Celebrating People and Place

Guidance on Commemorative Plaques & Plaque Schemes

Front cover for Celebrating People and Place: Guidance on Commemorative Plaques & Plaque Schemes

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In May 2010, after holding a two-day conference on commemorative plaques, English Heritage produced a guidance document, 'Celebrating People & Place: Guidance on Commemorative Plaques and Plaque Schemes'. This offers practical advice and information in relation to all areas of plaque work, namely:

  • Project management, costs and funding
  • Aims, selection process and criteria
  • Historical research
  • Design, material and positioning
  • Consents, installation and unveiling
  • Maintenance, promotion and outreach

Although the focus of this comprehensive document is plaques erected on buildings - rather than placed in the ground or on other structures - it is intended to be of widespread relevance, and the general processes and practicalities are likely to be applicable to plaques of various types and purposes.

“The book that you very kindly sent to us was invaluable. Every aspect of setting up a scheme was covered in a way that was easy to follow and also very encouraging - definitely a 'we can do it' book. The illustrations were excellent. This is a book that we shall keep for future reference.”
Dinah Rudman, Hon. Sec., Melton Mowbray & District Civic Society

“You will be pleased to know that the EH Plaque Guidance publication is proving very
useful already: Liverpool’s Tourism officers are in the process of re-considering the workings of its present scheme and the Guidance appendices are helping to show the range of possible criteria.”
Wendy Morgan, Principal Conservation Officer, Liverpool City Council

Contents

  • 1. INTRODUCTION
    The Focus and Intentions of the Guidance
    English Heritage, the Blue Plaques Scheme, and the National Advisory Role
  •  
  • 2. PROJECT MANAGEMENT, COSTS AND FUNDING
    Managing a Plaque Project
       Start-up
       Initiation
       Carrying out the Work
       Closure
    Costs
       Scoping and Consultation
       Fundraising
       Project Initiation and Encouraging Nominations
       Administration of Nominations and Selection Process
       Historical Research
       Consents
       Design and Positioning
       Manufacture
       Installation and Unveiling
       Plaque Maintenance and Monitoring
       Publicity, Promotions and Outreach
       Enquiries
    Sources of Funding
       Local Sources of Funding
            Local Authorities
            Civic Societies
            Town and Parish Councils
       Regional Sources of Funding
       National Sources of Funding
            Heritage Lottery Fund
            Big Lottery Fund
            Government Heritage Agencies
            Memorials Grant Scheme
       Private Sponsorship and Other Sources of Funding
       Thematic Plaque Schemes
  •  
  • 3. AIMS, SELECTION PROCESS AND CRITERIA
    The Aims of Commemorative Plaques
    Developing Selection Criteria and Guidelines
       Practical Considerations
       Types of Subjects Eligible for Commemoration and Time Requirements
       Types of Buildings Eligible for Commemoration
       The Level of Significance Required
       Sponsorship and Consents
    Selection Process
       Nominations for Plaques
       Methods for Deciding which Nominations are Taken Forward
            Committees and Advisory Panels
       Managing Disappointment
  •  
  • 4. HISTORICAL RESEARCH
    Initial Research: Investigating the Worth of a Plaque Proposal
    Historical Research into Buildings and Sites for Commemoration
       Tracing the General History of a Building
       Connecting a Person with an Existing Building
       Using Sources of the Early Nineteenth Century and Earlier
       Renumbering and Renaming
    Verifying Authenticity and Selecting a Building for Commemoration
    Writing Historical Reports
    Outcomes of Historical Research
  •  
  • 5. DESIGN, MATERIAL AND POSITIONING
    Use of the Blue Roundel
    Choosing a Designer and Manufacturer
    Selecting an Appropriate Design, Material and Colour for a Plaque
       Material and Methods of Fixing
       Size and Shape
       Colour
    Components of Plaque Design
    Plaque Inscription
    Positioning a Plaque on a Building
  •  
  • 6. CONSENTS, INSTALLATION AND UNVEILING
    Consents
       Owner Consent
       Planning Controls
            Statutory Listed Buildings
       Locally Listed Buildings
            Scheduled Ancient Monuments
            Buildings in Conservation Areas
            Article 4 Directions
       Making Formal Applications for Planning Consent
       Outcomes
       Common Problems and Obstacles to Gaining Consents
    Installation
       Choosing and Commissioning a Contractor to Undertake Installation
       Specification of Works and Appointment Process
       Health and Safety
       Variables
       Installation Schedule
    Unveiling
       Organising an Unveiling Ceremony
       The Unveiling Ceremony Itself
    Maintaining a Plaques Archive
  •  
  • 7. MAINTENANCE, PROMOTION AND OUTREACH
    Maintenance and Monitoring
    Actions to Take in the Event of Radical Alteration or Demolition
    Promotion
       Unveilings
       Publications
       Exhibitions and Displays
       Walks and Trails
       Talks and Lectures
       Events
       Websites
       Application Software (Apps)
       Merchandising
    Outreach
  •  
  • 8. APPENDICES
  •  
  • 9. CONTACT INFORMATION AND ONLINE RESOURCES
  • Status: Completed
  • Publication Date: 20/05/2010
  • Product Code: 51605
  • Series: Guidelines / Standards

If you require an alternative accessible version of this document (for instance in audio, Braille or large print) please contact our Customer Services Department. Telephone: 0870 333 1181 Fax: 01793 414926 Textphone: 0800 015 0516 E-mail: customers@english-heritage.org.uk