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Summer 2013 Newsletter

‘What do I like about Harpenden’

The Harpenden Society Primary Schools Competition

The Society's primary schools competition, the outcome and results of which were reported at Celebration 2013, attracted well over 1000 entries from eleven of the town's thirteen primary schools. The expert panel of judges made 42 awards and every single child who entered has received a certificate.

Each school won awards – and each school has been rewarded with a W.H.Smith voucher, with a generous discount provided by the company, while fonehouse, a new Harpenden business in Leyton Green providing mobile phone services, kindly gave three mobile phone prizes that were presented to the three schools that had the most entries. These were Grove Junior, Manland Primary and St. Dominic. There were fifteen categories. There were three divisions by age, fives to sevens, sevens to nines and nines to elevens,  and five by medium, namely, art, photography, drama, music and creative writing.

All addressed the question 'What do I like about Harpenden'. The purpose of the competition was twofold. One was to alert schools and, through the schools, parents and others to the work of The Society. The other, and much more important aim, was to stimulate youngsters to think clearly and imaginatively about their immediate environment. Such has been the enthusiasm of teachers and children that plans are already being laid to make this an annual event.

The exhibition of winning entries at Celebration 2013 was the subject of considerable attention among those attending. 'We were bowled over by the enthusiasm and the imagination of the children and the gifted quality of their teachers', said Eric Midwinter, chairman of the eight-strong panel of judges.   

Among other encouraging comments from the judges, Diana Godden said 'we particularly enjoyed the entries that showed originality and creativity';  Amanda Thomas  said 'what a treat to be able to judge so much young writing talent' and Vicky Evans said 'the finalists conveyed the essence of Harpenden in impressive and colourful style.'

Three teachers from The Grove Junior School collected prizes on behalf of their pupils From left to right, Pippa Bremner (Co- Head), Yvonne Smith (Art Co-ordinator) and Janice Tearle (Co-Head) 

The Judges at the Harpenden House Hotel on March 19th

Left to right above: Jeanette Lendon, Proprietor, Cocoon Photography. Diana Godden, Harpenden Evening Decorative and Fine Arts Society. Eric Midwinter, Chairman and Co-convenor  The Harpenden Society Education and Leisure Working Group, Rachel Tuckley, Education and Leisure Working Group. Andrew Wilson, Proprietor, A & K Wilson Art Gallery. Vicky Evans, Education and Leisure Working Group. Ron Taylor Education and Leisure Working Group. Amanda Thomas, Author and Historian.

A beautifully written prize winning poem

by Emma from Grove Juniors, Harpenden


Mr City and Miss Country,

Were walking out one day,

When, like seeds on a dandelion,

They were suddenly blown away.


They collided to make,

Something very new,

Something quite original,

And brilliant, too.


It had sweet little Thorns,                (Thorns sweets)

And presently grew Threads,           (Threads craft & gifts)

As many flowers as a florist,            (Perry florist flowers)

All green and red.


It then grew bits of lettuce,              (Slug & Lettuce)

That many a slug would eat,

And below a funnily placed green stag,   (Hertfordshire library)

All creatures would sit and read.


Soon, inside the thing,

A large object stood,

Cries came – ‘Hip Hip Hurray!’

And ‘That show was very good!‘    (The Public Halls)


Not long and splashes and screams could be heard,

And everywhere around,

Jaunty music would play

While footsteps ran up and down.     (The Leisure centre)


Before long, more voices could be heard,

Detached from their owners,

Laughs and shouts and ‘Be my friends

And ‘Children, please focus!‘              (Schools)


There are so many attractions,

The list is very long,

So long that if I put everything in,

This poem would go on….and on……and on….


Something as remarkable as the thing,

Has to have a name,

Being called something is rather essential,

If you are to rise to fame.


There were many name ideas,

Like ‘Hertford’ and ‘St Alban’

But it was finally decided

‘Behold Harpenden!’


Participating Schools

Crabtree Infants

Crabtree Junior

Grove Infants

Grove Junior

High Beeches Primary

Manland Primary

Roundwood Primary

Sauncey Wood Primary

St Dominic RC Primary

St. Nicholas Primary

Wood End School

Examples of the children’s creative work

To see the results of the 2013 Schools’ Competition click here.