Highly recognisable and renowned, the Blue Plaque English Heritage scheme gives a day walking through London an interesting conversation and for geeks like me a way to educate my children without them realising. But where did it all come from and how did it all start?
In 1863 William Ewaer give the house of commons a new idea of a commemorative plaque. He was known for his advocacy against capital punishment and his free libraries bill. In this commemoration scheme, William aimed to provide a direct link between a location and a famous person or event. The plan initially wasn’t for a ‘Blue Plaque’ but for a historical market system to be viewed by future generations.
When the society of arts adopted the scheme in 1866, the plaques were created from ceramic and even though blue was the initial colour scheme it was an expensive colour to create in ceramics. This led to the first few designs to be made in a chocolate brown colour with an intrinsic design crafted onto the edge of the roundel.
Over the next 150 years, the commemorative plaque scheme was passed on to different societies and councils, creating a platform for the idea to evolve into what we know now as London’s Blue Plaque scheme run by English Heritage. With over 990 plaques throughout Greater London, the scheme has been so successful that it is recognised worldwide as the first of its kind. Following its success, other cities in the UK have taken on variations of this scheme and worked in their own charm and histories. Manchester has even opted in for a multi-colour scheme with each colour (blue, red, black, and green) representing a different topic. Wales has added a wonderful deep purple colour to include women of importance. Other historical societies have adapted the scheme for their own commemorative markers including the Transport Trust which provide markers to significant sites in the evolution of transport.
What an amazing idea to gather inspiration from and exactly where The Metal Foundry’s Founder, Chris started our own Blue Plaque design.
From the community cricket ground to the Chairman’s 60th birthday, we have had the privilege of being involved with some of the most precious events in our customers’ lives. Our belief is that you don’t have to move mountains to change the world. Made from solid cast aluminium our blue plaques have been made to dedicate a new BBQ to a super chef dad, mark the place where you saw your favourite football team win the league, celebrate that local author that deserved more recognition or reward your favourite charity volunteer, who gives more than they have.