A Blue Plaque promotes the history of a building and some of its notable inhabitants. It is also a recognised symbol of national English heritage and has been successively run by the Royal Society of Arts, the London County Council, the Greater London Council and, since 1986, English Heritage.
The national plaque scheme commemorated the link between notable figures of the past and the buildings in which they lived and worked. It was a uniquely successful means of connecting people and places across Britain. Due to funding restrictions, English Heritage closed the national scheme in 2007 and are now closing the London scheme. The key objective of the British Plaque Trust (BPT) is to resurrect this national scheme which commemorates the lives and successes of notable figures by recognising the buildings and places which they inhabited.
The scheme is an endorsement of British innovation, creativity and success throughout history.
We would be delighted to hear from you if you wish to attend some of the special days being organised, or if you might consider sponsoring or generally supporting the new endeavours of the British Plaque Trust.
The lengthy process of selecting locations for future blue plaques involves many individual steps and each step must receive approval before moving forward. In addition, there is the cost of the plaque itself: obviously each one is unique. Individual sponsors are required to cover the schemes funding because it is a charity. Each plaque requires an initial proposer, a researcher, and a committee to manage the various applications (not all proposals will be suitable after research), the research of the building, its occupants and the commemorated subject.
An administrator is commissioned to manage each application and proposal. The building owner who (all being well) gives their consent to the plaque must be researched, approached and provide consent. A representative of the local planning authority (who will need to be consulted by the Trust), is also consulted to clarify local council criteria for approval (if appropriate). The property concerned may be a listed building; in such cases, listed building consent for the plaque will need to be sought from the local planning authority.
A copywriter is then commissioned to compose a plaque inscription, and a designer consulted for the layout of the approved wording and the plaque’s position on the proposed building. The plaque manufacturer needs to be consulted and commissioned timely with the relevant data provided, and a contractor responsible for the plaque’s installation is appointed.
Finally, a suitable venue is sought for the public reception relating to the unveiling ceremony, and an event organiser is required to manage catering, crowd control and other final details.
Design of Blue Plaque – specification
The commemorative plaques’ normal criteria are:
Shape – circular
Dimensions – 38cm diameter
Wording – typeface/illustrations – Succinct text
Colour – dark blue with white lettering (BS 18E53)
Material – cast aluminium.
Tin Pan Alley – Denmark Street
On Sunday April 6th the British Plaque Trust unveiled a Blue Plaque at The Giaconda, 9, Demmark St, London, the street known as ‘Tin Pan Alley’. The plaque honours songwriters and publishers to whom this street was home between 1911 and 1992. Many of the world’s most famous songwriters and publishers attended to witness Donovan, inductee of the US Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and US Songwriters Hall of Fame, unveil the plaque. The multi-million selling artist wrote and recorded a song for the occasion, called ‘Tin Pan Alley‘ which he performed on the day.
Most of Denmark Street’s music shops opened for the occasion, with specific thank to:
Rose Morris – Hanks – Tom Guitars – Regent Sounds
Music Room – Macari’s – Westside Wunjo Guitars – Sax
Founding Fathers Plaque – Wembley Stadium
On October 21st 2013 at Wembley Stadium, the British Plaque Trust was proud to partner the English Football Association in dedicating a 150th anniversary commemorative plaque to the Founding Fathers who set down the original rules of the game in 1863.
The Trust Chairman, Mike Read, gave one of the addresses along with former England player Sir Trevor Brooking CBE, Director of Football Development at the FA, who unveiled the plaque with the youngest of the descendants relations, eight-year-old Isaac Lord.
The guests at Wembley Stadium included Sir William and Lady McAlpine, the McAlpines having built the original Wembley Stadium as part of the Empire Exhibition in 1923. The other Trustees Vanessa Brady, Ian Freeman and Major (retd) Ian Mattison were pleased to be present as was a descendant of one of the Founding Fathers who travelled from New Zealand for this unveiling.
The plaque has a tag attached which visitors may scan with ther mobile phones to read the history of the founding of the FA and download supporting pictures.