Added on 16-Apr-2010
Queen fans have welcomed news that a Freddie Mercury memorial plaque covered up since it was unveiled more than four months ago will be opened to the public next week.
Bungled council repair works meant the the Hollywood-style star, in the Centre, Feltham, had to be protected by a large blue tent to stop weather damage.
The Hounslow and Brentford Times reported last week that disappointed fans, as well as shoppers and traders who see the covered plaque every day, were upset by its rundown condition.
A spokeswoman for Hounslow Council could not confirm what date workers would finish the repairs, but said: “We hope to have the work completed and the memorial open to the public by the end of next week.”
Amar Habib, of the official international Queen fan club, had been disappointed at the thought of the memorial being hidden away during the sunny weather in spring, but said this week’s confirmation was “good news”.
The club had raised concerns about the state of the plaque on its website.
Council workers covered the granite star - the first in the UK to commemorate the Queen frontman - after failing to seal it in time with a protective glaze, which led to water seeping in and the colour fading.
About 2,000 fans from as far as Japan and Australia descended on the high street last November, with many agreeing the memorial would put the town on the map and encourage tourism from around the world.
Queen guitarist Brian May joined the singer’s 87-year-old mother Jer Bulsara to reveal the plaque, which reads: “Freddie Mercury - musician, singer and songwriter”, along with the dates he lived in Feltham, between 1964 and 1968.
The rock legend lived in Gladstone Avenue after arriving from Zanzibar with his family in 1964 when he was 17-years-old. He studied art at Isleworth Polytechnic, which is now West Thames College.