Hollywood legend Sir Ridley Scott nominated for blue plaque in South Shields

Sir Ridley Scott.
Sir Ridley Scott.

World-famous film director Sir Ridley Scott could be honoured with a blue plaque in his hometown under council plans.

Next week, South Tyneside Council’s cabinet will discuss the latest nominations for blue plaques in the borough.

Anne Seymour.

Anne Seymour.

The awards pay tribute to those who have made a “significant contribution to the cultural, industrial or civic legacy of South Tyneside or Britain.”

Nominees must also have strong links with South Tyneside – being born, living or working there.

South Shields-born filmmaker Sir Ridley Scott – who is known for films such as Gladiator, Alien and Blade Runner – is one of three nominees this year.

And the accolade follows the  success of exhibition ‘Ridley Scott: Past, Present and Future Visionary’ – the opening show at the 2016 launch of South Shields arts venue ‘The Word’.

Eileen O'Shaughnessy

Eileen O'Shaughnessy

Other nominees this year include Anne Seymour – a South Tyneside figure well-known for her work as a missonary and charity supporter.

The surgeon previously ran the A&E Department at the old Ingham Infirmary in South Shields and dedicated her life to helping others across the globe.

She died in 2016 at the age of 80 – shortly after receiving a royal honour for her services to asylum seekers and refugees in the borough.

South Shields-born, Eileen O’Shaughnessy – the wife of English novelist and journalist, George Orwell – is also in the running for a blue plaque.

The nomination came from the Orwell Society, with a council report stating she was considered as a “major influence” in Orwell’s writing.

The blue plaque scheme was introduced in South Tyneside in 2017 after the area was ranked as one of the worst in the country for remembering its history.

A decision on the nominations is set to be made by South Tyneside Council’s cabinet next week.

After nominations are agreed by council bosses, the plaques are often unveiled by the mayor at special events.

According to a council report, each plaque costs around £330 to manufacture and £80 to install.

Council bosses are expected to pay for the Ridley Scott plaque while other plaques will be paid for by nominees.

A council report adds: “It is likely that the plaques will require installation on protected buildings.

“This will require careful consideration and potential agreement from English Heritage or other organisations with specific responsibilities.”

The cabinet meeting will take place at South Shields Town Hall on Wednesday, May 15 at 4pm.

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service