English Heritage, as they mention every time they contact us, are a bit hard up for cash at the minute. The Government has cut grants to the heritage quango by 32% at a time when restoration costs are rising. One of the immediate casualties of the cutbacks is the Blue Plaques programme, which places memorials on the homes and workplaces of notable (deceased) citizens. The scheme has taken a 25% cut-back to reduce costs.
Sometime Londoners who will now miss out include Beatles manager Brian Epstein, cellist Jaqueline du Pre and Graham Chapman (he’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy). Austrian writer Stefan Zweig was also spurned, despite a vigorous campaign from such luminaries as Roy Hodgson and William Boyd. None of them can now be reconsidered for at least ten years.
Shame, really. Perhaps they could instead make semi-circular plaques allowing two for the price of one.