Aberdeen ,

Council approves commemorative plaques for pioneers

Aberdeen City Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee today (Thursday 26 January) approved the latest nominations for its commemorative plaque scheme.

The Council’s plaque policy, which was adopted by the Education and Leisure Committee in 2002, requires the nominated person to be worthy of commemoration and that they are of national or international standing or of such outstanding local importance as to deserve a plaque.

The committee instructed officers to proceed with these nominations pending the relevant permission and funding guarantees:

  • Margaret Myles (1892-1988) - pioneer, author and lecturer in midwifery;
  • George Stewart McLennan (1883-1929) - Gordon Highlanders champion piper, pre-eminent composer and bagpipe maker;
  • Dr Agnes Thomson (1880-1952) - anaesthetist, lecturer and General Practitioner at Children’s Hospital in Castle Street and one of the first women in Aberdeen to gain three degrees and a founder member of the Aberdeen Mother and Baby Home;
  • Nan Shepherd (1893-1981) - celebrated Scottish author and poet;
  • Harriet Warrack (1825-1910) - founder of Albyn School;
  • Annie Abernethie Quibell (1851-1927) - noted Egyptologist;
  • Nora Christina Cobban Griffith (1870-1937) - noted Egyptologist;
  • Caroline Agnes Isabella Phillips (1870-1956) - Women’s Social & Political Union campaigner and secretary (Suffragette).

The committee also heard a request from the University of Aberdeen to replace the plaque for pioneering physicist of electromagnetic radiation, molecular science and colourimetry James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879), which is currently on display at 131 Union Street, with a round commemorative plaque as part of a national scheme run by the Institute of Physics. Aberdeen will be the only city in Scotland to have two plaques sponsored by the Institute of Physics.

Aberdeen City Council’s Convener of Education and Children’s Services Committee Councillor Angela Taylor said: “Commemorative plaques celebrate individuals who are outstanding in their field of expertise. Plaques can be seen across Aberdeen, which serve to remind residents and inform visitors to the city of the many eminent individuals who have made a huge impact who were either born here or lived here. They are indeed inspirational.”

To meet the criteria to be considered for a plaque the person nominated must be deceased and where appropriate any living relative has granted their consent for the plaque and that an appropriate location can be found for the plaque. Appropriate means that either the person lived within the building upon which the plaque will be fixed or they worked there for a significant period and the location of the plaque is such that members of the public will be able to view it from a public road or street without needing to enter private property. Consent must also be sought from the owner of the building and those either resident within the building or those who work there.

Each plaque must be cast aluminium, round, 20 inches in diameter and with white raised lettering on a fawn background.

The person or group which makes the nomination must make available the necessary finance to see the plaque created, shipped and installed.

All nominations are vetted by the relevant museums and galleries officers before final approval is sought by committee.