An internet search for Newmarket and it’s easy to see what it is known for-horses. The Jockey Club, Tattersall’s and the Gallops are all part of its equine heritage. But apart from these and a rather large house built by a Sheikh, what else should Newmarket be remembered for?
Well, the equally equine location of Fitzroy House was the birthplace of a certain Mr Tutte, code breaker extraordinaire. But are the inhabitants of Newmarket familiar with Tutte’s humble beginnings and the plans for a memorial in the town? The Bill Tutte Memorial Fund took to the streets of Newmarket to find out…oh and ask about car parking.
Braving the wind and rain at the end of May, we engaged public opinion armed with trestle table, banner, snazzy images, a red post box and buckets of enthusiasm for the most worthy of causes.
Nearly 100 people were selected at random in Newmarket High Street. The consultation was principally about the loss of parking on Rutland Hill (the location of the proposed memorial) as opposed to the plans for the memorial. The responses were independently analysed by Suffolk County Council and the results are as follows:
- 66% bring car their car into town; 34% do not
- 98% do not park on Rutland Hill; 2% do
- 94% agreed with discontinuing parking on Rutland Hill; 6% disagreed
- 90% were for a memorial to Bill Tutte on Rutland Hill; 10% were against
- 82% approved current plans for memorial; 10% disliked; 8% indifferent
- The need for alternative free parking
- The memorial has no relevance to town
- The memorial should be horse racing related
- More trees and seats are needed by memorial
- The memorial is too “modern”
Overall the public consultation was positive, with the majority agreeing with the discontinuation of parking and the placement of a memorial to Bill Tutte on Rutland Hill. We are at the final furlong with the finish line in sight.
Author: Claire Butterfield