Visitors to our web-site and those who take an interest in our activities will be aware of the series of commemorative plaques that we have provided in recognition of local people and their achievements. Our latest plaque has been erected in honour of Britain’s first Formula One world champion Mike Hawthorn who was born and raised in Mexborough. Funding for the plaque came in a large part from the sale proceeds of the DVD “A Mexborough Time Machine”. Additional donations enabled a fine granite plaque in our green colour scheme, with an iconic photograph of Mike affixed as a ceramic tile.
The unveiling event was an outstanding success, with a display of classic Jaguar cars provided by the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club and Ferrari cars displayed by their local owners. We received considerable support from Hatfields Jaguar Ltd, of Sheffield and worked with public relations consultants Harrison Cowley. The stars of the show were the D type Jaguar car, driven by Mike Hawthorn to victory in the 1955 Le Mann and a 1934 Riley car also owned and raced by Mike. The cars were kindly allowed to be displayed by their current owners and the D type went on to be exhibited in the Hatfields Showroom. Mike’s fiancée Jean Ireland (nee Howarth) unveiled the plaque in perfect weather before several hundred local people and enthusiasts. An exhibition about Mike’s life and impressive sporting achievements was put together by Mexborough Heritage member Julia Ashby, this was displayed in the town’s library. The location of the plaque is on the wall of the Intersport Shop at the junction of High Street and Hope Street. Further information about this project can be viewed on a magnificent web-site operated by Nigel Webb, simply type in Mikes name and it will show up.