Who should get Bute’s next commemorative plaque?

Historic Scotland's first Bute commemorative plaque, marking the achievements of Bute blacksmith and aviation pioneer Andrew Blain Baird, was unveiled in Rothesay in September.
Historic Scotland's first Bute commemorative plaque, marking the achievements of Bute blacksmith and aviation pioneer Andrew Blain Baird, was unveiled in Rothesay in September.

Bute blacksmith and aviation pioneer Andrew Blain Baird was the recipient of Historic Scotland’s first Bute commemorative plaque earlier this year - and now the organisation wants to know who should be next.

Historic Environment Scotland - a new name adopted on October 1 following the merger of Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland - is asking the people of Argyll and Bute which figures from history they would like to see celebrated with a plaque.

The Baird memorial was unveiled in September at the old drill hall in Rothesay’s Broadcroft Lane, where Baird built the monoplane which he later took to Ettrick Bay for the first attempt at an all-Scottish heavier-than-air powered flight in September 1910.

Now in its fourth year, the scheme has seen diverse figures from Scottish history remembered – from famous inventors like James Watt and John Logie Baird, to less well-known figures, including the Edinburgh Seven who pioneered education for women.

Famous Scots are nominated by the public using an online form, then celebrated by the installation of a plaque on a building connected with their achievements.

The scheme is intended to celebrate the life and work of significant persons from history by highlighting the link between them and a building connected with their work or life.

Martin Ross, policy and projects manager for Historic Environment Scotland said: “The form of a building can say a great deal about the character of the particular person who lived or worked there. It can confirm assumptions or, in other cases, come as a complete surprise, casting a new aspect on the individual concerned.

“The Commemorative Plaque scheme is a wonderful and visual way to recognise people who have made a difference to the world around us, as well as to publicise their links with buildings that many members of the public may think of as insignificant. In previous years we have received applications for some undoubted luminaries of Scottish society, as well as a few less-celebrated, but just as important, individuals and groups.

“Plaques have been made to recognise the contribution of famous poets, arctic explorers, inventors, literary figures, artists, politicians, inventors, and drivers of social change. I am sure that this year’s nomination process will again provide us with some fascinating individuals for consideration.”

This year is again an open theme, meaning that nominations will be accepted for any persons whose life and achievements have made a significant difference to Scotland and its people, or those who have gained international recognition for their accomplishments.

The closing date for completed submissions is January 31, 2016. An independent panel will then consider all the nominations and select the successful applicants, which will be announced in the spring of 2016.

You can find more information about the scheme and how to submit a nomination via www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/commemorativeplaques.

Previous users may note that this year’s online nomination process has now been simplified into a one-step input.