Winner of Great Debate 2024: Emma Crow

By: Jo Chapman

Great Debate finalists 2024
Emma Crow and fellow finalists at the Great Debate 2024

National debate for schools

The Historical Association recently announced the winner of the Great Debate 2024Emma Crow from Broxburn Academy, Broxburn, West Lothian. 

The Old Edinburgh Club was asked to provide a judge for the Scottish Finals and we were represented by Jo Chapman.

Jo and her fellow judges selected Emma and we are absolutely delighted to be able to congratulate Emma on her overall victory.

The final took place at the Vicars’ Hall in Windsor Castle on 23 March 2024, with 22 finalists representing various regions across the UK. Each finalist had previously participated in a regional competition and one of three semi-final stages.

This year’s question for debate was: “Which historical place or person from your local area deserves greater recognition?”

Speakers delved into the rich local history of their countries and regions, exploring diverse and singular narratives to identify individuals or places that have significantly shaped our world. They presented their arguments without props or slides, relying solely on their research and understanding of their chosen topics. Judges posed relevant questions to each student at the end of their talks.

The winning talk recounted the captivating story of Mary Patterson from Edinburgh, one of the victims of the infamous grave robbers and murderers William Burke and William Hare during the early 19th century.

The runners-up covered compelling subjects:

  • Women and children killed in the Channel Islands during the Reformation
  • Mental health reform in Lincolnshire
  • The healing properties of Wimberry Moss

All finalists’ talks will be accessible for viewing after the spring holidays. Additionally, many participants have graciously agreed to have their talks documented. The Historical Association will publish many of the participants’ talks on a dedicated section of their website to celebrate Local and Community History Month in May 2024.

Jo Chapman from Old Edinburgh Club and fellow judges at the Scottish Heat of the Great Debate 2024

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