Violinist Yehudi Menuhin and activist Claudia Jones to receive blue plaques
Violinist and composer Yehudi Menuhin and activist Claudia Jones, known as “the founding spirit of Notting Hill Carnival”, will be honoured with blue plaques this year.
English Heritage said the achievements of the 2023 class of recipients ranged across fields including the arts, music, social reform and politics.
Menuhin’s plaque will commemorate the six-storey house in Belgravia, London, where the American-born musician lived, worked and entertained for the last 16 years of his life until 1999.
Much of his teaching and mentoring took place in his studio on the fourth floor, where he also practised yoga, including his now famous headstand pose.
Journalist and anti-racism activist Jones will be honoured with a plaque laid at the shared dwelling in Vauxhall where she lived for four years from the late ’50s.
It was during this time that she founded the West Indian Gazette and came up with the idea of bringing a Caribbean carnival to London.
The first carnival took place at St Pancras Town Hall in January 1959, and later moved outdoors as the Notting Hill Carnival.
Also being honoured is the suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, who was killed after throwing herself under George V’s horse at the 1913 Epsom Derby.
Her plaque will mark the Kensington house where she lived as she completed her schooling.
Sophia Duleep Singh, the daughter of a deposed Indian maharaja whose kingdom was annexed by the British, will also be honoured.
She was an active suffragette and made use of her royal title to generate support for suffrage.
Her plaque will mark the large house near Hampton Court Palace which was granted to her and her sisters by Queen Victoria in 1896.
English Heritage aims to award 12 plaques each year and will announce more in the coming months.
Professor William Whyte, trustee and new chairman of the Blue Plaques Panel, said: “Every year, English Heritage’s blue plaques offer a glimpse of the very best of human achievement.
“In my first year as chair of the panel, I am particularly excited to recognise so many who fought for what they believed in.
“From Emily Wilding Davison, who famously died for her cause, to Claudia Jones, whose life-long struggle for social justice helped inspire the Notting Hill Carnival, these are people who made a difference and it’s an honour to play a part in making sure that their contributions are remembered.”
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