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Hail Harpendonia! -1159 Times Over

Summer 2014 Newsletter

What a joyous occasion it was. The Rothamsted Research conference hall was packed with children, parents and teachers on Wednesday 26 March 2014 for the awards ceremony for this the second of The Society's annual primary schools creative arts competition. There were light refreshments and a chance to view the exhibition of the winning entries – and the exhibition was held over for the evening 'Celebration' and AGM event.

The children had been invited to imagine that 'Harpendonia' was an independent country or nation – and the panel of judges was asked to consider two elements; the artistry of the work done and the sense it showed of a civic awareness. As well as Eric Midwinter, chairman of the judges, the panel included artist Drew Wilson, writer Amanda Thomas, photographer Jeanette Lendon and Diana Godden a doyenne of the Harpenden arts scene. Ten of Harpenden's thirteen schools participated: Crabtree Infants; Crabtree Juniors; Grove Juniors; High Beeches; Manland; Sauncey Wood; Roundwood;St Dominic's; St Nicholas's; and Wood End.

As last year, hundreds of children entered and all have received a certificate: no less than ONE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY NINE of them.

The children are divided into three age groups and there are Hive categories: art, drama, music, photography and writing. The schools make their internal assessment and send forward the winners in each of the Hifteen categories for the town-wide judging. Almost Hifty awards were made at the ceremony, amid much cheering and applause, and The Society was delighted that Allan Roberts, manager of W.H.Smith the sponsors of the competition, was present to give the children their certiHicates. In addition, and with a major contribution from The Society coffers, every school received a £40 W.H.Smith's voucher and a large goody-bag of art materials, with a mobile phone prize from fonehouse going to Roundwood Primary for having the most entries.

Photos. Above right. WHS’s Allan Roberts  with Marie Myers of St Dominic’s .

Above left. Eric Midwinter standing to attention during the Harpendonia National anthem.

Above Roundwood teachers and pupils.

Three special judges' awards were made for excellent entries that embraced more than one discipline; a new and intriguing 'national' sport for Harpendonia created by St. Dominic’s ; members of the Mulberry class at Grove Junior School who combined to produce a marvellous brochure for the Harpendonia tourist industry and a splendid collection of stamps from Sauncey Wood Primary.

There was a mouth-watering Sauncey Wood cake baked and iced in the shape of a Hlag, a model of the White House for the president, an eye-catching version of 'Harpendopoly' and 'the Treasures of Harpendonia'. There were musical items, including an imperious national anthem, which were played at the awards ceremony and, as last year, there was some excellent writing, for two of which items the judges added a special commendation.

One of them – a copy of 'The Harpendonia Times' had a sports column telling how Harpendonia had won the vote for the 2016 Olympics – and 'even now the Olympic Stadium is being built in Top Street Way.'...

You'll understand why we can hardly wait to get next year's competition up and running.