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Sunday, 29 August 2010

Der meisterwerke

Its been a while. This is partly but in no way entirely because of Google Maps. I'm creating a map of located blue plaques on Google Maps. There are clusters at the moment in London (mostly it has to be said around Central London - Kings Cross and Picadilly) Cambridge and Wisbech. I'm hoping to expand a little. I have one to place in Bristol and one in Oxford and am looking at the list of Blue Plaque towns in the UK and there are it has to be said there are a few. I spotted a couple in Marlborough a couple of weeks back when we journeyed back from Bristol. The Bristol is a corker I have to say. Its suspended above a public toilet just round the corner from Dave's old stamping ground of Durdham Park. We came across it rather by accident on the way back from the Bristol Balloon Fiesta and a lovely evening watching gasbags hanging suspended over the Avon gorge from across the river in Clifton. We were on our way back from Westbury-on-Trym where we were staying with M's hardcore Christian friend Helen when we passed the red brick institution on Stoke Road.
Victoria Hughes was named for the widow of Windsor, being born as she was on the day of the Queen-Empresses jubilee and led a life of service...actually I think that that should be Service with a capital S. She supported her family by earning 4/6 for a couple of days work a week working as a toilet attendant for 30 years. She also provided a rather different service to the working girls who frequented the nearby "Ladies Mile". She keep a series of notebooks and so bacame a social documentrian for a section of society often overlooked and distained (sometimes by those same people using the services of the aforementioned working girls) She was far from a disinterested observer though providing money, advice and the occasional intervention to those who frequented her toilet at a time when social services were of the cap in hand variety she gave succor to those that needed it most.
A blue plaque richly deserved.

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