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Page last updated at 17:15 GMT, Thursday, 13 January 2011
Northamptonshire icons to be immortalised in steel
Poet John Clare.
Poet John Clare grew up in Helpston and wrote about rural England

Three historic figures from Northamptonshire will be immortalised in artwork placed along the River Nene.

Poet John Clare, engineer Wenman Bassett-Lowke and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh were voted for by the public to appear on a steel bench.

The project was organised by Sustrans, a charity which encourages people to make more everyday journeys by foot, bike or public transport.

The artwork is funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

It will be placed on a beauty spot along the Connect2 cycle route which runs from Becket's Park towards Upton in Northampton.

The three historical figures were selected from a shortlist of six, drawn up by the Connect2 steering group after public nominations.

Ian Richardson, chair of the Connect2 Northampton steering group said: "We are delighted that the people of Northampton have chosen these three fine figures to represent the heritage of the town.

"Together they embody great art, literature, design and engineering, which continue to flourish in the town today."

Engineer and councillor Wenman Bassett-Lowke got the highest number of votes.

He founded a model train manufacturing company, commissioned Charles Rennie Mackintosh to design 78 Derngate and was the founder of the Northampton Rotary Club.

Charles Rennie Mackingtosh.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed 78 Derngate which is still open today

78 Derngate is now an award-winning visitor attraction.

Mackintosh was known for his striking art deco style which combined visual impact with high-tech infrastructure and efficient use of space.

Nineteenth century poet John Clare, grew up in Helpston village and is best know for his verses on rural England.

The bench is one of 80 planned across the whole country.

The steering group is currently looking for the right location to put the bench, which is due to be erected by autumn 2011.

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