The Blue Plaque is located at the former site of the British United Shoe Machinery Co Ltd, 160 Belgrave Road, Leicester. The plaque reads:
CHARLES BENNION, JP
Presented Bradgate Park to the people of Leicestershire in 1928
Co-founder of Pearson and Bennion Ltd, later the British United Shoe Machinery Co Ltd, which was on this site 1899-1984
Charles Bennion was born in 1857, the son of a farmer. His career began with an apprenticeship at Crewe railway works, followed by a period at sea, as a ship's engineer. On his return to England he became involved in shoe machinery manufacture, eventually settling in Leicester in the 1880s. He soon went into partnership with a Leeds man, Marshall Pearson. In 1899, Pearson and Bennion Ltd. merged with the United Shoe Machinery Company of America to form the British United Shoe Machinery Co Ltd. Charles Bennion was managing director of the company from 1899 until his death in 1929.
Bradgate Park, 850 acres of outstanding historic beauty, was put up for sale by its owners in 1925. The park had been offered to Leicester for public use, but it proved difficult to raise the money needed to buy the land. Charles Bennion came to the rescue. He purchased the land, and Bradgate Park was formally presented to the people of Leicestershire on 29 December 1928. Since then, Bradgate Park has been one of the most popular attractions in Leicestershire and now attracts more than one million visitors each year.