Blue plaques


Commemorative Plaques, commonly known as 'Blue Plaques' (even though they don't have to be blue), recognise the importance of a person or building to the history and heritage of South Tyneside.

There are currently thirty plaques located across the Borough, commemorating people and organisations such as:

  • Elinor Brent-Dyer, a successful novelist during the 1920's from Westoe Village.
  • John Simpson Kirkpatrick, 'the man with the donkey' who saved many lives through his selfless actions during World War One. There is a Commemorative Plaque at Littlehaven where he worked giving donkey rides to beach visitors.
  • South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade has a Blue Plaque on the Watch House demonstrating the organisation's important role in the last 150 years and the service given by its members.

However, there is no plaque for:

  • George Marshall, the band master who led St Hilda's Colliery Band to five world championships and whose compositions are still performed by brass bands across the world
  • Andrew Leslie, who founded the shipyard in Hebburn

No doubt there are many other people and places that deserve some recognition and we are interested to hear your views.

To commemorate more people and places South Tyneside Council has established a formal Commemorative Plaque Scheme, raising up to three plaques each year.

Nominate a person or building

To be considered for the South Tyneside Commemorative Plaque Scheme:

A person must:

  • have made a significant contribution to the legacy of South Tyneside or Britain. 
  • have a strong link within South Tyneside e.g. born, lived, worked or made their discovery or acomplishment in South Tyneside.
  • have an existing, original site with strong links to them where a plaque could be installed. It would not be possible for example, to have a plaque saying 'This is the site of the house where Catherine Cookson lived'.

A building must:

  • be prominent in the history and development of South Tyneside and should demonstrate 
    • evidental value
    • historical value
    • aesthetic value
    • communal value

How to nominate

Nominations for 2023 / 24 are currently being considered. Successful plaques will be confirmed in Spring 2023.

Between 1 May and 31 August you will be able to nominate a person or building for future consideration for a blue plaque. Please visit this website again then.

Decorated war heroes

Decorated war heroes rightly deserve recognition for their service and heroics.

They are recognised through other Council initiatives including South Tyneside Remembers, rather than the Blue Plaque Scheme.

Current plaques