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The people of Mexborough honoured one of their most famous sons on Saturday, December 16 2006.
A plaque commemorating the Formula 1 world champion was unveiled on Hope Street in the town centre, by Mike's one-time fiancee Jean Ireland. There was a carnival atmosphere to the day, as the main shopping street was lined with spectacular cars, including Feraris.

The plaque was the brainchild of Giles Brearley and Ken Wyatt; Giles told the large gathering that "this was a project we had to deliver.
"Down in Farnham, Surrey, there are commemoratives to Mike's achievements, but at the end of the day, he was a Mexborough son. He was born in this town he came from Alexandra Road, and there wasn't any evidence of that in the town. So it had to be.
"At least now, when you walk down the High Street, you'll be able to see the plaque up there and say 'Yes, that's Mike Hawthorne. he was the first World Champion - what an achievement."

Ken said "The project was put together because it was felt we ought to have some kind of commemoration in the town, Mike's home town. This building was chosen because it would have been a premise he would have known as a child, it's a nice stone-built building  and it's nicely on this junction with High Street and the library."

Focus of much media attention was Jean Ireland, whose warm personality and winning smile made the occasion so special for the town.
Before unveiling the plaque, Jean (on her first visit to the town) said: "I am so pleased that Mexborough has honoured the memory of Mike. Being born in Yorkshire made him a cut above the others as shown in his determination to be the best in his field. Although he left Yorkshire as a small boy, he still remained a Yorkshireman at heart. And before he asked my father for my hand, he reminded him that he was a true-born Yorkshireman. So my father gave us permission to marry."

Ken Wyatt, Giles Brearley, Jean Ireland, Nigel Webb the owner of the D-type Jag which Mike drove to success in 1955, and Jaguar representative Andrew Jeffrey.

By email:
We received the following interesting email from Elizabeth Henderson:
I was living in Camberly in 1991 and at the time a book was written called "Mon Ami Mate", by Chris Nixon, this was about the "Bright brief lives of Mike Hawthorn & Peter Collins" I was fortunate enough to be the person to transfer Chris Nixon's manuscript to disk for publication.
I found the lives of these two young men fascinating and am proud to be the owner of a signed original hardback copy of the book. (I and the company I worked for are named in the acknowledgements)
The Book was published by Transport Bookman Publications. On the front cover is a copy of the painting by Michael Turner, it shows Mike & Peter exchanging worried glances at the Nurburg ring in their Ferraris. Congratulations to all on this wonderful memorial.

See videos of the event

Giles Brearley

Ken Wyatt

D-type owner Nigel Webb

Jean Ireland
Please click an image above to see the associated flv movie