Bringing Quirky History to Life with Alternative Heritage

If you live in the UK, there’s no way you won’t have seen an English Heritage blue plaque somewhere or other. These official celebrations link notable figures from the past with the buildings in which they lived and worked, yet they can only be commissioned for a proposed recipient twenty years after their death, and through very strict criteria.

With Hull and the surrounding area having so many quirky achievements and interesting characters, we decided to launch our own plaques in the form of Alternative Heritage. Working with Scribes Digital Print, our team of mavericks compiled a list of people and places that deserve being put in the spotlight. Whilst some are factual, others are funny fictional events connected with local lingo, such as “On This Spot 1969: In a Hull dialect triple-whammy, a young lad is overheard saying ‘me mam chowed at me for twagging off’. Launched in February, at first we didn’t tell anyone that it was our agency behind the plaques’ mysterious appearance.

The only clue was the Drunk Animal Creative Studio rooster at the bottom of each one, which got people wondering about the creative minds responsible. Following tons of social media engagement, we announced that we were the tongue-in-cheek culprits, which immediately resulted in an interview with Burnsy on BBC Radio Humberside, some great features in national Daily Mail, LadBible, the Hull Daily Mail, praise from local councilors, and much more excited chatter on every digital platform there is.

Our CEO, Calvin Innes, came up with the idea and loves how much the public has got involved: “It took a lot of work, as we had to get permission from building owners whilst keeping it all under wraps, plus the installation of each one had to be done in the middle of the night when no one was around. The surprise factor was incredible, with people around the city spotting them the following morning and scratching their heads.”

Due to everything we do for clients revolving around specific briefs and goals, we wanted to do something that was entirely us. Alternative Heritage perfectly reflects our team’s innovative and energetic way of working, simultaneously treating residents and visitors to something totally unique that gives insight into the region’s strong personality and spirit.

There are currently nineteen plaques dotted around Hull and other areas, such as the Dry Pool Bridge one, which honours John Venn (Hull Mathematician, Philosopher and Anglican priest) and his epic strong beard in a clever design. There are plenty more in the pipeline and we’re getting loads of suggestions, so if you have something that you think should be celebrated you’re very welcome to pitch an idea.

The only restriction is that it has to be something worthwhile and genuine,” says Calvin. “Other than that, we’re always up for hearing from people and sharing stories that may have been forgotten.”

On top of this, we have tons of other imaginative projects planned for the near future, so make sure to keep up to date with all things Drunk Animal by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.