In News

For the first time in the history of the London Blue Plaque Scheme, more plaques will be unveiled to individual women in 2024 than any previous year in its 150 year history.

English Heritage, who run the scheme, launched a campaign in 2016 to encourage the public to nominate more remarkable female figures to receive a plaque, with the winning names receiving their plaques this year. Those that will be celebrated with Blue Plaques this year include Britain’s first female press photographer, Christina Broom; the UK’s first female neurosurgeon, Diana Beck and the jazz singer, Adelaide Hall, one of the first Black women to secure a contract with the BBC.

Speaking to the press, Dr Susan Skedd, English Heritage’s Blue Plaques Historian, said: “Every year, English Heritage’s blue plaques celebrate the very best of human endeavour. This year, we are particularly pleased to be able to honour so many pioneering women who not only became female firsts, but who were also at the very pinnacle of achievement in their chosen fields.”

The London Blue Plaque scheme celebrates significant figures of the past by highlighting buildings associated with them. The scheme is based on suggestions from the public, with conditions including people who have been deceased for at least 20 years and associated with at least one building in Greater London with original exteriors.

Some of the first women to receive plaques are:

Irene Barclay (1894-1989)
The first woman to qualify as a chartered surveyor. Her plaque will be at her former office in Somers Town, near Euston Station.

Diana Beck (1900-1956)
The UK’s first female neurosurgeon. Her plaque will be at her former home.

Christina Broom (1862-1939)
Britain’s first female press photographer. Her plaque will also be the first blue plaque in Fulham, where she lived and worked.

Adelaide Hall (1901-1993)
Jazz singer and one of the first Black women to secure a long term contract at the BBC. Her plaque will be at her Kensington home.

Joan Robinson (1903-1983)
British economist known for her contribution to economic theory and one of the most prominent economists of the century. The plaque will be at her family home in Kensington where she lived after WWI.

There will be further plaques announced later in the year.




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