In the second annual essay competition organised jointly by Friends of Dronfield Station (FoDS) and Dronfield Henry Fanshawe School the winner was Tom Finlayson who wrote an imaginative and well researched essay. Tom was presented with a certificate marking his achievement and the first prize of £100 by Town Mayor Councillor Lilian Deighton at a ceremony at Dronfield Station on Monday November 2019. Also at the station were Lee Rowley MP and Martin Cooper, newly appointed headteacher of Henry Fanshawe School.
FoDS members Philip Brightmore and Jan Alexander who judged the competition said that the winner and the two runners up had demonstrated an impressive grasp of history in their entries. They thought that Tom had written a well thought out and researched essay, and like many of the other students he is a credit to his school. Jan added that 160 students entered the competition and the standard of entries was extremely high, but felt that Tom’s essay edged it above second place Harvey Jenkinson and third place Autumn Spencer. The two runners up received prizes of £50 and £30 respectively.
For this year’s competition the students were allowed to write a short story as opposed to a traditional essay; the only stipulation being that their stories had to feature trains. All three stories were based in the days of steam. Tom’s story was about strangers getting into conversation on a train trip to the seaside, but it had a surprise twist at the end. Harvey unearthed a little known fact about the royal family in the nineteenth century in his tale based around Dronfield station. The story of young girls being evacuated from London during the Second World War also featured Dronfield in Autumn’s story.
In making the presentation to the winner and the two runners up, Councillor Deighton said that it was encouraging to see that our young people are so well informed and thoughtful, and prepared to use their imagination to produce three very high quality pieces of work. Lee Rowley added that he hoped that the essay competition would continue to cement a positive relationship between FoDS and the local community. Martin Cooper thanked FoDS for giving the school an opportunity to take part in such an interesting and useful project, and for looking after the station and making it a much valued and attractive facility.