Scarborough's cliff lift poetry competition goes global - and winners announced

Central Tramway Company, Scarborough, has announced the winners of its poetry competition for children after being surprised by several entries from overseas.

By Sue Wilkinson
Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 5:56 pm
Central Tramway
Central Tramway

In its third year, the competition is usually run for schools and children in North Yorkshire with the support of the Literacy Trust Hub in the region, to encourage local children to be creative with words and language. Due to the pandemic, the competition was promoted exclusively online this year and reached a wider audience including children from around the country and abroad.

Amy Bartle at the Tramway said; “The poetry competition has been a really fun part of our community engagement programme in recent years. We weren’t sure whether to continue this year as it was such a challenging time for everyone, but, on reflecti,on, we felt that this was a unique opportunity to encourage children to express their experience of the world in a different way, so we invited them to write about whatever they wanted to and were amazed at the response.”

The three winners were: Nayara Gondar Aboo, of St. Mary's Catholic Primary School, Loughborough, in the five to seven category; Ollie McCarthy, of Brookside Primary School, Stockport, in the eight to nine category; and Tamsyn Sayles of Four Mark's Primary School, Hampshire, in the 10 to 11 category.

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Sophie Moan of Croftway Academy, Blyth, won a special merit award in recognition of the poetry book she had written about her experience of lockdown. Overseas entries came from as far away as India and Saudi Arabia.

The competition was supported by local attractions including the North Bay Heritage Railway and Attractions, Scarborough Castle and the Scarborough Museums Trust.

Felix Hodcroft, local poet and author, was once again the judge of the competition and was overwhelmed by the quality of the submissions this year. He said: " It was so exciting to see in these young writers such a range of topics and styles - everything from comedy to tragedy, from rhymed stanzas to free verse, from celebrations of the world around us to gripping horror stories.

"There were some excellent poems about the lockdown and those lockdown poems will be a long-lasting memento of these times.

But it's equally important to say that other entrants steered clear of the lockdown and showed that they were well able to think about the world – especially the natural world - beyond these difficult times. I think that both approaches are equally important and I was delighted to see both reflected in the entries. I congratulate all the entrants on their imagination, their creativity and, on many occasions, the striking maturity of their vision."

Central Tramway has been closed during the pandemic but is anticipating reopening at the beginning of July, on or before July 5.

The winning poems will be displayed in the carriages during the summer, but can also be viewed on the Central Tramway website at: centraltramway.co.uk