Nestled in the heart of the country, Yorkshire boasts a history as diverse and rich as its landscapes. From ancient megalithic wonders to the transformative era of the Industrial Revolution and beyond, the tapestry of Yorkshire’s past is a fascinating journey through time. It is against this background that the Yorkshire Society has launched the 2023/24 Harry Gration History Prize celebrating the region’s rich history and the legacy of beloved broadcaster, journalist, and former history teacher, the late Harry Gration.
A captivating narrative
Ancient monuments, dating back thousands of years, whisper tales of prehistoric communities and their connection to the land. As time marched on, Yorkshire witnessed the ebb and flow of Roman legions leaving their mark and the region became a melting pot of cultures and influences, setting the stage for its future prominence. Fast forward to the medieval era and Yorkshire’s castles bear witness to the turbulent times of battles and conquests. The Wars of the Roses, with their epicentre at Towton, added another layer to Yorkshire’s complex history.
The dawn of the Industrial Revolution heralded a new chapter for Yorkshire. Cities like Leeds and Sheffield became industrial powerhouses, fuelled by innovations in textiles and steel. The landscape transformed as mills and factories sprouted, shaping the livelihoods of generations. Iconic steam locomotives, perfected in the collieries of Yorkshire, symbolised the region’s pivotal role in the railway boom. The Settle-Carlisle line, weaving through the picturesque Yorkshire Dales, stands as a testament to both engineering prowess and the beauty of the landscape.
In the 20th century, Yorkshire faced the challenges of two world wars, with its people displaying resilience and fortitude. Post-war, the region continued to evolve, embracing modernity while preserving its historical treasures.
Today, Yorkshire stands as a living museum, where ancient ruins, medieval architecture, and industrial heritage coexist harmoniously. From megalithic mysteries to the clanking of looms, Yorkshire’s history is a captivating narrative of resilience, innovation, and the enduring spirit of its people. It’s a tale that continues to unfold, inviting visitors and residents alike to explore the boundless richness of Yorkshire’s past.
The Harry Gration History Prize
The Harry Gration History Prize is a captivating competition, which invites history enthusiasts of all ages, from young budding historians to seasoned amateurs, to embark on a journey of original research exploring the rich and fascinating history and heritage of Yorkshire. From the earliest days of the contest to the present day, participants have been encouraged to weave together the captivating stories that have shaped this remarkable region for generations.
Entrants are invited to create compelling short essays based on their original research, allowing for a diverse exploration of Yorkshire’s rich past. The competition, conducted in collaboration with the University of Huddersfield, ensures that submissions receive expert attention. A distinguished panel of Yorkshire writers and historians will assess entries, providing participants with an opportunity to showcase their passion and research.
Prizes that echo the spirit of Yorkshire
Winners will not only receive a share of a £250 cash prize but will also be awarded a prestigious certificate. Furthermore, the winning essays will be published on the Yorkshire Society’s official website, granting winners a platform to share their insights with a broader audience. Winners will also enjoy media coverage of their success and an exclusive invitation to attend the Society’s Heritage Summit in Hull.
The competition features two categories to accommodate participants of all ages and experience levels:
- Young historians – open to individuals under 18, with essays ranging from a minimum of 1,000 words to a maximum of 5,000 words.
- Open competition – designed for those aged 18 and above, with no upper age limit. Essays in this category should span a minimum of 1,500 words to a maximum of 10,000 words, allowing for in-depth exploration.
Entries need to be received by 1 March 2024 and the award ceremony takes place in the historic surroundings of Hull Minster on Saturday 11 May 2024.
Aspiring historians eager to participate can access comprehensive competition details and entry guidelines on the Yorkshire Society’s official website under the ‘History Prize’ section.
Join the Yorkshire Society in celebrating the vibrant history of the region and pay tribute to Harry Gration’s enduring legacy. Together, let’s continue to unveil the captivating stories that have shaped this remarkable region for generations.