Search is on for lost north east memorials

The Dolly Peel memorial statue in South Shields. Picture by Andrew Curtis.
The Dolly Peel memorial statue in South Shields. Picture by Andrew Curtis.

A search has begun for forgotten memorials in the north east.

Historic England is appealing for help to find secret, unknown and forgotten memorials in the local area.

It is all part of its Immortalised project – a new season to help England explore who and how it remembers.

Memorials in the north east include the Dolly Peel Statue in South Shields. She was a fishwife, smuggler and protector of local sailors from the press gang.

She is commemorated by a statue in the centre of the town, which was commissioned in the 1980s by her great great-great grandson as a tribute to the strength of local working women

Historic England, the public body responsible for championing and looking after England’s historic environment, wants photographs and information about the north east’s lesser-known memorials, and those well-loved by communities, but unknown nationally.

The public’s stories and pictures will form part of an exhibition in the autumn.

The Immortalised scheme aims to help people explore the country’s memorial landscape – who is reflected, who is missing, and why. It will include events, an exhibition, debate and a design competition.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “We are creatures of memory and every generation has commemorated people in the built environment.

“Their stories may involve episodes of heroism or generosity and be inspirational, or they may involve episodes which are shameful by today’s standards. They all tell us something about the lives of our ancestors.

“One of Historic England’s most important jobs is to work with the public to identify and record information about what’s embedded in our streets, squares and parks, and to share it with others.

“Exploring the stories and histories of less well-known people and groups is an important part of this, and that’s what today’s call out to the public is all about.”

See www.historicengland.org.uk/immortalised