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Blue Plaques in Southwark

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Monday 30 March 2009 7.10pm
I can't find any mention elsewhere of Southwark's blue plaque campaign for this year (I'm sure James will correct me!) so I thought I'd point out that the vote for this year closes tomorrow, Tuesday 31st March.

Go to for full details - to vote all you have to do is to send an e-mail with the name of your vote in the title.

I must look again at the exact location of the boundary signs as Bermondsey Abbey is listed under Bankside not Bermondsey.
Monday 30 March 2009 7.16pm
Bermondsey Square is just inside Chaucer Ward which means it comes under Borough & Bankside Community Council - and that is how they have grouped the shortlist.

We did a piece in print about this year's plaques shortlist but haven't done a web write-up this year. It was on the to-do list but have run out of time.

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Tuesday 14 April 2009 4.12pm
The winners - including Bermondsey Abbey and Peter Tatchell - have been announced:

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Tuesday 14 April 2009 6.41pm
I'm still puzzled about Peter Tatchell's blue plaque. Is it normal practice to award one in respect of someone who is not only still alive but is still living in the borough? Presumably they will put it on his current residence saying that "Peter Tatchell LIVES here"!
Tuesday 14 April 2009 7.27pm
English Heritage blue plaques are strictly limited to people who have been dead for at least a decade.

Southwark's own scheme has always included living people - Rio Ferdinand, Henry Cooper, Michael Caine, Tommy Steele et al.

Peter Tatchell has been included under the Bermondsey Community Council list (which isn't where he now lives) so I'm not sure where they've got in mind for his plaque.

My frustration with the Southwark plaques has been a tendency to state the obvious rather than highlight hidden history and historical references you wouldn't otherwise be able to spot.

Some places really don't need a plaque - Charles Dickens Primary School hardly needs a blue plaque to Dickens - the name of the school IS the memorial. Especially as IIRC the plaque doesn't explain what Dickens' local connection was.

Likewise they are planning to put a plaque to John Harvard on John Harvard Library. Unless the blue plaque helps people to understand who Harvard was and what his local connection was, it's pointless. And there's already an older Historic Southwark plaque further up Borough High Street.

Similarly Winchester Palace was on the shortlist for a plaque. The remains in Clink Street are plain for everyone to see and there's already an English Heritage interpretation board to explain to people what it is that they are looking at.

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Tuesday 14 April 2009 9.23pm
Has anyone done a stocktake of how many of the (1980s?) Historic Southwark plaques have now disappeared?

I'm aware that the Faraday one next to the E&C Shopping Centre vanished about three years ago, but I suspect that there are a couple of others that I was half-way aware of may no longer be in situ.

I'd have thought that reinstating the ones that mark real historical locations should be a higher priority for the use of scare council resources than some of the "statements of the obvious" mentioned by James.

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