A PLAQUE honouring the man affectionately called “Mr Basingstoke” will be unveiled in the town centre, almost 10 years after his death.

Arthur Attwood MBE, a former Gazette journalist, local historian and Freeman of the Borough, passed away at the age of 86 in February 2002.

Next Thursday, Gazette Newsapers editor Mark Jones will unveil a blue plaque, which has been provided by members of the Basingstoke Heritage Society, honouring Arthur at the entrance to the former Bird Brothers’ printworks in Joices Yard, near Church Street.

It was here that Arthur’s love of Basingstoke was given wider circulation, as he wrote for The Gazette over a number of years before publishing his book The Illustrated History of Basingstoke the year before his death.

Debbie Reavell, secretary of the heritage society, said: “We considered putting it on his house but we decided on this location as more people will see it.

“Arthur was much loved in the town and we hope people will take 10 minutes out of their Christmas shopping to come and pay tribute to him.”

Arthur will join other key figures in the town’s history, including Jane Austen and George Willis, who have been honoured with a plaque.

Mrs Reavell said: “A lot of people had asked if we would do a blue plaque for Arthur as he is so associated with the town. His work got a lot of people interested in the history of Basingstoke, which is a great contribution.”

Arthur was made a Freeman of the Borough in 1989 and received an MBE in the Millennium New Year Honours list. He lived in Lower Brook Street, in Brookvale, from the age of four until his death.

The plaque will be unveiled at 10.30am on December 8 and anyone who is interested is welcome to come along to the ceremony, which will be attended by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Mayor Councillor David Leeks.