NEXT year marks the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Evesham, a conflict which established the first recognised gathering known as Parliament.
And with voters also going to the polls next May to cast their vote in the General Election, The Observer is proud to unveil a major writing competition for students in Evesham and Pershore.
‘What Democracy Means to Me’ will ask students at The De Montfort School, Prince Henry’s High School and Pershore High School for their take on democracy and politics 750 years on from the death of Simon De Montfort.
The Battle of Evesham in August 1265 saw de Montfort and Prince Edward do battle and De Montfort lose his life but not before he established a ‘Parliament’.
To mark next year’s medieval festival on August 8 and 9, The Observer has teamed up with festival organisers JTT Events for the ambitious project.
Articles should be no longer than 350 words and can be on any aspect of democracy in modern day Britain.
Teachers at all three schools will compile the best entries before handing over the task of picking the winners to a panel of
Evesham’s MP Sir Peter Luff, Pershore’s MP Harriett Baldwin, event organiser Antonia Coles from JTT Events, a member of the Simon De Montfort Society, a schools representative and Observer editor Rob George will be tasked the picking the
winning entries in each category.
There are three age categories: 13 to 14 year-olds, 15 to 16 year-olds and for sixth form students aged 16 to 18.
All of the winning entries will be published in the Observer in the lead up to the festival itself and the winners will also be
invited to spend a day in Parliament with the respective town’s MPs.
Observer editor Rob George, said: “2015 is a significant year for Evesham with the Battle of Evesham celebrations likely to be among the biggest the town has ever seen.”
“It also marks 750 years since the birth of democracy and what better way to celebrate than ask young people, the voters of tomorrow, how they see democracy and politics today.”
“After all, the decisions being made today will play a significant part in their future. Come and take part and make your voices heard!”
Visit @BoEvesham on Twitter or www.facebook.com/battleofevesham for more information on next year’s event.
Closing date for entries is Friday, December 5 with judging to take place in February 2015.