Blue Window-Plaques

These blue heritage plaques will be fixed to shop windows in Penge, similar to the window plaques in shops at Crystal Palace and Clockhouse. Here is a prototype blue window plaque designed by Dom Richards:

Unlike the Crystal Palace plaques these plaques will be more selective, indicating previous well-known buildings such as the Empire Theatre, the Odeon and Kingshall Cinemas, legendary Department Stores such as RogersDuponts or Bryce Grant, but like those at Crystal Palace there will be plaques commemorating the original owners and businesses which once were there.

For example, we understand that Cullens, the ‘family’ grocer, was on the site of Twang guitars for about sixty years. We’d also like to commemorate former businesses in Maple Road e.g. the much-missed slightly-Dickensian Maple Textile Shop. It’s not going to be easy in some cases and it will all take time.  A particular difficulty is finding the exact beginning and end dates of individual shop/businesses. If you have any information about past businesses and their owners, do let us know.

At present a team of five comprising of Kate Boyle, Pete Evans, Paul Mawdesley, Chris O’Shaughnessy, and Vanessa Williamson is undertaking careful research into costings, design, composition, past history and display possibilities before samples can be created and shown to interested shop owners. The project has been delayed by a year owing to Covid 19 restrictions i.e. closure of local archives, libraries, manufacturers and shops.

The Penge Heritage Trail working party will steer this project through as and when they can, given the current circumstances. Dom Richards is designer for all the Penge Heritage Trail plaques: those for pavement, wall and window.  Satnaam Khera is our website designer.

When the project is complete, this page will give a full list, with illustrations and photos, of all the shop window plaques and where they are to be found. More than thirty shops/businesses have signed up for the project so far. In view of the time-consuming research process and the Covid 19 setbacks, the project will be delivered in stages of ten plaques at a time.

We are grateful to the Penge BID team for their pledge to contribute to the funding and to those who have made donations so far, including the fundraising activity What’s My Wine (February, 2020).

We are also grateful to Stephen Oxford of the Norwood Society for his advice.

See also: