What’s in a Plaque?

All over the country the great and the good are celebrated with blue plaques. Some are endorsed by English Heritage, some by local councils and other organisations. Some aren’t blue at all.

Adam, who administers the blog over at London Walks for whom I do a tidy amount of work, asked us guides to imagine we had our blue plaques. What would they say? he wanted to know.

Mine would probably be something on the lines of “Loved being a guide and a journalist as it was a licence to be nosey, and couldn’t pass a dog or a cat in the street without saying hello.”

But close to where I live there are two plaques, neither of them blue, that touch me more than any that tell of professional achievements, or connections with the rich and famous.

Here they are:

Lorraine Harrison

Lorraine Harrison

Charlie and Bet Diamond

Charlie and Bet Diamond

When I was taking th picture of Lorraine’s plaque, one I always point out on my Princes and Paupers walk (next up Saturday 12th July), a man walked by. “She was a lovely woman,” he said.

Charlie and Bet used to feed my friends’ cat. They lived in their house for fifty years. He was a lighterman in the docks.

They may not figure in the history books, but they made their neighbourhoods better places. That counts.

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