Ritchie Blackmore’s hometown refuses blue plaque, but campaign finds a way

Ritchie Blackmore
(Image credit: Epsilon / Getty)

A plaque dedicated to Ritchie Blackmore has been installed on the building where the UK guitar great was born, in the British seaside town of Weston Super Mare.

The plaque was erected at Allendale Nursing Home on Beach Road on February 25, following a campaign by Blackmore fan John Cadwallader. 

As Guitar World reported back in August, the Weston resident initially hoped to persuade the local council to install a blue plaque in Blackmore’s honor and started a petition to garner support. 

The petition went on to gain over 2,300 signatures and was submitted to the council in September, 2021 – only for the request to be denied due to the fact that the guitarist is still alive. 

It seems a little churlish for the council to choose not to celebrate someone while they’re around to see it, but the story has a happy ending nonetheless, as Cadwallader explains:

“The good news is the nursing home (where he was born) has sponsored and installed a plaque on their front wall for all to see. And let me design it,” the Blackmore fan tells Guitar World. “We hope to have a full unveiling ceremony on Ritchie's birthday in April.”

Ritchie Blackmore plaque

(Image credit: John Cadwallader)

The full words chosen by Cadwallader on the plaque read: “Born here April 1945, rock superstar and guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore. ‘Smoke on the water / a fire in the sky’”.

Which pretty much says it all. Blackmore’s birthday is April 14, so if you happen to be near Weston Super Mare, pop in and help them celebrate. In the meantime, keep an eye on the Ritchie Blackmore plaque petition page for further updates.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.