New Blue Plaques to Recognise Notable Figures

Posted by: Kaye Russell on 27 February 2024 13:49

A former town Mayor, an archaeologist and a war hero and are among those being honoured with a commemorative Blue Plaque in South Tyneside this year.

The Borough's Blue Plaque scheme recognises individuals and structures for their importance to local history and heritage. Up to three plaques are agreed and installed annually - one funded by the Council and the other two privately funded.

Joseph Mason Moore
Dame Rosemary Cramp - Photo Credit: Dame Rosemary Cramp (Picture Credit - By J. Veitch. Copyright Department of Archaeology Durham University)
Flight Lieutenant Dominic Bruce.

The new tributes agreed for 2024 recognise Joseph Mason Moore, Dame Rosemary Cramp and Flight Lieutenant Dominic Bruce.

Councillor Audrey Huntley, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture, Leisure and the Visitor Economy, said: "We have a rich and proud heritage in South Tyneside.

"Through our Blue Plaque scheme, we honour significant people and places that have made a huge contribution to the Borough's culture and heritage, adding real cultural or civic value to South Tyneside or having played a key role in helping to shape our history and heritage to what it is today.

"We are delighted to give rightful recognition to the incredible life and work of these individuals through the raising of three new Blue Plaques and paying tribute to the legacies they left behind."

The Council-funded plaque to be sited in Harton Village will honour Joseph Mason Moore, who served as a member of South Shields Council from 1862 to 1871 including Mayor of South Shields (1870-1871) and held the post of Town Clerk for 27 years.

Moore oversaw major development of the town during the period of rapid expansion, including the development of schools. He funded Harton Village School and was the principal person behind the construction of the Ingham Infirmary. He was also a former president of South Shields Arts Club, Choral and Orchestral Society in the mid-19th century.

Dame Rosemary Cramp was a trailblazer for archaeology in the North East. Between 1963 and 1978 she excavated at Monkwearmouth and Jarrow Abbey Monastery and discovered 7th and 8th century buildings. She was also the first female professor at Durham University.

Cramp led the development of a museum that created the Bede Museum and Anglo-Saxon Farm. It is now known as Jarrow Hall, where the plaque would be sited.

Hebburn-born Flight Lieutenant Dominic Bruce was known as 'the most ingenious escaper' of World War II, having made several attempts to escape Prisoner of War camps, including the most notorious maximum-security prison Colditz Castle.

Bruce was the only known person to have received both the Military Cross and Air Force Medal. In 1989 he received an OBE for his services to Education. His stories have been featured prominently in books, TV and film. The plaque is expected to be installed at his former home in Shakespeare Avenue.

Under South Tyneside's Blue Plaque Scheme, members of the public are invited to put forward individuals and structures to be recognised for their importance to local history and heritage.

Nominations are currently being sought for Blue Plaques to be established in 2025. The closing date for applications is August 2024.

There are currently 34 Blue Plaques across South Tyneside. Most recently plaques were unveiled to honour TS Collingwood Sea Cadets, charity founder Shuley Alam, musician John Miles, philanthropist Sir John Jarvis and Hebburn environmental campaigner Jennie Shearan.

For further information about South Tyneside's Blue Plaque scheme, including how to make a nomination, visit the Council's website at

Last modified: 01 March 2024 14:43