The Archive Awards

The history group offers an annual trophy and prizes for the best local history projects.

Projects can be in any format — written, pictorial, audio or video — and don’t have to be weighty academic theses: they could be about a family tree, recordings of older residents, research into local documents or simply drawings of village buildings.

Entries are invited from individuals, groups or families, and projects by or involving children will be especially welcome: the judges will take age into account when making their decisions. Winning entries are featured in The Archive and on this website.

The entry deadline for the awards is the last Sunday in August.  Entries should be delivered to Phil Hunt at Ivy Cottage, Barningham.

Previous winners:

The 2022 Award went to Jim Sadler for his history of Dalton. Highly commended were Phil Hunt for his statistical analysis of Barningham census returns 1841-1921 and Jon Smith for his issue of The Flyer commemorating the life of Neil Turner.

The 2021 Award went to Jon Smith for his book Round the World. Highly commended were [details required – anyone help?].

There were no awards in 2019 or 2020 because of Covid restrictions.

The 2018 Award was won by Linda Sherwood, her third successive award, for her study of a Gayles property. Highly commended were John Hay for his story of a long-lost letter, Ann Orton for her history of the local Band of Hope, and Phil Hunt for his history of County Durham MPs.

The 2017 Award was won by Linda Sherwood for her research into the Johnson family. Highly commended were John Hay for his account of a local pottery company, Phil Hunt for his study of Nor Beck, Ann Orton for a history of Barningham Reading Rooms, and Jon Smith for his research into Victorian duellist Harry Milbank.

The 2016 Award was won by Linda Sherwood for her research into historical links between Gayles and Sydney, Australia. Highly commended were Jon Smith for his project on the Victoriuan detective Ralph Snowden and John Hay for his research into mediaeval costume and currency.

The 2015 Award was shared by John Hay for his research into Mill Hill Farm and Jon Smith for his publications produced during his chairmanship 2009-2015. Highly commended were Linda Sherwood for her history of Dalton & Gayles WI and Ann Orton for her history of women in Teesdale. The junior award was won by James Terrill for his research into WW1.

The 2014 Award was won by Phil Hunt for his research into the Poor Laws and local workhouses. Highly commended were Ann Orton’s project on the diaries of Alexina Milbank and John Hay’s research into Barningham’s early days.

The 2013 Award was won by Ann Orton — her second trophy — for a project on Dalton Mill. Highly commended were Phil Hunt’s history of Barningham school charities and John Hay’s research into local postcards.

The 2012 Award went to Phil Hunt for his project on the 1846 plan to build a railway through Dalton, Newsham, Barningham and Scargill — and why it never happened. Highly commended was Ann Orton for her profile of Augustus Sussex Milbank (1827-1887).

The 2011 award went to Ed Simpson for his research into field barns around Barningham including the discovery that at least one was medieval. Highly commended were Ann Orton for her research into local Penny Readings in Victorian days, and Evie Ridgway for her census of people living in Barningham today.

The 2010 award went to Ann Orton for her history of the Wesleyan chapel and methodists in Barningham. Highly commended were ten-year-olds Evie Ridgway, who produced a video of life in the village today, and James Terrill, who investigated the history of mole-catchers in the area. James’ entry was featured in Archive 11; Evie’s video can be seen at — just type ‘Barningham’ in the Search box and up it comes.

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