Students, judges and civic leaders at the speaking competition in the Lichfield Guildhall. Picture: Robert Yardley Photography
Students, judges and civic leaders at the speaking competition in the Lichfield Guildhall. Picture: Robert Yardley Photography

A local competition for students has celebrated its 30th anniversary.

The Michael Fabricant and Arthur Price of England Schools Speaking Competition was held at the Lichfield Guildhall.

The event, which is run along parliamentary lines, sees youngsters from local schools speaking on a topic with the Lichfield MP taking on the role of speaker.

Sir Michael said:

“This marked the 30th anniversary of the start of the competition when in 1994 John Price, the then chairman and managing director of Arthur Price of England, provided and engraved the cups for the first time.

“It has been a Lichfield tradition ever since with his son, Simon, carrying on his father’s tradition.”

Sir Michael Fabricant

The motion this year was ‘that this House believes the UK should aim for a cashless society’ and saw students from The Friary School, King Edward VI School and Lichfield Cathedral arguing against, while Erasmus Darwin Academy opted to support it.

“Each team had to present their arguments and one from each team had to answer two questions from the judges.

“The standard was incredibly high this year and I did not envy the four judges their task.

“But at the end, they decided that Lichfield Cathedral School should win the overall best team prize and Charlie Elwell from King Edward VI School won the best overall speaker award.

“Personally, I thought all of them were brilliant, presented their arguments well and with good humour in front of a packed audience in the Guildhall.”

Sir Michael Fabricant

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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