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Last Updated: Friday, 9 July, 2004, 12:16 GMT 13:16 UK
County pays homage to Lord Nelson
Lord Nelson
Lord Nelson won the county's freedom three years before he died
A famous son of Norfolk could soon be celebrated on road signs at all of the county's major border crossings - almost 200 years after his death.

Lord Horatio Nelson was reportedly proud of his Norfolk roots and referred to them in a victory speech.

Now Norfolk is considering returning the favour by calling itself "Nelson's County" on new road signs.

The name would feature at up to 28 border crossings if Norfolk County Council backs the idea.

The Vice Admiral, who died on board HMS Victory on 21 October 1805, was born at Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk, in 1758.

It was following the Battle of Copenhagen, that he made a celebrated Norfolk speech, declaring: "I am a Norfolk man and I glory in being so."

John Alston, chairman of the Norfolk Nelson Liaison 2005 Committee, has now written the council asking if it would celebrate its links with the naval hero.

He was very proud of his Norfolk background and I think the time is right to celebrate our most famous son's association with the county
Alison King, council leader
The signs would be similar to those in Warwickshire which celebrate the county's Shakespeare connection.

If the council, Highways Agency and Department for Transport, support the idea, the signs could be in place by 2005 to help launch a year of activities marking the 200th anniversary of the battle of Trafalgar.

The "Nelson's County" plan already has an offer of "generous sponsorship" from Bernard Matthews, through the Norfolk Nelson Museum Trustees.

Leader of the council Alison King said: "Nelson was a true national hero who played a vital role in keeping our country free.

"He was also very proud of his Norfolk background and I think the time is right to celebrate our most famous son's association with the county".

The idea will be put before the council's cabinet on Monday.

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