17/06/2021English Heritage, London Blue Plaques, and Enid Blyton
English Heritage is responsible for the London Blue Plaques Scheme, which was set up in 1866 and previously run by the London County Council and the Greater London Council. The scheme commemorates significant historical figures on buildings associated with them. There are currently just over 950 plaques on London’s buildings and English Heritage installs around 12 new plaques every year. So far this year, we have unveiled plaques to – amongst others – Arthur Ransome, the author of Swallows and Amazons, and the 19th-century women’s rights campaigner Caroline Norton.
Last year, English Heritage started an on-going programme of updating the online entry for each blue plaque recipient. Blue plaque recipients with updated entries include actor and playwright Noël Coward and the social reformer Annie Besant. Our website entries aim to provide a fuller picture of each person's life, including aspects that people may find troubling.
English Heritage unveiled a blue plaque to Enid Blyton in 1997 at her home in Chessington where the children’s author – beloved by many – lived between 1920 and 1924. We updated our online Blyton entry in July 2020 and at the end of that entry, it includes a reference to the fact that the author’s work has been criticised for its racism.
English Heritage has no plans whatsoever to remove any of our blue plaques and we’ll continue to update our website so that we can tell more of the story behind each plaque and each person.
Anna Eavis, Curatorial Director at English Heritage, said: “We have no plans whatsoever to remove any of our London blue plaques. On our website, we are providing more information for each blue plaque so that people can find out more about the person behind the plaque.”
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