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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Decorators paint over historic Carlisle plaque

Decorators working on a listed city centre shop have painted over a plaque dedicated to historical novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott.

Walter Scott plaque photo
A plaque marks Sir Walter Scott’s marriage

The workmen were painting Johnsons the Cleaners on the Greenmarket and the corner of Castle Street in Carlisle and have covered over the sandstone plaque.

The shop, which was once a house, is associated with Sir Walter Scott’s marriage.

It reads: “Sir Walter Scott was married from this house Dec 24th 1797.”

Carlisle and District Civic Trust looks after the plaques in the city centre.

Terry Jolley , acting chairman of the Carlisle and District Civic Trust, said: “We are aware of this situation and we have already made overtures to the city council’s planning department.

“Basically we are in negotiations to try and sort something out and achieve the best solution for everyone.

“There are several things we are looking at but really we think it should be a blue plaque and maybe a bit lower down the wall.”

The building was listed in 1972.

A spokeswoman for Carlisle City Council said: “The building is listed and because of this Johnsons should have put forward a listed building consent application before they went ahead and painted it.”

Paul Ogle, managing director of Johnson Cleaners, said: “Thank you to the News & Star for making us aware of this situation.

“We are very sorry that the memorial plaque marking Sir Walter Scott’s marriage has been painted over.

“We completed the work with the best of intentions and are doing everything we can to restore the plaque to its former glory, including the provision of a purpose-made moulding which will be placed around the plaque in the New Year.”

The firm was not able to say why they didn’t apply for consent to paint the listed building in the first place.

Local historians say that the plaque recording his marriage is at 81 Castle Street when it should actually be on the corner property at No 83.

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