Life-size chunk of fame for trumpeter Alison Balsom

IT HAS been revealed which well-known public figures will be immortalised in a statue as part of the �3.8million Coombes Hole project.

Award-winning trumpeter Alison Balsom, King James I and a Town Crier will stand at the junction of Green Street and Melbourn Road after being nominated by the public.

The life-size statues are to stand at the junction of Green Street and Melbourn Road alongside a bench, as part of 79 similar projects nationally.

Alison Balsom, 31, who grew up in Newmarket Road, was the first ever British artist to be crowned Female Artist of the Year at the 2009 Classical Brit Awards and is recognised as one of the premier trumpeters in the UK.

She has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the English Ballet and the Berlin Contemporary Opera and also holds an honorary degree from Anglia Ruskin University.

In 2010 she became the first ever president of the Royston Arts Festival and is a former member of Roytston Town Band.

The former Tannery Drift, Greneway and Meridian School pupil said: “I’m honoured and delighted to have been selected for this wonderful acknowledgement.

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“Royston is a very special place to me and I always look forward to visiting the town that holds so many happy memories.”

King James I first visited Royston in 1603 when he was on his way to London for his coronation.

He converted a house in Kneesworth Street and used The Greyhound pub as a hunting lodge.

He returned to Royston on many occasions to hunt on Therfield Heath, and was apparently in the town when told of the 1605 gunpowder plot.

The Town Crier is a tradition in Royston dating back almost 300 years.

Current Town Crier Graham Pfaff, who took up the post eight years ago, said: “I think it’s an excellent idea as it’s a traditional thing that’s been going for so long.

“Town Criers were very important people in the old days, so this is a very good idea and it’s although it’s not specific to me, the statue will make me proud.”

Nigel Brigham of Sustrans, the company that develops underpasses and crossing that feature the statues, said: “Portraiture is a traditional way for communities to recognise loved ones, or those who have inspired them, and provides an opportunity for the people of Royston to show us how they see themselves and their history.”