The Southern Broxtowe Plaque Scheme
The scheme has been a truly collaborative venture driven by a small group of volunteers working together over six years, with representatives from the Beeston and District Local History Society, the Stapleford and District Local History Society, the Bramcote Conservation Society, and us!
Our area covers Attenborough, Beeston, Bramcote, Chilwell, Stapleford, and Toton; all to the south-west of Nottingham in the southern quarter of the Broxtowe Borough Council area, where each of the participating societies are active. These plaques celebrate achievement and local identity.
Blue plaques’ blueness was first made standard in 1921, by London County Council (LCC), mainly because it was felt that blue stood out best against the London streetscape – it certainly stands out against brick, and pale render. They do look good against the Beeston streetscape, too!
Beeston’s Blue Plaques
Ours are produced locally in enamelled cast aluminium by Leander Architectural of Dove Holes, Derbyshire, and become the responsibility of the property owner when fixed. Diameter varies between 30cm and 46cm, (12” and 18”), prepared to designs based on English Heritage guidance.
Costs of manufacture, delivery and fixing for each plaque rose from £300 to nearly £400 over the life of the project. Only these costs have been passed on; while research, design, seeking permissions where appropriate, ordering and plaque fixing have been organised voluntarily by the participating societies as part of a single service. That service has also included arranging 27 formal unveilings, most involving a Broxtowe or Stapleford Mayor, other dignitaries and family members.
Each plaque has been self-financed, being supported by donations from owners and other interested parties. Material costs of more than £12,000 were covered in this way.
Additional funding in excess of £3,000 has been raised to cover the separate production costs of preparing the Plaque Guide which is available from many local outlets including Beeston Library, Canlaside Heritage Centre, Pearson Centre and many others.
The Group gratefully acknowledges the help and support received from many individuals and organisations over the life of a local initiative that has brought people together in new and creative ways. It has been a remarkable example of collaborative working between participating societies and many others that we hope will leave a lasting legacy for the Borough.
Plaques have played an important role in the history of the conservation movement – the scheme pre-dates the foundation of both the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (1877) and the National Trust (1895).
Begun in London, the earliest plaques were blue, and were commissioned by the Society of Arts. London County Council took picked up the gauntlet in 1901 and the rest, as they say, is history…
More information about the history of London’s Blue plaques can be found here.
More information on national, and international. plaque schemes can be found here