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Legendary DJ John Peel honoured by blue plaque in home village of Great Finborough

PUBLISHED: 18:45 15 June 2017 | UPDATED: 19:23 15 June 2017

The widow of legendary DJ John Peel, Sheila Ravencroft, unveils a blue plaque in his honour in Great Finborough. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The widow of legendary DJ John Peel, Sheila Ravencroft, unveils a blue plaque in his honour in Great Finborough. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A blue plaque in honour of legendary broadcaster John Peel has been hailed by his widow as a perfect way to celebrate the influential radio DJ.

Radio DJ John Peel. Picture: BILL SMITH Radio DJ John Peel. Picture: BILL SMITH

The plaque was unveiled on Thursday at the village John called home – Great Finborough, near Stowmarket – by his wife Sheila Ravenscroft.

John’s blue plaque is one of 47 unveiled across the country to mark BBC Music Day. The final list was whittled down from nominations made by BBC Local Radio listeners.

Mrs Ravenscroft, who still lives in the village, said: “It is such a brilliant way to honour him. It is really rather nice, and I will pass it several times a day with a smile.

“It is truly incredible that people still remember and talk about John, no one forgets him and this a nice way to honour him permanently.”

The plaque has been installed at the Pettiward Hall, where John was involved with helping youth groups during his time in the village.

John Robert Parker Ravenscroft OBE, aka John Peel, was a world-renowned and influential radio presenter, music producer and DJ.

He died suddenly at the age 65 from a heart attack when he was working in Peru, leaving behind his wife, Sheila Ravenscroft, and their four children.

In 2013, the Stowmarket Corn Exchange was refurbished and turned into a creative arts centre in John’s name to commemorate his life and connection with the area.

The unveiling of a blue plaque in Great Finborough in honour of DJ John Peel. Picture: GREGG BROWN The unveiling of a blue plaque in Great Finborough in honour of DJ John Peel. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Jane Cox, general manager at the John Peel Centre, said: “The plaque is amazing – obviously local people all know about John and the influence he had on music.

“The centre is really aspiring to keep his legacy alive. So many artists say they owe their emergence to John, and that is why we have Emerge nights at the centre, to honour the name above the door.”

A blue plaque is a permanent sign installed on a building to honour a notable person with a connection to that location.

John Peel’s plaque was awarded by BBC Radio Suffolk, with fellow DJ Stephen Foster broadcasting live from the unveiling.

A blue plaque honouring legendary DJ John Peel. Picture: GREGG BROWN A blue plaque honouring legendary DJ John Peel. Picture: GREGG BROWN

To find out more about the John Peel Centre and there live events, go to www.johnpeelcentre.com

Sheila Ravencroft unveiling a blue plaque honouring her late husband and legendary DJ John Peel in Great Finborough, where he lived. Picture: GREGG BROWN Sheila Ravencroft unveiling a blue plaque honouring her late husband and legendary DJ John Peel in Great Finborough, where he lived. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Pettiward Hall, in Great Finborough, where DJ John Peel's blue plaque has been installed. Picture: GREGG BROWN The Pettiward Hall, in Great Finborough, where DJ John Peel's blue plaque has been installed. Picture: GREGG BROWN

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