The Blue Plaques Panel
The role of the Blue Plaques Panel is to advise and support staff working on the English Heritage blue plaques scheme. Recommendations for figures suitable for commemoration are considered by the panel when they meet three times a year. The dates and minutes of the meetings can be found here.
Professor Ronald Hutton (Panel Chair)
Professor Ronald Hutton is Professor of History at the University of Bristol. Prior to this he was a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, before serving as Lecturer and then Reader in History at Bristol University. Ronald is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Society of Antiquaries, the Learned Society of Wales and the British Academy. Ronald is a former Commissioner of English Heritage prior to it becoming a charity and a former Chairman of the Designation Review and Remuneration Committees.
Professor Richard Aldrich
Professor Richard Aldrich is Professor of International Security at the University of Warwick. He is the author of GCHQ: The Uncensored Story of Britain's Most Secret Intelligence Agency (2010) and Hidden Hand: Britain, America and Cold War Secret Intelligence (2001). Since 2008, he has been leading a team project funded by the AHRC entitled: ‘Landscapes of Secrecy: The Central Intelligence Agency and the Contested Record of US Foreign Policy’. Richard has served on the Cabinet Office Consultative Group on Intelligence and Security Records and has made a number of historical documentaries for Channel 4, ZDF and PBS.
Mihir Bose is an award-winning journalist and author. He was the BBC’s first Sports Editor – the first non-white BBC editor. Mihir worked for the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Times for over 30 years and has written for nearly all the mainstream British media. He has authored more than 30 books, two of which are being made into films, and his History of Indian Cricket (2002) won the Cricket Society Silver Jubilee Literary award. Mihir is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Loughborough University for his outstanding contribution to journalism and the promotion of equality.
Dr Gus Casely-Hayford OBE is a curator and cultural historian who writes, lectures and broadcasts widely on culture. He is the founding Director of V&A East and was previously the Director of the Smithsonian, National Museum of African Art. A champion for the arts, Gus has presented two series of The Lost Kingdoms of Africa for the BBC and two series of Tate Britain: Great Art Walks for Sky. He is also a former Executive Director of Arts Strategy, Arts Council England and a former Director of the Institute of International Contemporary Art. Gus has been awarded a King’s College cultural fellowship for service to the arts and a SOAS Honorary Fellowship for service to Africa.
Dr Simon Chaplin
Dr Simon Chaplin is Chief Executive Officer of the Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund supporting charities and scholarly institutions to preserve cultural heritage, protect the environment and promote open access. Prior to that he was Director of Culture and Society at the Wellcome Trust in London and Head of the Wellcome Library. He was formerly Director of Museums and Special Collections at The Royal College of Surgeons of England, where he managed the Hunterian Museum and the Wellcome Museum of Anatomy and Pathology. Simon’s first degree is in Natural Sciences, and his PhD dealt with the relationship between dissection, collecting and display in late 18th-century London.
Emily Gee is the London and South East Regional Director at Historic England, where she has worked since 2001. Emily has an undergraduate degree in Afro-American Studies from Smith College, Massachusetts, a Masters of Architectural History and Historic Preservation from the University of Virginia, and a diploma in Building Conservation from the Architectural Association. Emily has written on Victorian and Edwardian housing for working women and on listing, focusing on the history of listing, diversity and post-war buildings. Emily is on the Council of Camden History Society, and looks after the history fundraising lectures at St Pancras Old Church.
Alex Graham is chair of The Scott Trust, sole shareholder in the Guardian and Observer newspapers. In 1987 he founded Wall to Wall Television, responsible for programming the multi-award winning A Rather English Marriage and Oscar-winning documentary Man On Wire. Alex also created two groundbreaking history series – The 1900 House and Who Do You Think You Are? Previously Chair of the Sheffield International Documentary Festival and the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Alex is a fellow of the Royal Television Society, holding the Society’s coveted Gold Medal. He has won the Grierson Trust’s Trustees’ Award for services to documentary and a BAFTA Scotland special award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting.
Andrew Graham-Dixon is one of the leading art critics and presenters of arts television in the English-speaking world. Andrew has a long history of public service in the field of the visual arts, having judged the Turner Prize, the BP National Portrait Prize and the Annual British Animation Awards, among many others. He has served on the Government Art Collection Committee, the Hayward Advisory Committee, and is currently a member of the board of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. In the course of his career, Andrew has won numerous awards for writing and broadcasting.
Professor Claire Harman
Professor Claire Harman is a specialist in literary biography and literary history, and author of six books, including lives of Sylvia Townsend Warner, Frances Burney, Robert Louis Stevenson and Charlotte Brontë. She has taught at the universities of Manchester and Oxford, at Columbia University in New York City and, since 2016, Durham University. Claire has been awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for biography, the Forward Prize for poetry and the ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award for short fiction. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, current President of the Alliance of Literary Societies and a judge of the PEN Ackerley Prize for memoir.
Dr Rebekah Higgitt
Dr Rebekah Higgitt is Principal Curator of Science at National Museums Scotland. She has published widely on the history of science for academic and wider audiences, including as a regular blogger for Guardian Science from 2012 to 2017. From 2013 to 2020 she was a senior lecturer at the University of Kent, where she led the project Metropolitan Science: Places, Objects and Cultures of Practice and Knowledge in London, 1600–1800. From 2008 to 2013 she was Curator of the History of Science at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Rebekah was Co-Curator of the exhibition Ships, Clocks and Stars: The Quest for Longitude (2014–15) and co-author of Finding Longitude (2014).
Amy Lamé has a long and successful track record as a leader and collaborator in the cultural and creative industries. She is co-founder of the Olivier Award-winning arts company and club night Duckie, and co-founded RVT Future, a voluntary LGBTQ+ community group campaigning to preserve the iconic Royal Vauxhall Tavern. She served as Mayoress of Camden in 2010–11, and is a familiar presence on TV, in print and on radio. Amy’s debut book, From Prejudice to Pride: A History of the LGBTQ+ Movement was published in June 2017. Amy has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of East London and is an Honorary Professor at University College London.