Youngsters urged to look to past

The Duke of Northumberland, Tom Pattinson and Adrian Ions at the official relaunch of the museum.
The Duke of Northumberland, Tom Pattinson and Adrian Ions at the official relaunch of the museum.

An Alnwick museum is launching a new award scheme to encourage young people to find out more about the history of the town.

The Bailiffgate Museum has launched its own prize project in recognition of one of its founders.

The Bailiffgate Awards has been set up for children and young people aged seven to 18 and is to acknowledge the contribution of former museum chairman Tom Pattinson, the Gazette’s gardening correspondent.

He was one of a group of six enthusiasts responsible for the opening of the museum in 2002 after years of planning.

Museum operations manager Roy Bearpark said: “The trustees wanted to recognise the work of Tom Pattinson in setting up the museum and seeing it successfully through its first few years.

“They also wanted to encourage young people to take an interest in local history and, as this is also something that Tom is keen on, the award seemed like the ideal way to combine both aims.

“Tom is actively involved in setting up the competition and will be one of the judges.

“The scope is wide so that all ages and abilities will be able to take part.”

Participants will be invited to select something of particular interest or relevance to them and the locality. That could include, for example, a place, building, structure, person, industry or event in the Alnwick district.

Schools in the district are being contacted to see if they would like to take part in the contest, and individuals living in the catchment area will also be eligible to take part. Shortlisted entries will be displayed at the museum next May.

After the success of the inaugural awards is assessed, it will be decided how often the competition should be run.

The competition will be judged in March. There will be two age groups, one for those aged seven to 11 and another for those aged 12 to 18.

The overall winner will also have the chance to be help decide the theme for the next competition.

The judges will be looking for evidence of research, an imaginative and inspirational approach and historical accuracy, among other requirements.

Entrants will be able to use different media such as art, photography, a DVD or text, but creativity will be encouraged to allow them to be as imaginative as possible.

Forms for the competition and further information will be sent to schools, and they will be available from the museum from Monday. For details, call Roy on 01665 605847.