UNTIL 1998 Blue Plaques, designed to commemorate the home and birthplaces of famous people, were exclusively placed on properties of interest in London. The scheme was initiated in 1867 by the Royal Society of Arts when a plaque was erected at the birthplace of Byron, and by 1901, 36 plaques had been placed in the capital.
Over a hundred years later, English Heritage, which took over responsibility for Blue Plaques in the 1980s, decided that Liverpool would be the first city outside London to erect Blue Plaques. The plan was announced to acknowledge 15 local figures with the famous circular ceramic plaque, 20 inches in diameter with white lettering on a blue background.
The first 'recipients' were to be Frank Hornby, John Brodie, Bessie Braddock, Peter Ellis and John Lennon, with other names such as Wilfred Owen also on the list. Speaking about the decision to select Liverpool, Lloyd Grossman, English Heritage Commissioner and Chairman of the Blue Plaques Panel, said: "Liverpool was chosen by English Heritage in recognition of the achievements of its people who have made significant contributions in all walks of life - the arts, architecture, politics and industry.”Blue Plaques give a sense of civic pride to a local community as well as providing visitors with an insight into the culture and history of a city through the buildings which are associated with famous people.
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