The Forum was delighted to hear that Acocks Green has received the honour of it’s first very own blue plaque recently.
Some of our older readers will remember John Curry OBE (1949 – 1994), the local young man who, in 1976, made figure skating history. Millions of people watched in awe of his performance at the Winter Olympics where he won two gold medals for team GB. He very soon became a sporting hero and won BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Arden Lodge, Warwick Road. Former home of John Curry
But as time has gone on John Curry has slowly slipped out of the public consciousness and his untimely death in 1994 left a generation completely unaware of his achievements.
Actor and writer Tony Timberlake who had been a young boy when he first saw John Curry skate, embarked on personal journey to highlight the great success of the ice skater from Birmingham. Timberlake wrote a one man show, Looking for John, which premiered at Birmingham Repertory Theatre last November and by nominating John Curry, with the support of The REP, to be honoured with a Blue Plaque in his home city.
“Getting recognition for John Curry has been a labour of love. Watching him win Olympic gold forty years ago had a huge impact on me as a youngster and it’s never left me. My play Looking for John made me think about John’s legacy – how he changed the world of figure skating and how he never denied who he was in his personal life. I felt he deserved to be remembered and celebrated again in the city where he was born and then died. I’m thrilled that John Curry will be celebrated once more and remembered forever in this way.” – John Timberlake
The Birmingham Civic Society has been responsible for erecting Blue Plaques in the city since 1953 and there are currently over 80 around Birmingham. The Lord Mayor Councillor Carl Rice and John Curry’s brother, Andrew, unveiled the Blue Plaque on 15th May, awarded by Birmingham Civic Society, in honour of John’s achievements.