Kettering's Sarah to take her place in town's historical timeline for vaccine work

A stone commemorating her Covid vaccine work will be laid later this week

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 19th March 2021, 9:41 am
Professor Sarah Gilbert and the town's historical timeline.

The incredible Covid vaccine work by Kettering's Professor Sarah Gilbert will be marked by the latest stone in the town's historical timeline this week.

The timeline, laid in the ground on the Market Place, features key milestones, events and achievements since a Roman settlement was established between 100 and 300AD, which is the first stone on the trail.

The last stone is currently from 2014, marking the Anglian Regiment being presented with the freedom of the borough.

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But that will change on Thursday (March 18) when the work of Prof Gilbert, who was educated in the town, is added to it.

Kettering's mayor, Cllr James Burton, said: "I am thrilled that Professor Gilbert will take her place in Kettering's historical timeline and the importance of her role will be there for all to see in the Market Place for many years to come.

"Her work on the Covid-19 vaccine, and the work of her colleagues, has saved many lives across the world.

"She is a daughter of Kettering and the whole town is incredibly proud of her."

The stone has been engraved by hand by masons at Rothwell firm A J Mills Master Masons Ltd.

Cllr Burton has personally invited Prof Gilbert, 58, to attend when he dedicates the stone as one of his last acts of his mayoral year later this month.

Prof Gilbert, who went to Kettering High School for Girls, was the lead researcher on the Oxford vaccine team which helped develop the AstraZeneca jab which is currently helping save hundreds of thousands of lives across the world.

She joined the Kettering girls' school in Lewis Road in 1973 and was described by former classmates as quiet but hard-working.

She passed nine O-Levels, including an incredible six As, and played the oboe in the school's orchestra.

The scientist then went to the University of East Anglia where she studied biological sciences before her rise through the ranks, and she is now Professor of Vaccinology in the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford.

Her incredible work on the vaccine saw her named the 2021 recipient of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) Albert Medal, following of the footsteps of previous winners including Stephen Hawking, Marie Curie and Tim Berners-Lee.

Some of the other events marked by a stone on Kettering's historical timeline include: Cytringan being the first name for the town (956), King Henry III granting a market charter (1227), the birth of William Knibb in Market Street (1803), the formation of Kettering Town FC (1872), the building of Kettering General Hospital (1897), the first edition of the Evening Telegraph being printed in Kettering (1897), the opening of Wicksteed Park (1921), the year Weetabix company was established (1932), the year Kettering Grammar School pupils played a unique part in the Space Race (1966) and Kettering welcoming the Olympic torch (2012).