The Broadland District Council Blue Plaque Scheme launched today (11 January), with the unveiling of three plaques commemorating women from Broadland’s past who made valuable contributions to their community.
Alice Hoare, Lucy Sewell, Mary Sewell, Margaret Sewell, and Anne Wright were selected to be the first people memorialised by a panel made up of Broadland District Council’s Chairman, Heritage Champion and Economic Development Portfolio Holder, with the help of information provided by the council’s Economic Development and Conservation teams.
The Blue Plaques, which were made by local business The Anglia Sign Casting Company, were unveiled by Broadland District Council Chairman Judy Leggett, Vice Chairman and Member Champion for Heritage Karen Vincent, and Portfolio Holder for Economic Development Jo Copplestone at a special event in Hayman Lodge, Catton Park.
The plaques will be installed in early 2019 in the parishes that have relevance to the women being commemorated – Old Catton, Buxton and Aylsham.
The launch focused on celebrating the achievements of remarkable local women as a way of honouring the recent centenary celebrations of the first women to vote. Future plaques installed as part of the scheme will commemorate both men and women from the district.
Broadland District Council Chairman Judy Leggett said: “This very special initiative commemorates notable people from all walks of life, who have made an important contribution to our district historically. With the first plaques we are installing, we hope we have created a fitting tribute to women who made an impact on the lives of others. They stand out in Broadland’s history for different reasons but they all shared a common desire to help those less fortunate in their communities.”
Broadland District Council Vice Chairman and Member Champion for Heritage Karen Vincent added: “We are very grateful to the kind contributions of many of our local parish councils, the record office, volunteers, families of the women, and other organisations who helped us research the lives of the women we unveiled plaques for. We’re looking forward to exploring the backgrounds of more people who served their communities throughout our district’s history and the panel is ready to welcome more submissions.”
In attendance at the event was Chloe Smith MP, relatives of Alice Hoare (one of the women being honoured), children from Sewell Park Academy, local historians, and councillors.