Melbourn historian’s memorial bid is a winner as city pledges to honour Syd Barrett

Historian Fonz Chamberlain with artist Pippa Westoby, who has designed a potential plaque

Historian Fonz Chamberlain with artist Pippa Westoby, who has designed a potential plaque - Credit: Archant

A Melbourn historian who launched a campaign to erect a plaque to honour one of Pink Floyd’s founding members is celebrating after hearing his vision will be turned into reality.

A piece of public art will now be installed in Cambridge in memory of the city’s Syd Barrett at the location of his last ever concert, after a campaign led by Fonz Chamberlain went global.

He said: “It’s great news because a few years ago I had the vision of creating something to remember Syd as there was nothing in the city.

“The interest in the campaign has been worldwide, and thanks to that, the council started to listen.”

The artwork will be installed next year in the Cambridge Corn Exchange by Cambridge Live, after the organisation applied to Cambridge City Council for funding. A total of £10,000 has been earmarked for the project.


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Fonz said: “It’s quite exciting. It’s a good place to put it as that’s where Syd had his last performance.

“In Manchester and Liverpool famous bands from the area are celebrated there, which inspires younger artists to make a career in music.

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“Hopefully the artwork will inspire local talent from the area, who stand just as much of a chance. There are many good local bands in Cambridge.”

The art, which could take the form of a painting, sculpture or installation, will be put on show for the 200,000 people who visit the venue each year.

It will be commissioned in collaboration with Syd’s family, to help mark the 10th anniversary of his death.

Syd’s sister Rosemary Breen said: “We welcome this opportunity to commemorate him.

“He was bright, funny, quirky and witty and was an artist not just in terms of ‘music’ or ‘paintings’ but in a much wider sense.

“We look forward to working with Cambridge Live to create a lasting memory of an inspiring man.”

Syd played his final live concerts at the Cambridge Corn Exchange in 1972 as part of the short-lived band Stars. He died in 2006.

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