PRESENT EFFORTS TO OBTAIN A PLAQUE
With the centenary of Scott's last expedition 2010-2012 fast approaching and the ten years nearly up since the earlier Blue Plaque nomination was rejected, it seems appropriate to launch a new effort to see Sir Clements Markham commemorated at 21 Eccleston Square.
With that in mind, Robert Stephenson wrote English Heritage on 12 October 2009. The past effort was summarized and the ten-year waiting period was inquired about. He commented that "If a Blue Plaque for Sir Clements is ever to be approved, it would seem to make perfect sense to do so during the upcoming centenary commemorations of some of the most important Heroic Age Antarctic expeditions (in virtually all of which Markham had an important role to play)."
This letter was followed up by a phone conversation on 3 November 2009 with Ms Susan Skedd of English Heritage. It was learned that indeed the ten-year waiting period is still the policy and that the Markham nomination could be considered at the October 2010 meeting of the Commemorative Plaques Panel. Ms Skedd noted that the waiting list approved plaques numbers about 80 at the moment.
On November 16, 2009 an e-mail was received from Elizabeth Wardle, the Blue Plaques Administrator at English Heritage. She noted that "Sir Clements was turned down by the Blue Plaques Panel on the 18th October 2000, and thus will become eligible for consideration on the 18th October 2010. The Blue Plaques Panel's October meeting in 2010 will take place on the 20th, and thus I will be able to put your proposal before it on that occasion." She went on to say that "I note that you would ideally like to have any resulting blue plaque erected and presumably unveiled during 2012, to coincide with centenary celebrations. I feel compelled to let you know, therefore, that blue plaque proposals take some significant amount of time working their way up the shortlist (which is rather long), and at the moment we expect them to take at least three years before receiving final approval. As a result, it is unlikely that a plaque to Markham, were it to be approved in October 2010, would be possible by 2012. Exceptions are very occasionally made to the rule, but the staff and Panel have to be utterly convinced that the potential plaque recipient is worthy of such an exception."
A second e-mail from Ms Wardle, dated 17 November 2009, notes that "If you would like to provide information in addition to this (such as the letters of support you mention) at any point between now and 16th August 2010 (the deadline for new suggestions to the October meeting), please do."
A letter dated 2 December 2009 from Ms Wardle, essentially confirmed the above and states "…I will be please to submit your suggestion for initial consideration at the Panel's meeting in October 2010."