 23 1923. He was also an initiator and financier of the Technical College in Cocklebury Road and for 21 years was chairman of the governing body from its inception until his death. Coles was also a county magistrate, councillor, alderman and three times mayor of Chippenham.
Roger Backway of Chippenham Civic Society said: “The plaque is the latest in the continuing series of blue plaques in Chippenham erected by Chippenham Civic Society to commemorate important events, people and buildings in the history of the town.”
Adrian Jones, head of service delivery, said: “The park is synonymous with recreation, enjoyment and relaxation and is a much appreciated green oasis serving the whole community of Chippenham. The town council works tirelessly to ensure standards are maintained and improved upon. I am sure John Coles would appreciate the park as it is today, as we appreciate his legacy which enabled the park to be provided for the people of Chippenham. The plaque is in recognition of this.”
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