What a Cary on - Cary Grant plaque goes missing from school
MYSTERY surrounds the disappearance of a plaque at the former Fairfield Grammar School honouring its most famous ex-pupil, Cary Grant.
The commemorative plaque was fixed to a wall at the school in Montpelier by the British Film Institute (BFI) in 1996 to mark 100 years of cinema.
Horfield-born Cary Grant, whose real name was Archibald Leach, attended the school between 1915 and 1918 before being expelled.
The plaque, which was fixed 20ft from the ground, read "Cary Grant, the great Hollywood star, was a pupil here 1915 -1918".
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The Post was alerted to its disappearance by Michael Salter, of Shirehampton, who is co-writing a book called Cary Grant's Bristol, about the Hollywood actor's early life in the city.
Mr Salter, 52, who runs a business buying and selling autographs and memorabilia, noticed the plaque had gone missing when he visited the school in Fairlawn Road last month.
He said: "We don't know whether someone had pinched it, it was put in storage or it had fallen down."
Mr Salter posted the news of the missing plaque on a Cary Grant Facebook fan page which he runs.
He said: "There were a few people on there commenting and saying they were disappointed. Some people said they were happy to pay some money to help replace it. I think Bristolians liked the fact it was up there."
Cary Grant was chosen to be honoured with a plaque because he was considered to be among the 100 most important film stars in the history of cinema.
The Cinema Heritage Plaque scheme commemorated 126 individuals, places, buildings and a railway engine nominated by the public for their contributions to a century of British cinema.
BFI spokesman Brian Robinson said the organisation had not been made aware that the plaque had been removed. He said: "We think it should be up there. It was decided he was among the top 100 film players in the history of cinema."
Cary Grant, who died in 1986 at the age of 82, was also honoured with a BFI plaque at his former primary school in Bishop Road, Bishopston, which he attended between 1909 and 1915. There is also a statue of the star in Millennium Square and a blue plaque at his birthplace, 15 Hughenden Road.