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IHGS Diamond Competition Winner Announced

News and Events

Monday 2nd August 2021

Thank you to everyone who submitted entries for our IHGS Diamond Essay Competition. And an enormous thanks to Nick Barratt for using his skill and judgement to pick out the worthy winners. The standard was very high and we enjoyed reading them immensley.

We are delighted to announce that:

Marie Palmer with the The Page Family of Liverpool was the winning entry

The runner up was Elizabeth Walne Framlingham corn merchants: the farmers' sons that built a business 1821-1939

Many congratulations to them both.

Marie has asked that her prize of £100, to be donated to a charity of her choice, goes to KIND.

KIND was founded in 1975 and works with disadvantaged and deprived children and their families from across Liverpool and Merseyside, providing activities, opportunities and experiences that show them that that they and life do have more to offer, that they and life can be different. For more information on KIND https://kind.org.uk/

Marie also received £100 IHGS voucher.

We will be publishing the winning and running up entries in our journal Family History.

We are grateful to Nick Barratt for all his hard work. Nick’s comments on the winning entries are below.

Overall, this was an interesting, well-researched and highly relevant collection of essays, each using family history to transport the reader back in time. They would make a great anthology, providing case studies and insights that would attract the interest of social, economic, business and migration historians. It was a pleasure to read such enjoyable stories, as well as admire the depth of the research.

Marie Palmer – this was a very moving account of poverty in Liverpool – gritty, raw and powerful. The story was very well researched and written with layers of social history and context that drew the reader in, allowing them to empathise with the struggles and adversity that Mary and James faced throughout their lives. The poverty and tragedy were brought to life by the quotes and extracts, making this an absorbing and compelling piece of story telling as well as showcasing the research methodology that underpinned it. I was particularly impressed by the honesty of this account, with Mary’s difficulties laid bare by recollections from later generations. Too many family histories turn into a hagiography; this story revealed the lengths people would go to in their struggle to survive.

Elizabeth Walne – this was a masterclass in writing the history of a family business across four generations, with social, economic and local history woven into the genealogy research, which provided the reader with a powerful insight into life in Framlingham through the ages. The contextualisation of the story with some of the key political events – the repeal of the Corn Laws, for example – gave the essay depth and credibility. It was very well written, with some lovely turns of phrase throughout. This was a highly accomplished piece of work.

Thanks again to all who entered the competition and congratulations to Marie Palmer.