I live in Derby, a midlands city that houses Crown Derby pottery, Rolls Royce aero engines and Derby County Football Club. Very much a railway place originally, an industrial city that limps on in hard times. Home of Joseph Wright the painter and few others. A place that from now on will be infamous as the home of the notorious Mick Philpott.Mick was well known in Derby. He fathered seventeen children by five different women. He lived with a wife, mistress and eleven children in a council house not far from my house in Derby. He appeared on the Jeremy Kyle Show and in a documentary with Ann Widdicombe. He had plenty of time to do so as he had not worked for many years. He amused himself by playing snooker in an extension to his house, amusing others on a pub kareaoke machine and 'dogging' with his wife and best friend Paul Mosley in and around Derby parks. On occasion he appeared in the media demanding a larger house from the local council and stated in no uncertain terms that 'Britain was going to the dogs.'
Mick Philpott would still, I imagine, be living the proverbial 'life of Riley' were it not for a tragic, stupid, horrific mistake he made in May 2012. He and his friend Paul Mosley hatched a plan to set fire to his house. He, Philpott was to rush into the house and rescue the six children. He would appear a hero, the council would supply him with a bigger house and his mistress Lisa, who had left the house recently with her five children would be blamed.
The deed was done, the fire got out of control and the six children in the house perished.
In March 2013 the despicable trio were sentenced for manslaughter. (Mairead his wife may not have taken part but was complicent.) Mick Philpott was sentenced to life in prison, Mairead and Mosley seventeen years. .
I lived in Grantham, Lincolnshire for four years. Nothing much happens in Grantham. They had a railway accident in 1906. They still talk about it! Mind you, both my children were born there; there wasn't too much to do of an evening! Isaac Newton was born just outside. A very clever man indeed but I'll take you a bet. I reckon Mrs Thatcher's fame will eventually outshine that of dear old Isaac.
There's a statue dedicated to him in the town. There's no statue of Margaret Thatcher in Grantham, yet, but I've no doubt it will come. They don't rush things in Lincolnshire! I used to reckon the Lincolnshire motto was 'Never do today what you can leave 'til tomorrow.'
Lady Margaret Thatcher died this week, aged eighty seven. Her father, Alfred Roberts kept a grocery store in the town and was also Mayor. .
His daughter Margaret took an interest in politics, became an MP and eventually the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Love her or hate her, there has been an outpouring of comment that will no doubt continue for many moons to come. The Philpotts of this world become infamous; the Thatchers, I will be kind and say, probably famous. The only certainty in life is that we all eventually die and eventually leave some sort of legacy.What memories are you going to leave behind and what is your town or village famous for?