BLUE PLAQUES FOR WOMEN LAUNCH 8th OCTOBER 2016
On 8th October 2016, we were delighted to unveil blue plaques to four remarkable women. We worked in partnership with the Ipswich Society which is the local organisation responsible for the Blue Plaque scheme. Out of a total of twenty-two blue plaques, there are now six plaques commemorating Ipswich women - making a start on the process of increased representation of women's achievements as part of this scheme.
Our group nominated Nina Layard (archaeologist), Constance Andrews (social reformer and suffragette) and Mary Whitmore, MBE and first woman Mayor of Ipswich. All three women are included in the Ipswich Women's History Trail, published in 2013. The fourth woman Margaret Tempest (artist), was nominated by an Ipswich Society member, Merv Russen.
On the afternoon of the launch IWFG led a walk around the four sites where the new blue plaques had been erected. We started in St Edmund's Road and finished at Ipswich Town Hall via Blackfriars Friary, Foundation Street and Arlington's Brasserie, Museum Street and at each site a presentation was given about the contributions of Margaret, Nina, Constance and Mary. We were especially pleased that Roger Fern, the Mayor of Ipswich, formally launched the plaque for Mary Whitmore outside the Town Hall.
We then hosted a reception at the at the Town Hall Café. Robyn Llewellyn of English Heritage, Roger Fern, Carole Jones, Ipswich Borough Councillor (and a great supporter of our project), Tony Marsden, Ipswich Society, and Joy Bounds from our group spoke about the importance of publically celebrating the contributions of women. Reference was made for the need for further plaques - Margaret Catchpole for example, and Tony Marsden raised a particularly relevant issue - that the contribution of Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic residents of the town are not yet represented through blue plaques.