The English Department held its annual prize giving in the Langham Pavilion on Monday 19 March. The Alastair Cook Room was a highly appropriate venue as our special guest was cricket writer and journalist Emma John. She entertained us with the tale of how, despite growing up in the Luton area, she became fanatical about Lancashire County Cricket Club and, in particular, Mike Atherton. Emma encouraged the boys to pursue their passions and write about them.
All the nominees for prizes spoke about their entries and there was a chance for guests to enjoy reading the boys’ work over refreshments. The Archie Wellbelove Prize, which is awarded to a Fourth, Remove or Fifth Form boy for the best discursive essay on at least one text not studied in class, was presented to Fifth Former Matthew Lewis for his exploration of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Benjamin Wilshaw-Quinn in the Upper Sixth won The Fowles Prize for his excellent examination of Tolkien’s use of setting.
Also recognised were Fifth Former Jamie Williams who won the Detweiler competition in February for his spectacular piece ‘Those Charred Remains’ (a poignant and deftly-expressed reflection on the Grenfell Tower fire) and Fourth Former Ethan Ofosu who was was runner-up for his compelling poem ‘A Flicker of Hope’.
After the formal proceedings, boys, parents and teachers had the opportunity to chat with Emma John about journalism, publishing, sport and her latest project involving bluegrass music. This was a convivial event celebrating the quality and creativity of boys’ writing.