Somerset

Haile Selassie: Blue plaques for emperor unveiled in Somerset

Haile Selassie with the mayor of Bath Cllr Gallup, Guildhall, October 1954 Image copyright Bath In Time
Image caption Haile Selassie with the mayor of Bath in October 1954

Two blue plaques have been unveiled in Somerset to honour Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie's life in Bath and visits to Weston-super-Mare.

The emperor lived in Fairfield House in Bath from 1936 to 1940 after being rescued by the Royal Navy when Italy invaded his country.

He also regularly visited Weston where he swam in the Tropicana pool.

Weston Civic Society and Fairfield House organised the plaques which were unveiled by the emperor's grandson.

Image caption The emperor's grandson Prince Michael Mekonnen unveiled the plaques

Dr Shawn Sobers, trustee of Fairfield House, said the plaques were a "long overdue acknowledgement" that Emperor Selassie made the West Country his home.

Weston-super-Mare town clerk Malcolm Nicholson said it was an "honour" to have the association between the town and the royal family of Ethiopia.

Image copyright Bath In Time
Image caption Emperor Selassie arriving at Bath Spa station in August 1936
Image copyright Bath In Time
Image caption The emperor leaving Bath Abbey to meet crowds in October 1954

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