On Sunday, a Blue Plaque was revealed at Jon’s childhood home in Leicester. I attendance were Jon’s widow Vicky, his daughters Sara and Amy, his brother Steve and friends and old neighbours. Jon lived here until he turned 20 and moved to London to attend Drama College.
By Lee Marlow.
Number 120 Averil Road, Leicester, LE5 2DB. A 1930s-built three-bed semi-detached, an utterly unremarkable house in every way – except one. This is the house where Jon lived.
Sara Lord, his eldest daughter, said her father would have been quietly proud to be remembered in such a way.
“He was fiercely proud of where he was from – more so, I think, the older he got – and he always spoke warmly of Leicester, and growing up there. I came here a lot as a child, to see my grandparents, Reg and Miriam, so I have a lot of good memories of this house and playing in Humberstone Park.”
Widow Vicky and younger daughter, Amy, said they felt “privileged” to be there.
“It’s such a nice thing,” said Vicky. “We drove up from our home in Henley because we didn’t want to miss it. And Jon would have loved this, you know. He would have said he didn’t want the fuss, but I know, secretly, he would have loved it.”
Read the full story: From Deep Purple to blue plaque
Leicester Mercury feature writer and Classic Rock freelancer Lee Marlow did Jon’s last interview in July 2012, and has followed the whole process leading to the Blue Plaque being installed this Sunday.
“I interviewed Jon many times – for the Leicester Mercury and for Classic Rock. I did his last ever interview for Classic Rock. He sounded so positive. A week later, he was dead. It just didn’t seem right.”
“I loved interviewing him. He was always generous with his time. He was intelligent. He could tell a story. I always knew it would be an enjoyable hour-or-so interview and that I’d always have something I would enjoy writing. Plus you know, I’m a DP and Whitesnake fan.”
“The blue plaque is entirely fitting. It’s good for Leicester, the city of his birth. But it’s particularly good for Jon’s family, to know that the city of his birth cherished him and he will be remembered in this way. God bless you, Jon. We miss you.”
Photos: Will Johnston.
Celebrating Jon’s childhood home.