Weston Town Council & Weston Civic Society are delighted to announce the unveiling of a Blue Plaque for Bob Hope.
20 Southend Rd Weston-super-Mare BS23 4JZ
11th September 2.00pm
Though born in London Leslie Townes Bob Hope hales from a West Country stonemasonry family. His grandfather helped build Weston’s new seafront wall in 1883 and then crossed the Atlantic to join stone carvers on the Statue of Liberty, little realising his own offspring would become one of that country’s best-loved entertainers.
The Hope family lived for a short time in Orchard Street and at 14 Lindley Terrace Weston-super-Mare before moving to Bristol. Many street names and house numbers have changed over the years and the use of terrace names has all but disappeared. 20 Southend Road is the current address.
In 1907 they emigrated to America where schoolboy Leslie later adopted his new name of Bob Hope.
Hope’s performing career began in Vaudeville shows and Broadway productions. His first film contract was with Educational Pictures in 1930, and he was later signed by Paramount Pictures. For a number of years he was one of the most popular stars in the world.
During the Korean and Vietnam Wars he spent a lot of time entertaining the troops.
Although never nominated for an Academy Award he was given five honorary awards for his services to film and the Queen made him an honorary knight in 1976.
“Two Americans have now been honoured with Blue Plaques in Weston-super-Mare showing we are a seaside resort with clear trans-Atlantic appeal” said Councillor John Crockford-Hawley Chairman of the Town Council’s Heritage Arts and Culture Committee
Weston Town Council are sorry to hear of the sad loss of Alan Blackmore. Alan was instrumental in collecting & collating much information about Bob Hope’s family in the Bristol / Weston area and we are indebted to him for readily sharing his knowledge.
An audio tour of the town’s blue plaques is now on our website written and narrated by Councillor and local historian John Crockford-Hawley. The idea is that as you arrive at a plaque you can use your phone to access the page on our website https://wsm-tc.gov.uk/our-services/blue-plaques/ and play the film that gives you the history of the plaque. This is the first stage of what we hope will become a digital walking audio-guided map app.