Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Blue Plaques and others

There are over 800 blue plaques installed on buildings in London, each one commemorating a notable person connected with that particular place. There are many websites on the subject but the best place to start for general information is the English Heritage website, as they are the people responsible for running the scheme. The scheme was initiated in 1867 by the Royal Society of Arts, and has since extended to many other UK cities and abroad to Canada, Australia, Paris, Rome, and the USA.

I have seen a quite a lot of plaques on my travels around London, but apart from the few below I haven’t tried to photograph many of them. Plenty of other people have though: there are 250,000 photos on Google Images, as well as websites dedicated to the subject. There is a good selection of photos here. There is also book on the subject: Blue Plaques and the Stories behind Them. Blogger Londonist has a useful map and links here.

There are plaques in other colours, and there are other schemes, some initiated by London boroughs, and these record events as well as people. It’s no surprise that over the years the plaques have attracted the attention of artists and my own modest collection below includes one interesting anonymous plaque in Shoreditch

Anonymous plaque in Rivington Street, Shoreditch

A wonderful off-chance that these two musicians should be remembered side-by-side. Nos 23-25 Brook Street, Mayfair. On the right G F Handel, composer, 1685-1759. On the left Jimi Hendrix, guitarist, 1942-1970

Old Street

Curtain Road, Shoreditch

The Ragged School Museum, E3

The Strand, WC2

The RSA House, John Adam Street, WC2

Alexandra Palace

G Lowes Dickinson, Edwardes Sq, Kensington

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