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The Eric Morten Award is given annually by The Blackden Trust to the student who has gained the most from the activities of the Trust, and who has also contributed most to its future. 

Photo of: Oonagh Pennington-Wilson receives Eric Morten award

It takes the form of two books in the discipline that the student is studying: one is an antiquarian book and the other is an important modern book.The Blackden Trust celebrates the crafts and skills that have created a unique heritage on a small parcel of land at the heart of Blackden.

This year’s winner is Oonagh Pennington-Wilson, who is studying for a Masters degree in Antiquity with a pathway to Ancient History at the University of Birmingham.  She has helped at numerous Blackden Trust events during the past year and has become a valued tour guide and assistant in the teaching of courses for schools run by Trust.  She was presented with her books at the Friends’ and Benefactors’ Day in August by the highly regarded novelist Alan Garner OBE, one of the founders of the Trust, and Professor Richard Morris OBE. We spoke to Oonagh after the event:

 My time at Blackden has opened my eyes to a whole new world.  I am eternally grateful to the Trust.  It is a haven for creative people and for academics.  I owe them so much; they provide endless support for me and for others.  I have learnt so much from The Blackden Trust over the past year and look forward to the years to come and hope my relationship with the Trust continues.

The award is given in memory of Eric Morten, an antiquarian bookseller and philanthropist.  He enjoyed finding books for his clients, many of whom became personal friends, and he took great pleasure in helping the young by selling them rare books at special prices, and, in some cases giving them the books they needed to gain their professional qualifications.  It is his generosity of spirit and his enthusiasm for bringing about the future that is commemorated in the Eric Morten Award.

Bernard Quaritch, International Antiquarian Booksellers, is honouring his memory by donating the antiquarian book for the award. 

Details of the activities of the Blackden Trust can be found at