Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Commemorative Plaque Panel

In the past there have been a number of ways in which significant people, buildings or events have been commemorated in the City. Brighton Borough Council and Hove Borough Council both operated Commemorative Plaque Schemes, installing one or two plaques each year, until the authority became Unitary in 1997.

An Eric Gill stone tablet

Brighton first installed a plaque in 1925. The Regency Society has installed plaques around the city since 1952 and undertaken a detailed audit of the existing 103+ commemorative plaques. Other societies (e.g. Kipling Society, Co-operative Society) have also sponsored plaques. A few have been erected by private subscription.

A slate tablet

The plaques are in many different styles and in varying states of repair, some almost unreadable. Brighton Borough Council originally presented them as stone tablets, designed by Eric Gill and subsequently in tablets of slate.

A Regency Society plaque

Hove installed metal plaques with a blue enamel finish and the Regency Society have mainly installed blue ceramic plaques not dissimilar to the English Heritage style.

In February 2006 a report was presented to the Tourism & Culture Sub-Committee recommending the formation of a Commemorative Plaque Panel (CPP) as part of a more unified approach to the selection, design, installation and maintenance of plaques. Suggestions for new plaques were solicited from the public and the first meeting  of the Plaque Panel took place in Spring 2006. This Panel was, and still substantially is, formed of the following:-
  • - Regency Society Representative
  • - Hove Civic Society Representative
  • - Kemp Town Society representative
  • - Brighton Society Representative
  • - Kingscliffe Society Representative
  • - Montpelier and Clifton Hill Society Representative
  • - Culture and Tourism Committee Representative
  • - Head of Tourism (Secretary to the Panel)
  • - Community Representative
  • - Media Representative
  • - English Heritage Representative
  • - Two Community Representatives with local history expertise.
Initially the Tourism Department, now VisitBrighton, provided a sum of
£1000 p.a. to introduce a conservative scheme. It was expected that this would provide for one new plaque per annum or the refurbishment of one existing plaque. Since 2006, thanks mainly to the generosity of sponsors, the hoped-for number of new plaques has been well achieved and, notwithstanding the current financial constraints on Council spending, the future of the CPP seems assured.

The first plaque in which the CPP was involved
See illustrated page "Commemorative Plaques" for comprehensive list of plaques installed under the aegis of the CPP.

Further info. at:- Visit Brighton - Blue Plaques

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