A new on-line map is now available on Sunderland City Council’s website which highlights the location of the estimated 78 commemorative Blue Plaques in Sunderland.
These plaques act as a permanent reminder of the influential people, landmark buildings and events that have taken place throughout the city's history.
Alongside the map there is a comprehensive booklet giving the details of the plaques which is now available to download here
English Heritage has run the London blue plaque scheme since 1986, when it had already been in existence for over 120 years. Before that it was run by three bodies in succession – the (Royal) Society of Arts, the London County Council and the Greater London Council.
Outside of London similar plaque schemes are run by local councils, civic societies and other organisations based on the guidelines set by English Heritage.
While permission isn't required to put up a Blue Plaque in Sunderland (unless it is a listed building), Sunderland City Council can provide guidance, support and in some cases funding, to help ensure that the correct guidelines are followed and plaques have the appropriate visual and design quality.
The guidelines include:
- The person should be deceased, and at least ten years should normally have passed since their death
- The person should have made a significant contribution to the history of Sunderland or be eminent through their profession or calling
- The event should have occurred at least twenty years ago and be instantly recognisable to the majority of the general public
- Buildings should be known locally or nationally and be of special significance and worthy of lasting recognition, with some visible remains intact
For more information on the guidelines please visit the blue plaque webpage click here
Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Communities and Culture, Councillor John Kelly said: "Commemorative Blue Plaques are seen as civic recognition of the significant role a person or place has played in our history, a celebration of people's individual contribution or commemoration of a landmark event or building in the city.
“We currently have around 78 Blue Plaques spread out across the city – with everyone from war heroes and social pioneers to authors and artists, and everywhere from the Former Roker Park and Hetton Hall, to RAF Usworth and Silksworth Village School.
“Sunderland has a rich cultural heritage, and Blue Plaques are a way in which we recognise the importance of this for our future generations.”
Councillor Kelly added: "We already have plans for some new additions this year such as Sunderland's first woman councillor, Ellen Bell, and the world-famous inventor Joseph Swan, whilst appreciating there will already be other names and places in people's mind worthy of a Blue Plaque in the years ahead."
Please note the list of blue plaques is not exhaustive. If anyone has any information relating to other blue plaques in the city which are not included on the list, then please contact the heritage team at firstname.lastname@example.org