2013 Award Winners
The judging committee identified Centenary Commemoration of the crash in Loughshinny Bay of renowned pioneer aviator Harry Hawker on 28 August 1913 as a clear winner of both the Best Overall Event of the week and Most Innovative Event 2013.
To celebrate National Heritage Week, Loughshinny and Rush Historical Society set out to commemorate a significant event in early aviation history. The crash was remembered in local folklore but no details were ever available until now when thorough research was undertaken by the historical society. People from the entire community became involved in the commemoration and were supported by Fingal County Council and the Dublin Airport Authority.
During Heritage Week, Hawker’s epic flight around the British Isles was recreated by fellow Australian, Jeff Boyling, in a 1943 Catalina Flying Boat. This plane, having circled England and Scotland arrived over Loughshinny and flew around the bay on Saturday 24 August. On Sunday 25 August an aerial gymnastics display by two modern light aircraft was held over bay during the commemoration to demonstrate how aviation had progressed since the early years. A model of Hawker’s 1913 seaplane, made by members of the historical society, was also on display. A plaque commemorating hawker’s achievements was unveiled by the First secretary of the Australian Embassy.
Best Children’s Event was the Kids Shipwreck Dig Workshop, organised by Heritage House in Abbeyleix, Co Laois. Heritage House set out to give children an understanding of the archaeology, the skills involved in excavation and the excitement of finding and recording artefacts. The archaeological excavation experience gave the children a chance to get their hands dirty and uncover the past at their own pace. A show and tell at the end of the excavation allowed the children to discuss what they had found and say what they thought each of the artefacts might have been. A treasure hunt in the display area got the children to look at the displays properly so they could answer, draw and map the answers.
Cork Heritage Open Day won Best Interactive Event category. Cork City Council set out to raise awareness of the built heritage of Cork City by arranging for members of the public to gain access to buildings which would not usually be open to the public or would charge a fee. This year, 37 buildings opened their doors to the public and there were over 50 events including guided tours, walks, talks and exhibitions organised on the day. The theme of the 2013 event was exploring the relationship between people and buildings and a DVD featuring interviews with historians, building owners and members of the public on their thoughts and memories associated with the buildings was screened in a number of locations in the city.
Youghal Medieval Festival organised by Youghal Heritage Commitee was judged the Best Event Organised by a Community Group.
Youghal Medieval Festival takes place each year on the first day of National Heritage Week. The event takes place in St. Mary’s College Gardens, a medieval walled garden with the Town Walls surrounding it. The events are themed so as to involve families in activities that will both promote the medieval town and educate both young and ‘older’ visitors in medieval culture. Visitors saw examples of where soldiers lived and fought. A dungeon was presented where visitors experienced the terror of being tied up and tortured. A medieval banqueting table was laid out complete with an apple stuffed in the pigs head. Volunteer archaeologists, historians and local tour guides were available to answer questions.