It is a shame the world does not know that a house in Bradford was the birthplace of the Hollywood actor Bramwell Fletcher, but his denial of blue plaque status by English Heritage has condemned him, it seems, to obscurity. Such is the fleeting nature of fame.
Mr Fletcher, whose films, we suspect, are as unknown to modern audiences as his birthplace, is among some three dozen deserving but deceased names to have been turned down in the last year. His better-known contemporary, Ronald Colman, fared no better.
Howard Spencer, the historian in charge of research into such matters, was choosing his words carefully when he said that the bar for inclusion had to be carefully set. Evidently, Mr Fletcher’s performance as Chick Beane in a silent British flick about a Cockney who inherits a title, did not measure up.
Death may be the great leveller, but in a nation as rich in history as ours, it is a blue plaque half way up a wall that appears to have become the final arbiter.