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Immortalise our gold star Heather Stanning, plead public

By Western Gazette - North Dorset  |  Posted: September 15, 2012

GOLDEN GIRLS: Calls have been made to honour Yeovil-born Heather Stanning, right, who won Team GB's first Olympic gold at London 2012 with her rowing partner Helen Glover.

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HUNDREDS of people have put their weight behind a campaign to get a street named after a Yeovil-born Olympic gold medallist.

Councillor Jon Gleeson wants the town to honour rower Heather Stanning who won Team GB's first gold medal of the London 2012 Games with partner Helen Glover.

Shortly after the pair's triumph Mr Gleeson started a Facebook page aimed at recognising the town's Olympic champion.

More than 350 people have now added their support to the campaign.

Mr Gleeson said: "There has been a lot of interest and now that the councils are resuming after the summer months I will be investigating further with Yeovil Without Parish Council and South Somerset District Council about the possibility of pursuing this idea.

"I need to get a few more details but we have a number of new developments being built around Yeovil over the next few years, with Brimsmore, Lufton and the current Wyndham Park estate off Lyde Road.

"New roads and streets will all need naming.

"It would be great to see more people add their support to this idea either on Facebook or by contacting the councils."

Mr Gleeson said he hoped Stanning's achievement would inspire other Yeovil residents to go for gold.

Stanning is an Army captain and belongs to a military family.

She was given time out from the Royal Artillery to train and compete in the Games and is due to return to the Forces and could tour Afghanistan next year.

She was born in Yeovil District Hospital in 1985 and spent most of her youth growing up in Lossiemouth in Scotland.

Her father Tim is a retired Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy and at the time of Heather's birth was stationed at RNAS Yeovilton with his wife Mary who served in the Women's Royal Naval Service, known as the Wrens.

After moving from Yeovil, the family lived in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Hampshire before they moved north of the border when Heather was nine.

The couple's two sons Martin and Alastair were also born in Yeovil.

The family lived in Queen Camel and then Lovington, near Castle Cary.

Stanning's achievements were marked with a limited edition Royal Mail stamp and gold-painted post box in Lossiemouth.

Mr Gleeson is hoping to add another lasting honour to the town where she was born.

The Facebook campaign can be found at www.facebook.com/#!/groups/Streetnameforstanning/

Among the Facebook profiles which have "joined" the group are those for Yeovil MP David Laws and Somerton and Frome MP David Heath, Yeovil Mayor Phil Chandler and several south Somerset councillors including former district council leader Tim Carroll, Dave Greene and Sam Crabb.

In Sherborne, gold medal-winning shooter Peter Wilson and silver medallist sailor Andrew Simpson will be awarded with a Civic Honour.

Peter Rhodes, mayor of Sherborne, hopes to host a civic reception marking the occasion.

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