YouTuber and former Durham student Jack Edwards honoured with blue plaque on Bailey

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St Cuthbert’s Society has revealed that a historic blue plaque has been installed next to YouTuber and alumnus Jack Edwards’ first year bedroom.

Mr Edwards has over 1.3 million subscribers and is described as YouTube’s “resident librarian”. Whilst he is most well known today across “BookTok”, “Bookstagram” and “Booktube”, he originally posted vlogs documenting his university experiences as an English Literature student at Durham.

The plaque, revealed in a special ceremony on Easter Sunday, commemorates the year he spent living in St Cuthbert’s Society’s Bailey accommodation, where he produced his “University vlogs” and inadvertently encouraged hundreds of budding English Literature students to rank the College first when applying for Durham.

He will join Daisy Edis, a pioneering photographer, and Mary Gibson, Dora Heslop, and Winifred Hindmarch, the first female graduates of Durham University, amongst others to be recognised for their work with a blue plaque in Durham City.

Mr Edwards is the first YouTuber to have a blue plaque dedicated to them. The plaques are awarded by the City of Durham Parish Council for people who have “made a definite contribution to the history of Durham City.”

It’s such an incredible honour to have a blue plaque commemorating my time living at House 12, especially because usually someone has to have been dead for 20 years in order to receive one

Jack Edwards

Revealing the plaque to the public, a member of the Parish Council said: “We are delighted to be able to honour Durham’s rich heritage in this way. Every year we involve our local residents in nominating historical figures, with many figures from across the City’s history being celebrated in the process, yet we have made the very tricky decision to whittle it down to the final few.”

Mr Edwards beat other potential nominees including Ed Gamble, Gabby Logan, Jeremy Vine, and former Chancellor, Bill Bryson. 

Although Mr Edwards was unable to attend the grand reveal as he is currently away on a writing and reading retreat, he expressed his gratitude to all College staff and other patrons. He told Palatinate: “It’s such an incredible honour to have a blue plaque commemorating my time living at House 12, especially because usually someone has to have been dead for 20 years in order to receive one. 

“I’m grateful to Durham Council for making an exception, and honouring the location where I threw up on myself after chugging a jug of snakebite during Hungary’s performance at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. ‘Viszlát Nyár’ was robbed.”  

During the grand reveal of the blue plaque, a 24-hour marathon of Jack Edwards’ YouTube videos was played in Cuth’s Bar, where patrons, including local parish councillors, were encouraged to do a shot every time Mr Edwards said “Durham”.

St Cuthbert’s Society JCR have also recently passed some motions to commemorate the awarding of the plaque, including “all future JCR meetings shall be presided over by a cardboard cut-out of Jack Edwards”, and “all future Presidents of the Society shall be sworn in with their hand hovering over a copy of The Uni-Verse by Jack Edwards”. 

Every year we involve our local residents in nominating historical figures, with many figures from across the City’s history being celebrated in the process, yet we have made the very tricky decision to whittle it down to the final few

City of Durham Parish Council

College kitchen staff have similarly joined in the celebrations, renaming the breakfast toaster, which was previously named after Cuth’s alumna Charlotte Riley, in Mr Edwards’ honour. One member of staff said: “Jack used to really enjoy his toast and boiled egg on a morning, and we’re still proud to have the same toaster that he himself used to make breakfast with, that likely still has some crumbs from a very slice that he ate.” Since this revelation, the toaster has been stolen, and Palatinate is unable to verify its whereabouts.

However, not everyone is pleased by the plaque. The student who currently lives in this bedroom, who wishes to remain anonymous to protect their safety, exclusively told Palatinate that they were worried about potential “paparazzi” taking photos of their bedroom window. 

“I like Jack Edwards, but people have started asking me for book recommendations from my bedroom window,” they continued, “I study physics, I haven’t picked up a book since school.”

Another student has criticised the placing of the plaque, which is placed one story above street level, claiming “no one can actually read it.”

In response to this, the Council has announced plans to install a set of tourist binoculars on the Bailey, to ensure everyone is able to read the sign and celebrate Mr Edwards’ achievements. The binoculars will cost 20p to use and the proceeds will go towards filling every college library with books referenced in Mr Edwards’ videos.

Image: Luke Alsford; Eritha via Wikimedia Commons;

5 thoughts on “YouTuber and former Durham student Jack Edwards honoured with blue plaque on Bailey

  • At proper universities blue plaques are dedicated only to important figures like Nobel Prize science laureates and other pioneering figures. Speaks volumes about the worth (or the lack thereof) of Durham University.

    Reply
    • It speaks volumes about your observational skills that you didn’t notice this was a satire piece published on April 1st. I think you should read a bit more.

      Reply
  • The only achievement of Durham University is the realistic emulation of Oxbridge traditions. Its just like oxbridge without the history, prestige, brains, IQ points, tutorial / supervisions, world-changing achievements, Nobel Prizes, sporting traditions, admissions interviews, standards, realistic collegiate system, international reputation, etc

    Reply
    • I see. April 1st. Most amusing.

      Reply
  • Great news!!
    Do you have to be a giraffe to read it?!?!?!
    Cheers

    Reply

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