The ArgusNew clutch of blue plaques issued for murdered police chief, pioneering railwayman and Brighton Station architect (From The Argus)

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New clutch of blue plaques issued for murdered police chief, pioneering railwayman and Brighton Station architect

The Argus: Henry Soloman's blue plaque Henry Soloman's blue plaque

A murdered police chief, the father of modern railway signalling and a train station architect are set for blue plaque memorials.

Chief inspector Henry Soloman, who was bludgeoned to death with a poker, will be honoured with a memorial outside his former office on March 14 - the 170th anniversary of his death.

Engineer John Saxby, who invented the interlocking system of points and railway signals, and David Mocatta, designer of Brighton Station, will be honoured at a later date.

Averil Older, chair of Brighton and Hove's Blue Plaque committee, said: “We are really busy at the moment. We get so many requests for plaques all the time.

“However, Henry Soloman has been a really popular request for a couple of years and with the station development it was a good time to try and get the memorials to Mocatta and Saxby.”

Mr Soloman was the much-loved first chief constable of Brighton in 1838, on an annual salary of £120. However, he came to an untimely end after an incident on March 13.

He was in his Brighton Town Hall office questioning a man arrested on suspicion of theft called John Lawrence.

After being sat down near a fire, Lawrence jumped to his feet and bludgeoned Mr Solomon with an iron poker. Such was the force it bent the metal rod.

The chief constable, who was 50, died the following day at home and Lawrence was charged with murder.

He was tried at Lewes and convicted and hanged outside the county gaol in Horsham.

Soloman is buried in the Old Jewish Burial Ground in Florence Place, Brighton.

Ms Older said: “He was the first Jewish chief police officer. He was extremely well thought of and the people of Brighton lined the streets for his funeral.

“Such was the public feeling at the time that Queen Victoria had a collection for his children.

“He was incredibly popular and he remains so today.”

The plaque, which will be fixed outside his former office at Brighton Town Hall, is being funded by Sussex Police and the local Jewish community.

Architect David Mocatta is best known for designing the original Brighton Station in 1839/40.

Born in 1806, his other notable works include Brighton Regency Synagogue and Haywards Heath Station.

Engineer John Saxby is most notable for his invention of the interlocking system of rail points and signals.

At a time when the railways were growing rapidly, his invention ensured the lines could safely accommodate extra trains.

Ms Older added: “Both plaques will be put up at Brighton Station at a yet to be decided date. Our only stipulation is that the plaques are visible to members of the public.”

Comments (7)

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6:43am Wed 5 Feb 14

jnicho02 says...

There already is a plaque to John Saxby at Brighton Station, in the entrance by Markies, but people probably miss it because it is grey stone. http://openplaques.o
rg/plaques/1077
There already is a plaque to John Saxby at Brighton Station, in the entrance by Markies, but people probably miss it because it is grey stone. http://openplaques.o rg/plaques/1077 jnicho02
  • Score: 5

8:52am Wed 5 Feb 14

Tailgaters Anonymous says...

Maybe I'm getting older and even more cynical but why should there be a blue plaque to mark the murder of a former police chief?
Does that mean that blue plaques will be installed for the several fatal shootings in Sussex by Sussex finest in due course?
Doubt it!
Maybe I'm getting older and even more cynical but why should there be a blue plaque to mark the murder of a former police chief? Does that mean that blue plaques will be installed for the several fatal shootings in Sussex by Sussex finest in due course? Doubt it! Tailgaters Anonymous
  • Score: -14

9:44am Wed 5 Feb 14

John Fallon says...

And there are already two plaques for David Mocatta: http://openplaques.o
rg/search?utf8=✓&p
hrase=David+Mocatta
And there are already two plaques for David Mocatta: http://openplaques.o rg/search?utf8=✓&p hrase=David+Mocatta John Fallon
  • Score: 4

10:35am Wed 5 Feb 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

More waste of public money I see. Why don't the Jewish people pay for it if they want it so badly?
More waste of public money I see. Why don't the Jewish people pay for it if they want it so badly? getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: -12

11:24am Wed 5 Feb 14

Goldenwight says...

Well, I suppose the good people of Brighton are at least proposing local celebrities for this award (even if Mr Solomon's name is spelled incorrectly in the article).

Contrast this with the town of Alresford in Hampshire where the local public toilets are graced by a blue heritage plaque to an un-named group of Russian spies.
Well, I suppose the good people of Brighton are at least proposing local celebrities for this award (even if Mr Solomon's name is spelled incorrectly in the article). Contrast this with the town of Alresford in Hampshire where the local public toilets are graced by a blue heritage plaque to an un-named group of Russian spies. Goldenwight
  • Score: 1

1:08pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Tring says...

Suggestion 1: why not refurbish the existing Saxby plaque, picking out the lettering in gold leaf, to make it legible? With the money saved by not making him a new plaque, this could be done with a number of the slate grey plaques - such as that to Magnus Volk on Dyke Road, which similarly fails to catch the eye.

Suggestion 2: instead of purely commemorating Moccatta at the station, why not include the guy who designed the original platforms and other bits of local railway infrastructure, John Urpeth Rastrick, and - even more importantly - H.E. Wallis, who designed the train shed in 1882-3. This is surely a more remarkable structure than the station building.

Have to say I find marking the spot of Solomon's violent death a bit ghoulish. But perhaps there is nowhere else left standing where his plaque could go.
Suggestion 1: why not refurbish the existing Saxby plaque, picking out the lettering in gold leaf, to make it legible? With the money saved by not making him a new plaque, this could be done with a number of the slate grey plaques - such as that to Magnus Volk on Dyke Road, which similarly fails to catch the eye. Suggestion 2: instead of purely commemorating Moccatta at the station, why not include the guy who designed the original platforms and other bits of local railway infrastructure, John Urpeth Rastrick, and - even more importantly - H.E. Wallis, who designed the train shed in 1882-3. This is surely a more remarkable structure than the station building. Have to say I find marking the spot of Solomon's violent death a bit ghoulish. But perhaps there is nowhere else left standing where his plaque could go. Tring
  • Score: 1

4:50pm Wed 5 Feb 14

upsidedowntuctuc says...

A plaque for H Jarrs??
A plaque for H Jarrs?? upsidedowntuctuc
  • Score: 0

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