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Bob Marley among famous figures commemorated with blue plaques in 2019

Bob Marley among famous figures commemorated with blue plaques in 2019

By Emily Beament, Press Association Heritage Correspondent

Musician Bob Marley, traveller and diplomat Gertrude Bell and novelist Angela Carter are among the famous figures being commemorated with blue plaques this year, English Heritage said.

The London homes of a leading female war correspondent, the first woman to qualify as a dentist in Britain and a top civil engineer who was responsible for the construction of Tower Bridge will also be marked in the scheme.

The blue plaques, installed on buildings around the capital, celebrate the link between significant figures of the past and the London places where they lived or worked.

English Heritage has outlined its plans for 2019 for the scheme, as it unveils its first blue plaque of the year, to film-maker and gay rights campaigner Derek Jarman, at Butler’s Wharf.

This year, the scheme will commemorate the Chelsea house where Jamaican musician Bob Marley lived in 1977 while he and the Wailers finished recording their album Exodus.

During his time at the house, Marley considered London as a second base and he and his bandmates often played football at the pitches in nearby Battersea Park, English Heritage said.

During 2019, a plaque will also be unveiled in Chelsea marking a family home and London base of Gertrude Bell, a traveller, archaeologist and diplomat who became involved in politics in the Middle East in the First World War and played a considerable role in the foundation of the state of Iraq.

Angela Carter’s former home in Clapham, where the novelist spent the last 16 years of her life, tutoring her then student Kazuo Ishiguro and receiving fellow writers JG Ballard, Ian McEwan and Salman Rushdie, will also receive a plaque.

A blue plaque will commemorate the 28-year residence of war correspondent Martha Gellhorn, who fought for her place among the male bastion of war reporting and made her name writing about the lives of ordinary people in war, in Cadogan Square.

Lilian Lindsay was the first woman to qualify as a dentist in Britain in 1895, overcoming many obstacles to do so.

Her plaque, originally marking a now-demolished building in Islington, will be installed at a new location at the former British Dental Association headquarters in Russell Square where she worked from 1920-1935 and lived in an upstairs flat.

Sir John Wolfe Barry, one of the top civil engineers of the late 19th century who won worldwide renown for the construction of Tower Bridge, will be commemorated with a plaque on a building overlooking the Thames that was his home from 1909 until his death in 1918.

English Heritage said it was currently working with the property owners and all blue plaques were subject to full owner approval.

David Olusoga, English Heritage trustee and blue plaques panel member, said: “From engineering to music, this year’s blue plaques remind us of the enormous range of human achievement.

“Lilian Lindsay and Martha Gellhorn were pioneering women who broke the glass ceiling in their professions and we are honoured to recognise their achievements.

“Personally, I am particularly excited by the Bob Marley plaque.

“Marley was more than a brilliant musician, he became a cultural icon who blazed a trail for other black artists.

“All of our blue plaque recipients called London home, at least for a while, and our plaques are a testament to the creativity and variety of this city.”

Pic by Johnny Bugeja

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