Caroline Pidgeon calls for Blue Plaque recognition for 100 women

You know these blue plaques you find on houses recognising former inhabitants of historical significance?

It will probably not surprise you to realise that only 14% of them in the country’s capital city remember women.

Lib Dem London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon has long campaigned to change that. She’s welcomed London Assembly members’ support and  call for people to nominate 100 women to be commemorated in this way.

As part of this centenary year, the London Assembly is seeking to submit 100 nominations of women worthy of a Blue Plaque.

Caroline Pidgeon has long supported ensuring more women are recognised for their record, and three years ago highlighted that incredibly the suffragette Emily Davison was not even recognised by a Blue Plaque.

It is great news that her fellow London Assembly Members are now backing an issue Caroline has long championed.

Caroline and the London Assembly thinks that the criteria being used by English Heritage when considering submission are totally unfit for a modern London.

English Heritage incredibly refuse to consider a Blue Plaque if the original house no longer exists.   Yet Emily Davison’s home no longer exist due to a V2 rocket demolishing the property she lived in. Many other properties across London were also destroyed during the Second World War.

English Heritage seem to think that remembering properties is far more important than people.

The underlying principle of celebrating the relationship between people and place is an important one, but the absolute insistence of only placing plaques on a surviving building is a disservice to the ideas and contributions made by female and male Londoners.

We need to ensure English Heritage reviews their criteria to make it fit for purpose.

Wherever you come from in the country, which women would you nominate?

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3 Comments

  • It may be of interest that in October I helped to organise a plaque to Catherine Marshall on her former home at Hawse End near Keswick. Catherine started out as a Liberal and campaigned vigorously for women’s suffrage as a suffragist (I.e. Non violent unlike the suffragettes) – although she became disillusioned with the party’s prevarication.

    In the Great War she became secretary of the No Conscription fellowship and provided support for CO’s – intervening with Asquith on one occasion to save the Richmond Castle prisoners from being sent to France where they would have been shot at dawn. She became a Quaker and a life long pacifist and peace campaigner.

    Our LDV colleague Katharine Pindar was part of an excellent choir at the occasion.

  • It is not essential to have a building or to get English Herutage support. We raised all the funds ourselves and received no grant from anybody.

  • “English Heritage seem to think that remembering properties is far more important than people.”

    Well isn’t English Heritage about historic buildings?

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