Wandsworth Schools Heritage Awards Launched

Prizes up for grabs in a new history competition

Children at the borough’s schools are being urged to take part in a new competition designed to inspire greater knowledge and interest in the borough’s rich history and heritage.

The Wandsworth GLL Schools Heritage Awards are aimed at four age groups - the under eights, eight to ten year-olds, 11 to 16-year-olds and those aged 17 and 18. There will be three prizewinners in each age group.

The winners of each age group can secure a cash prize of £1,000 for their school, sponsored by GLL, the not-for-profit social enterprise that runs Wandsworth’s 11 libraries.

These prizes, along with specially designed medals and certificates, will be presented to the winners by the Mayor of Wandsworth at a special town hall awards ceremony in May.

The initiative is designed to encourage an interest in local history, help young people develop a sense of place and promote teamwork in their research. The competition is open to all to pupils at all the borough’s schools and academies and the closing date for entries is March 23rd. 

To coincide with the launch of the competition a logo (right) has been specially created to celebrate “The story of Wandsworth”. The logo shows a Viking ship and commemorates a 9th Century raid along the Thames to “Wandles Farm” where the raiders lost some of their weapons in the River Wandle.
On the sail of the longboat appear the symbolic 'tears of the Huguenots', which represents the sorrow of French protestant refugees who were forced to flee their homeland because of religious persecution. The Huguenots began arriving in Wandsworth in 1685 and having found sanctuary here began the dyeing, silk weaving, calico printing and hat-making businesses that the borough would became famous for.

The idea for the competition originally came at a community meeting at Ravenstone School in Balham and is now being enthusiastically pursued by keen historian and deputy Mayor of Wandsworth, Cllr Richard Field.

He said: “This will open up an exciting realisation in the rich heritage we find on our own doorsteps and in our streets. It’s a great opportunity for our students to not only experience a taste of our local history but also an understanding of what made Wandsworth borough what it is today.”

School pupils wanting to find out more about the borough’s rich and diverse history can find a wealth of information on the council’s website at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/heritage.

To find out more about the competition and obtain an application form, email Steve Murphy at smurphy@wandsworth.gov.uk.


January 22, 2015