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Famous faces at Redrow

17th April 2024
Redrow - Inspiration - QEII unveiling plaque at Knightstone Island

From royalty and politicians to sporting heroes, TV personalities and celebrity chefs, we’ve had a host of famous faces pass through our doors – and Redrow developments – over the last 50 years.

A few - like footballers Michael Owen and, back in the 90s, Paul Ince - have even bought our homes, whether for themselves, their families or as investments.

Here are some memorable appearances from our archives …

Queen Elizabeth II

In 2007, it was our privilege and pleasure to welcome Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh to Knightstone Island during a royal tour of Weston-Super-Mare, in Somerset. The Queen re-opened the island’s perimeter walkway, which had originally been established during her coronation year of 1953.

Redrow - Inspiration - Queen Elizabeth II at Knightstone Island

Her Majesty was also invited to help complete a tile frieze by local artist Rosie Smith, which had been commissioned by Redrow to complement our restoration work. Home to three Grade II Listed Buildings – the Pavilion Theatre, Dr Fox’s Bath House and the historic Edwardian Swimming Baths – Knightstone Island was transformed by Redrow into apartments and commercial units. The unique island complex, linked to the mainland by a causeway, was even voted ‘best redevelopment project in the world’ at the International Property Awards.

HRH The Princess Royal

Seven years later we welcomed another high-profile royal visitor, this time to our Lucas Green development in Whittle-le-Woods, Lancashire. In her role as President of Carers Trust, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal officially opened two new Redrow show homes in 2014.

Redrow - Inspiration - HRH The Princess Royal at plaque unveiling

The properties reflected modern trends for more sustainable and flexible family living, including being accessible for wheelchair users. The Princess Royal received a £10,000 donation from Redrow in support of Carers Trust.

Fred Dibnah

The late, great celebrity steeplejack Fred Dibnah was called in by Redrow to topple a 120ft factory chimney in Leicester in 1993 to make way for 30 new homes. The event was covered nationally on Radio 1 when one of their listeners won the chance to help Fred with the demolition.

Redrow - Inspiration - Fred Dibnah

The chimney, on the site of a former Co-op diary and bottling plant, had been a local landmark for over 60 years and was even camouflaged during World War 2. Five hundred of the chimney bricks were saved and, when Fred later returned to officially open new show homes at Western Grange, he signed the bricks and handed them out to local people wanting to claim a little bit of history.

Geoff Capes

Redrow rolled out the big guns to mark the official opening of its St David’s Park headquarters in 1990. Former UK, European and Commonwealth shot put champion Geoff Capes, two times winner of the World’s Strongest Man title and six times champion of the World Highland Games, used the occasion to win back his world record for house brick lifting. On the day he lifted 24 Butterley Jacobean house bricks – over 72 kilos in weight – to snatch back his record from a Hungarian rival.

Redrow - Inspiration - Geoff Capes

Paddy Ashdown & David Cameron

We’ve welcomed many MPs and government ministers to our developments over the years and even played host to two high-profile party leaders during their bids to lead the country.

During the 1992 General Election campaign, Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown paid a visit to The Courts, in Southport, after Sefton Borough Council elected to name one of the roads Ashdown Close in his honour.

Redrow - Inspiration - Paddy Ashdown

Fast forward to 2015 and Conservative leader David Cameron arrived at Heritage Brook, near Chorley, with his wife Samantha, to meet a family who’d bought their first home using Help to Buy.

Redrow - Inspiration - Redrow team with David Cameron

Max Boyce

Extrovert TV personality Max Boyce brought smiles a-plenty to the opening of new show homes in Bradley Stoke, Bristol, in 1992. The zany Welshman, whose act combines musical comedy with his passion for rugby union, also unveiled a commemorative plaque at the new South West regional headquarters close-by.

Redrow - Inspiration - Max Boyce

James Martin & Oz Clarke

Celebrity chef James Martin was the main course when he opened a delicious new show apartment in Cardiff Bay in 2007. Cookery fans and property buyers alike were wowed by TV favourite James, then host of ITV’s Saturday Kitchen, who used the apartment’s high-spec kitchen to great effect, creating some elaborate and exciting dishes.

Redrow - Inspiration - James Martin

Only a few months later it was the turn of wine writer and TV personality Oz Clarke to grace Celestia with his presence.

Redrow - Inspiration - Oz Clarke

Stacey Dooley

In 2021, our Ebbsfleet development hosted TV presenter Stacey Dooley and five school-age teenagers for an episode of The Nine to Five with Stacey Dooley, which aired on CBBC and BBC iPlayer. The series provides young people with an insight into different career options.

Redrow - Inspiration - Stacey Dooley

The teens earned some wages and, by the end of the show, two had even been offered apprenticeships!

Andy Day

Popular CBeebies TV presenter and dinosaur fan Andy Day has brought his sense of fun and adventure to several of our developments, but his first Redrow appearance was at The Coppice, in Leegomery, Shropshire, in 2015. He surprised a class of 30 pupils from Apley Wood Primary School, who’d been invited to open a woodland walk created by Redrow.

Redrow - Inspiration - Andy Day

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