Friends Of The Discovery Museum Project
During a recent Arcs and Sparks tour FODMs members discovered a beautiful and historic artwork :
The Sir Charles A. Parsons Memorial Plaque
This significant marble and bronze work was found languishing in the basement of the Discovery Museum. By coincidence, during work in cataloguing the Parsons Journals for Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, FODMs had come across the background and details of the plaque and the original unveiling.
The Memorial Plaque was commissioned by the Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Company following the death of Sir Charles Parsons on 11th February 1931.
It was designed and executed by Mr. Herbert James Maryon, Master of Sculpture at Armstrong College (later part of Newcastle University). Maryon later became Technical Adviser at the British Museum. He was responsible for much of the conservation work for the major artefacts unearthed at the Sutton Hoo Anglo Saxon Archaeological site for which he was awarded an OBE.
The Plaque was unveiled on Friday 2nd December 1932 by the then Chairman and Managing Director of the Company Mr. R. J. Wallace CBE and was then erected at the C. A. Parsons Co. Heaton Works Site.
It was erected in the main reception area of the Design and General Office Building following its opening in 1953 and remained there for over 50 years before being donated to Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums prior to the demolition of the Building.
FODMs believe this artefact is important for the region and would like to place the plaque on display within the Discovery Museum. We have received enthusiastic interest and support from interested parties including former NEI Parsons Managing Director Richard Maudslay CBE FREng who believes it will generate interest not just within this region, but nationally. Richard was previously Chairman of the Associates of the Discovery Museum, the forerunner of FODMs.
FODMs would like to aim for an unveiling date of 26th June 2017, this being the 120th anniversary of the first running of the Turbinia at the Spithead Navy Review celebrating HM Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee or as part of the 2018 Great Exhibition of the North.
If anyone has any additional information, interest or knowledge of the plaque or would like to know more, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org