Toller takes giant leap towards town plaque

A GIANT, an assassin and a watchmaker look set to be immortalised in St Neots. As part of St Neots Local History Month a poll was launched to see which of the town s most notable historical figures deserves a plaque erected in their honour. Following a pu

A GIANT, an assassin and a watchmaker look set to be immortalised in St Neots.

As part of St Neots Local History Month a poll was launched to see which of the town's most notable historical figures deserves a plaque erected in their honour.

Following a public debate held in the library on May 15, John Bellingham took the lead. The assassin, who was born in 1776 and died in 1812, shot Prime Minister Spencer Perceval.

However, the poll continued throughout May and the Bellingham was pushed into second place by James Toller, aka the Eynesbury giant.

He took a giant leap from third to first place and clinched victory from Bellingham by just one vote.

Nell Marshall from the St Neots Local History Society, told The Hunts Post: "At the end of the day it was down to whether the town wanted to be represented by a freak or an assassin!"

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In joint second place with Bellingham was William Eayres, a clock and watchmaker, followed by George Cornelius Gorham, a fellow of Queen's College in Cambridge.

The Saxon monk who gave the town its name only managed enough votes for fifth place and propping up the pile was Julia Griffeths Croft, who ran a girls school in the town.

However, looks likely that the top three historical figures will each get a plaque. The history society has said it will apply to St Neots Town Council for the money to provide a plaque for Toller, Bellingham and Eayres.

Mrs Marhsall added: "The plaque will now have to go through planning and that could take a few months. Each plaque costs £300 and it would be nice to have one for Toller, Bellingham and perhaps even Eayres.

"This is the first time the town has been asked to vote for who should be given a plaque and I think it was successful, although it would have been nice if more people had voted."

Last year the St Neots Local History Society unveiled a plaque to George Bower and the St Neots Quads on the sites of their former homes.

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