Nominate great women of Highgate for new Pink Plaques

Alicia Pivaro and Catharine Wells with pink plaques, commemorating Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts and Harriet Mellon

Alicia Pivaro and Catharine Wells with two of the 2020 plaques, commemorating Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts, and Harriet Mellon - Credit: Polly Hancock

A Highgate Festival project is looking for new nominations of exceptional women from the area who deserve recognition.

The Pink Plaque Project is entering into its fourth year, having been inspired by the low number of women remembered with Blue Plaques.

Those honoured so far include comedian Victoria Wood, Dido Elisabeth Belle, Mary Kingsley and Florence Nightingale.

A new innovation will see QR codes added, which people can scan using their phone to learn more about the woman honoured. Audio clips will be recorded by relatives or people who have known or researched the plaque's subject.

The scheme's organisers include Alicia Pivaro, chair of the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum, artist and architect Maria Kramer, and Catharine Wells, of the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution, who said: "This experience is about enriching peoples understanding about the people who have made a difference and, unlike English Heritage, we're flexible in our criteria of what that means." 

The Pink Plaque Project map

The Pink Plaque Project map - Credit: Pink Plaque Project

Catharine said she would like to nominate Edna Healey - an author, researcher and filmmaker who was the wife of the Labour politician Denis Healey. Edna researched and wrote Lady Unknown: Life of Angela Burdett-Coutts, who is one of the 31 women celebrated with a pink plaque. 

"This was a very important book in making sure that people didn't forget Angela Burdett-Coutts which is what our pink plaques also aim to do," said Catharine.

"We are spoilt for choice in choosing people in wider Highgate and there are a huge number of influential women of a range of ages who give a huge amount of time to the area, such as Isabel Raphael, former head of Channing school and the first woman president of the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution, where she is still involved as a tutor teaching Greek and Latin to adults." 

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The organisers are keen to add to the current 31 commemorative pink plaques. In future, the project aims to include men and cover a wider area around Highgate.