The third aspect of the Penge Heritage Trail is the creation of bronze pavement plaques celebrating various personages, places or artefacts connected with Penge in some significant way. There are twelve plaques in all and they will be installed in and around the High Street. Funding for these comes from the New Homes Bonus and was originally coordinated by Virgil Rappa, Town Centre Development Project Planner for the London Borough of Bromley. Sarah Keegan-Day took over the project after Vigil left. The other two aspects of the project are the Penge Heritage Trail website and the pamphlet guide.
Funding was directed via Spacehive, an online fundraising site for local heritage projects. The website and pamphlet guide were funded by public subscription. Several individuals organised specific fundraising activities and we are very grateful for the money raised. There were 90 backers in all. We reached our target within five months. Progress of the fundraising effort can be seen on this link: spacehive penge heritage trail A list of contributors is given at on this website under the heading ‘Thank You’. The project was coordinated by Chris O’Shaughnessy for the former Penge Town Centre Team.
Pavement plaques will celebrate the following: Ira Aldridge, Royal Watermen’s Almhouses, Royal Naval Asylum, David Bowie, Crooked Billet, Alexandra Cottages, Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, Walter de la Mare, Tomei and Sons, Peggy Spencer M.B.E., Empire Theatre and Bill Wyman. They will link in with the heritage trail online map and function as stepping stones through much of it. Detailed information is given on this website for all of them.
We are fortunate to have local experts to provide information on many of them: e.g. Dr Hazel Waters for Ira Aldridge , Dr Ellinor Michel for the Dinosaurs, biographer Neil Pettigrew for Lionel Atwill and Henry Daniell. All three have provided video interviews in the relevant sections. Mr Giles de la Mare has supported the Walter de la Mare celebrations in the Penge Festival for many years. Historians Martin Spence and the late David Johnson have given their much-appreciated approval for the project.
Guided walks take place throughout the year during the Penge Festival and on Penge Days. Details of these are published on the Penge Tourist Board Facebook page and website and on the Heritage Trail Facebook page and website. The entire project was launched officially in May 2018.
We understand from council sources and from the Bromley Town Regeneration Report of July 2nd, 2019, and from Sarah Keegan-Day, that the revised date for pavement plaques installations will be in the early spring of 2020, not October as given below:
3.17 To support the Penge Heritage Trail, 13 bronze Heritage plaques that provide further wayfinding with an emphasis on the town’s heritage assets will also be installed at strategic locations in Penge town centre in October this year.
That is, twelve bronze pavement plaques at various points in the town and one blue wall plaque on the old Police Station building.