Duo up for top honour

TWO figures from Belper’s past have been shortlisted for a Derbyshire County Council blue plaque honour.

Will Hay was a popular comedian of the 1930s. He began his stage career in Belper in 1910 and later lived in the town. He was also an expert linguist, an aircraft pilot and an astronomer.

Samuel Slater was known as the “father of the American Industrial Revolution”. Born in Belper in 1768, he was an apprentice in Strutt’s cotton mill. At 21, he went to the USA and made his fortune by betraying the secret of Richard Arkwright’s water frame to US manufacturers. Belper and Pawtucket are twinned in recognition of their shared history with Slater.

To vote go to www.derbyshire.gov.uk/blueplaques.