Wakefield’s very own walk of fame

David Topliss
David Topliss

THE first stars to secure a place on the city’s Hollywood-style walk of fame have been revealed.

Wakefield band The Cribs, playwright John Godber, sculptors Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, naturalist Charles Waterton, rugby league legend David Topliss and John Harrison, who invented the chronometer, which solved the problem of finding longitude, will be the first to get star-shaped pavement plaques under the Wakefield Stars scheme.

It aims to recognise the national achievements of residents past and present, and will lead from the Bull Ring to the Waterfront with the first of the plaques available to view from Friday, July 1.

Nominations came directly from readers after the Express revealed details of the scheme last year, and the winners were picked by the Wakefield Stars Board made up of representatives from a range of backgrounds, including local media, the council and the voluntary sector.

David Topliss’s wife Daryl, 64, of Newmillerdam, said: “We are delighted that David has been awarded the opportunity of one of the first stars. We are very proud of his achievements and success both on and off the rugby field.

“The stars serve as both a celebration and lasting testament, and I know David would have been proud to have been awarded this.”

Gary Jarman, 30, is one of The Cribs. He said: “Wakefield has always been part of us and now we’re going to be part of Wakefield. It’s a bizarre feeling, but such an honour.”

Kevin Trickett, chairman of the Stars Board and president of the Wakefield Civic Society, said: “We originally proposed to launch the scheme with just three winners, however after some deliberation, seven winners were chosen, due to the quality of the nominations.

“We also decided to ‘roll forward’ other nominees to the next round of awards.”

Coun Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council, who was also on the board, added: “I am delighted to see the district’s cultural and sporting roots celebrated with the first round of Wakefield Stars.

“It was very difficult to narrow down so many great nominations and there is bound to be a lot of discussion about who should or should not have been awarded a star. But the best way to make sure your favourite is on the list is to nominate them.”

For information about the winners, nominees or to nominate for the next round, go to www. wakefield.gov.uk. Nominations can also be made at libraries.