Birmingham greats honoured in Blue Plaque Trail

The achievements of some of the University’s most influential alumni and academics are to be celebrated with the opening of a Blue Plaque Trail.

Historical figures as diverse as the poet and former lecturer in Classics Louis MacNeice; Professor John Henry Poynting (MSc Pure Science, 1901), the first person to weigh the Earth; composer Sir Edward Elgar (MA Combined Arts, 1907); and Professor of Obstetrics Dame Hilda Lloyd (Interc BSc Pure Science, 1914), are among the trail’s 24 names.

The list includes David Lodge (PhD English, 1967), the University's successful novelist, academic and alumnus. Also featured is Margery Fry (see picture, right), the influential prison reformer and one of the country’s first female magistrates, who was a warden on campus between 1908-1914.

Clare Mullett, Deputy University Curator, explains: ‘The trail is one way of highlighting those who helped to shape our heritage as a research university. It has been designed to underline how the vision of our founder Joseph Chamberlain has been realised through these individuals’ pioneering achievements throughout science and the arts.

‘The scope and scale of individual, and collective, achievements at the University are remarkable and we hope the plaques will inspire those who pass by and encourage even greater achievement in the future.’

The Blue Plaque Trail will be officially opened by Vice-Chancellor Professor David Eastwood on 25 May, and a special campus map featuring the trail will be available for visitors to use.