Prestwick Academy wins school's history challenge

 24 June 2019  |  


A journey into South Ayrshire's past

A journey into South Ayrshire's past

A team of young historians from Prestwick Academy have just won the 2019 school history challenge with a project on World War II flying hero Wally Lashbrook.

The theme for this year's challenge was 'Sons and Daughters of South Ayrshire' and although Wally was born in Devon, the budding historians discovered he lived in Ayr for most of his life.

The young people created a display and PowerPoint presentation, which followed Wally's many adventures. He was shot down by the Germans in 1943, escaped from the wreckage of his aircraft and went on the run before being picked up by the French resistance. Wally flew all types of aircraft and he was the first airline pilot to fly a commercial aircraft into Prestwick Airport.

The group from Prestwick Academy were up against teams from the other South Ayrshire Secondary Schools who also came up with some inspirational sons and daughters.

Marr College investigated Christina de Brus. She was the sister of Robert the Bruce, and played a key role in the Scottish Wars of Independence. Carrick Academy also looked at the significant contribution of the Bruce family in shaping Scotland. 

Girvan Academy looked at the colourful life of Capt. North Dalrymple-Hamilton who fought with the navy during World War II and then went on to serve on the Royal Yacht Britannia. He was custodian of the family estate at Bargany near Girvan.

The team from Kyle Academy picked Maggie Osborne as their daughter of South Ayrshire. Maggie was reputed to be a witch who lived in Ayr; her story reflects the paranoia of the witch trials during the reign of King James VI of Scotland.

All the teams did really well, but Prestwick Academy impressed with the depth of their research and their presentation skills.

All those taking part received certificates to thank them for their hard work.

Councillor William Grant, Children and Young People Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: "Once again the young people really impressed with their research and they clearly demonstrated why their chosen subject still influences people today.

"Connecting with the rich and varied history of South Ayrshire is also a great way for the young people to learn new skills such as being able to present information which will hopefully stand them in good stead for the future."

All the presentations featured at the recent History Fair in Ayr and received very positive comments.

The challenge is run by the History Network. The network is made up of South Ayrshire teachers who share resources and advice and get together to organise events and challenges which promote learning.