Calling all children aged from five to 11 - Scarborough's historic cliff lift wants your poems - here's where to send them

Despite closing on the 20th of March due to the Covid-19 pandemic Central Tramway on the South Bay is pressing ahead with its  annual poetry competition for primary school children,

By Sue Wilkinson
Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 9:06 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 9:06 am
Children's poems wanted
Children's poems wanted

The competition is open to youngsters aged from five to 11 and entries can be emailed.

This is the third year that the 138-year old cliff railway has run the event. Last yeari t received almost 300 entries from local schools.

The winning poems will be displayed in the carriages when they reopen, and the winning poems in each age category will win prizes from local attractions including Scarborough Castle and the North Bay Heritage Railway, and books from the local Literacy Trust.

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Amy Bartle at the Tramway said: “We are very sad not to be seeing all our usual visitors over the Easter period in Scarborough, it is usually such a fun and vibrant time to be here.

"We hope that local children can use their imaginations and remember a happier time, or perhaps something they’re looking forward to doing when we’re able to enjoy going out again. We might not be free to go where we want to at the moment, but our imaginations are always free and that’s where poetry can take us.

Children are invited to write a short poem about a memorable day out in Scarborough or ride on the Tram. We have lots of tips and ideas for getting started on our website.”

Central Tramway has been working with the Literacy Trust and the Children’s University encouraging children in the Scarborough area to read more and learn ­about their local area.

Local poet and author Felix Hodcroft is the judge once again and was impressed by the standard in previous years.

He has been offering ideas and tips to help children begin writing: “Writing something and then working on it to make it as clearly and powerfully expressed as possible is a fun and mind-stretching thing to do at a time when we're all looking for things to keep us from boredom.

"Think back to something you've done or seen in the last few months that's made an impression on you and try to recall, describe and express that effect in words. Doing this will also help you understand better why it made an impression!”

Felix is also keen that children draw on their current experience during the lock-down: “We're living through a startlingly new and unexpected experience that will rate a mention in the history books a hundred years from now! How does it feels to be here? What is different, strange, scary, even (dare we say it?) pleasanter in how people are behaving, how the world feels and looks. Write it down now for your own grandchildren to marvel at.”

Entries should be emailed to [email protected] by May 22 along with the name, age, school and a contact email or phone number for a parent or guardian of the child.

The winner will be announced on June 7. Full details can be found on the Tramway website at