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Council unveils new blue plaque

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Date: 28/09/2009

Blue Plaque with mayor
Githa's great grandson Ian Smith and Gateshead Mayor Cllr John Eagle with the new plaque.
Gateshead Council has unveiled a new blue plaque in recognition of the playwright Katherine Githa Sowerby who lived in the borough for the early years of her life.
The plaque was officially unveiled by her Great Grandson Ian Smith at a Civic Ceremony on the Gateshead Quayside.

The plaque reads: “Katherine Githa Sowerby (1876-1970) Playwright, poet, childrens author and member of the noted Sowerby glass family. In her early years she lived near here at Ravenshill.”

The plaque will now be moved to its permanent position - a wall which forms the entrance to The Drive on Durham Road in Gateshead. This is the effective historical boundary of the Sowerby land and it should be in place by the end of October.

As part of the event, Tyne & Wear museums accepted the long term loan of Githa’s writings and belongings which were donated by her surviving daughter Joan Smith.

Pat Riley, the writer of the first ever biography of Githa Sowerby has also given her own archive to Tyne & Wear Museums.

Sowerby, a young woman from Gateshead who was descended from Tyneside’s world-famous Sowerby glass-making dynasty, wrote a play – Rutherford & Son - in 1912. The play caused a sensation in Edwardian London and then in Broadway after which it fell into obscurity until it was revived, nearly a century later, at the National Theatre in 1994.




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