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Margaret Tait honoured with commemorative plaque

Margaret Tait (courtesy of the Margaret Tait Collection at Orkney Library & Archive)

Avant-garde filmmaker and poet Margaret Tait has been recognised in Historic Environment Scotland’s (HES) latest round of recipients for their Commemorative Plaque scheme, which was announced today.

The national scheme, which has been running since 2012, celebrates noteworthy individuals from Scottish public life, as nominated by the public, by erecting plaques on buildings with strong links to their life or work.

Orkney’s Margaret Tait was the first Scottish woman to direct a feature length film with 1992’s Blue Black Permanent, as well as being an accomplished poet who published three books of poetry. Her commemorative plaque will be installed at her birthplace — 25 Broad Street, Kirkwall.

Tait is one of six trailblazing women from Scotland’s past to receive the honour, which comes ahead of Women’s History Month, which is celebrated each year in March to document the lives and achievements of women.

Barbara Cummins, director of heritage at HES, said: “The contribution of women in Scotland’s history is often overlooked, and I’m pleased that this year’s Commemorative Plaque awards give us the opportunity to celebrate the life and work of some truly inspirational women.

“Through our plaque scheme, we want to highlight the important link between people and places, connecting these exceptional individuals to the built environment that shaped their life and work.

“As we look forward to marking Women’s History Month, I hope that awarding these plaques will bring some much-deserved recognition to some of the leading female figures from Scotland’s past.”

In total 17 influential people who lived and worked in Scotland — from artists and an actor, to naturalists and a nautical engineer — have been recognised in this latest round of commemorative plaques.