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Pupils set to turn back time for local history competition


The Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane has re-launched an English Civil War art and poetry competition for young people in the borough after it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Cllr Diane Taylor is inviting all schools and sixth form students in the borough to produce a piece of artwork or a poem relating to the Battle of Basing House in 1645.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Hampshire Cultural Trust and Hampshire County Council are co-running the educational project which commemorates the 375th anniversary of the battle in 2020. Pupils will learn how the nationally important historic site at Old Basing was besieged and destroyed by Oliver Cromwell. Basing House was the last Royalist stronghold in the south east and a key site in the battle between King and Parliament at the end of the English Civil War.

Art entries for the competition can be in any form, for example drawing, photography, sculptures and music, together with poems, and should be inspired by Basing House and/or the English Civil War. The closing date is Friday 12 March 2021 and judging will take place on Friday 19 March 2021. There are three categories – primary, secondary and sixth form. Subject to coronavirus restrictions being lifted, all the winners will be invited to join the Mayor at a special opening of the English Civil War Art and Poetry Exhibition at Basing House, where they will receive a Mayor’s plaque and an annual family pass to Basing House. The winners’ schools will also each receive a free educational visit to Basing House, potentially including a travel bursary.

Cllr Taylor said: “The borough has a rich and fascinating history and 2020 marked an important milestone with the 375th anniversary of the Battle of Basing House. We weren’t able to go ahead with the planned events in the summer due to the pandemic, but we are now pleased to re-launch the English Civil War art and poetry competition. The project is a perfect opportunity for young people to learn more about the English Civil War and I hope as many pupils as possible will contribute to the art and poetry competition – it is a chance to stretch their creative talents.”

For ull information and inspirational local history lesson plans visit https://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/english-civil-war-competition

(Photo credit: Hampshire Cultural Trust)

Zoe McLaren





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