“An absolutely brilliant and wide ranging scheme.” — Judges’ citation
This scheme celebrates the individuals, companies and institutions who have made a contribution to the area and, in some cases, nationally. Over 120 names have been identified and researched in detail by historian Steve Denford, author of The Streets of St Giles. Twenty-eight have been shortlisted by a group of local residents and businesses and trustees. The plaque design, by trustee Paul Draper, complements the Trust's new street name plates and other street furniture as part of the holistic approach to the public realm as set out in the Seven Dials Renaissance Study.
The plaques will be installed around the Seven Dials area, in both Camden and Westminster, joining the first plaque unveiled in September 2010 at 13 Monmouth Street. This plaque, sponsored by Shaftesbury PLC, commemorates Brian Epstein, 'the fifth Beatle' and was unveiled by another Sixties pop legend, Cilla Black, attracting international press coverage.
Individual plaques are now available for sponsorship. Full details are available in the People's and Street History Plaques Project Brochure. Some names on the shortlist for the People's Plaques are: Aldridge's famous horse market; John Logie Baird - inventor of TV; Syd Barrett - co-founder of Pink Floyd; Jeremy Catnach - pioneer of broadsheet printing; The Cave of Harmony - Elsa Lanchester's bohemian night club; Edward Dent and Stephen Rimbault - clockmakers; Ellen Keeley - costermonger and barrowmaker; Lionel Lukin - inventor of the lifeboat; and The Kip - notorious lodging house where customers slept 'on the rope'.
Street History Plaques
In addition to the People's Plaques, five Street History Plaques will be installed in the core streets of Seven Dials - Earlham Street, Mercer Street, Monmouth Street, Short's Gardens and on The Dials. Intended to provide a lively overview of the area to the many visitors, both domestic and international, who come to Covent Garden, the Street History Plaques draw on Steve Denford's research and feature social and architectural history as well as the story of the development of Seven Dials. Each plaque features historical illustrations and includes some of the names of local notables who do not have their own People's Plaque.
The above plaque features images of:
Thomas Neale MP (1641-99) — 'The Great Projector', creator of Seven Dials, on a rare medalet of silver and copper, (his only known portrait), courtesy of the British Museum.
Edward Pearce (1630-95) — architect, sculptor and mason, who designed and built the Sundial Pillar. Painting by Isaac Fuller (1606-72), courtesy of Sudeley Castle.
(If you would like a printed copy of any please do ask us)