Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Smarter for 10; THE FIRST BLUE PLAQUE APPEARED 150 YEARS AGO. MARION McMULLEN CHECKS OUT SOME FAMOUS NAMES ON BRITAIN'S WALLS

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Smarter for 10; THE FIRST BLUE PLAQUE APPEARED 150 YEARS AGO. MARION McMULLEN CHECKS OUT SOME FAMOUS NAMES ON BRITAIN'S WALLS

Article excerpt

Byline: MARION McMULLEN

is it a double celebration? 1 A RARE "double blue" unveiling is kicking off the 150th anniversary of the Blue Plaque scheme. Two Nobel prizewinners, playwright Samuel Beckett and physicist Patrick Blackett, are the latest to be honoured. They both lived at 48 Paultons Square, Chelsea, at different times.

how did it all begin? 2 THE scheme, which has spread across the country, began with a plaque to mark the home of poet Lord Byron. The original plaque has now been lost, but there are now more than 900 marking buildings where notable people worked and lived. The scheme is thought to be the oldest of its kind in the world.

3 any other early names on the wall? FEMALE writers and entertainers were among the first to be honoured. Writer Fanny Burney has the oldest surviving plaque for a woman, while playwright Joanne Baillie was the fourth woman to receive a plaque. She was considered second only to Shakespeare in her heyday.

any strings attached? 4 PUPPET star Sooty headed to Blackpool for his own plaque in 1997. Entertainer Harry Corbett bought the little glove puppet at the seaside resort for 7s 6d (just over 37p) from a toy shop at the North Pier. The children's favourite went on to become a TV star with fellow puppets Sweep and Soo.

5 what did you say your name was? SIR MICHAEL CAINE was honoured as part of Southwark Council's Blue Plaque project. The Italian Job and Alfie star attended the unveiling at the site of the former St Olave's Hospital in Rotherhithe, where he was born. He arrived 30 minutes early for the ceremony so he could drive around his old neighbourhood.

6 the real question is, whodunnit? MASTER of suspense Sir Alfred Hitchcock was honoured in 1999 on the centenary of his birth. The film director's daughter, Patricia Hitchcock O'Connell, unveiled a plaque at 153 Cromwell Road, London. …

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