Graham Clark wins 2021 Prize for Best Paper in Scottish Local History

  25 Nov '21   |  Posted by: Birlinn

Together with the Scottish Local History Forum we are pleased to announce that Dr GRAHAM CLARK has been awarded the Prize for Best Paper in Scottish Local History for 2021. His paper, ‘A Survey of Corrugated-iron Churches in Scotland’ is a fascinating study of these distinctive buildings, which sprung up across Scotland in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The judging panel – Don Martin (journal Editor), Finlay Clark (Chair of the SLHF Advisory Committee) and Paul Bishop (SLHF Chair) – were unanimous in choosing Graham’s paper as 2021’s best. Congratulations, Graham!

Birlinn is proud to sponsor the prize, now in its second year, and to continue to work with an organisation that shares our commitment telling the best stories about Scottish history. We thank Paul Bishop and Don Martin of the Scottish Local History Forum for their support and assistance.

Graham, from the Black Isle and an active member of North Kessock and District Local History Society, said:

“Some years ago I developed a curiosity about corrugated-iron (CI) buildings. It started when I became alarmed that a ‘tin church’ had existed in my local parish during 1908-90, yet little information and only one photograph are known. To determine whether this situation was unique, I searched the historical records for data on Scottish CI churches (and halls and schools).  I discovered that most of the local and national records are fragmentary and offer a poor representation of the historical importance of the enormous numbers and variety of CI buildings erected in Scotland over the last 150 years.  In the hope of attracting others into this under-researched topic, my article provides a historical overview of the surviving CI churches in Scotland and classifies them according to their wider national context.”

The B-listed Dalswinton Barony mission church, Dumfriesshire was manufactured in 1881 by Isaac Dixon & Co of Liverpool as a place of worship for the employees of Dalswinton Estate. It is still in use today.

Paul Bishop, Chair of the Scottish local History Forum, said:

“The Forum is very pleased that we have been able to team up with Birlinn to offer this annual prize.  The judging panel is looking for a paper that makes a real contribution to our understanding of local history, while placing that history into a wider national context. Graham Clark’s paper does exactly that – searching out the local detail so as to provide, as Graham says, a historical overview of surviving corrugated-iron churches nationally. Many congratulations to Graham.”

Further information: Scottish Local History, the journal of the Scottish Local History Forum, is published three times a year and forwarded to the membership, who also receive an electronic newsletter Clish-Clash every two months.

The winning paper appears in the Spring issue (108) of the journal.

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