Dear Editor, Blue plaques are nothing new to Birmingham and indeed it is The Birmingham Civic Society – and not English Heritage – that has been responsible for their growth in Birmingham (Birmingham Post, Property News, December 3). Interestingly, all of those mentioned in your article were erected by the Society.
Indeed, the Society has been erecting plaques since 1953 prior to which time they were erected by the Corporation of Birmingham – until responsibility was passed to the Civic Society. Today there are some 80 or so plaques throughout the city commemorating such varied luminaries as Sir Roland Hill, Tony Hancock, Washington Irving and Oscar Deutsch. And the process never stops.
In an average year we receive some 25 applications from various sources. Typically, 75 per cent are accepted on to the waiting list (the first stage of acceptance) although not all progress to the next stage.
There are 65 names under consideration taking us up to the year 2039.
Each nominee has to fulfil strict criteria for acceptance. Blue Plaques are normally erected to commemorate a significant anniversary.
The latest to be marked is Constance Naden (1858-1889), poet, scientist and philosopher whose plaque will be unveiled on Monday, December 14 at 20 Charlotte Road, Edgbaston – her home for the majority of her short life (She is also the subject of a talk in the new year at the University of Birmingham at an event commemorating pioneering women who participated in local higher education in a male-dominated world.)
Blue Plaques form an important part of the life of a city – reminding us of our great forefathers and enabling each of us to appreciate this city’s heritage and history.
Under our guidance and stewardship we have every intention to ensure they continue.
The Birmingham Civic Society,