Our writing competition attracted hundreds of entries on the theme of “Why I love living in Newham” from several Newham primary schools. This competition was held in memory of Liz Osborne, our former children’s bookseller, who sadly passed away last year, with prizes donated by her mother.
The judges, Newham Bookshop’s specialist children’s bookseller John Newman, Redbridge headteacher Carel Buxton and Redbridge primary school teacher Rosie Williams read them all very carefully and on Thursday 30 June we were delighted to welcome the winner and runner-up to Newham Bookshop to receive their prizes and certificates.
The winner is La’Karla Edwards-Webb, who is in Year 5 at Gallions Primary School. La’Karla received a voucher for £30 to buy books at the Bookshop. The runner-up is Edward Black, who is in Year 6 at Park Primary School. Edward received a voucher for £20. Their schools also received vouchers to buy books: £250 for Gallions Primary School and £150 for Park Primary School.
The winning entries, right, are poems describing all the good things about the London 2012 host borough. Both winners wrote their poems for homework, in one sitting.
In addition to the prizewinners, there were seven entries which were highly commended, from these children: Marzanul Islam in Year 5 at Brampton Primary School; Ilaksana Ravindran and Rogash Bavan, both in Year 4 at Nelson Primary School; Matilda Hind, Rayham Salim and Safiya Abed, all in Year 4 at Park Primary School; and Jeffrey Owusu-Boateng in Year 6 at Vicarage Primary School.
I’ve lived in Newham for years and years.
Lots of things have brought me tears
Happiness and laughter all at the same time
I live in Newham and Newham is mine.
I have never learnt the cockney slang
I speak with my own Jamaican twang.
Probably will live here all my life
Get married and become a wife.
Love the parks filled with trees
Wild flowers, butterflies and bees.
Great walks with family and friends
Lots to do, the fun never ends.
New and old buildings standing together
Always there whatever the weather.
The River Thames flows gently by
Watch the sunset disappear from the sky.
Swimming, running in Olympic style
You need to catch your breath after a while.
Allotments for gardening, grow your own!
Healthy living at school and at home.
Multicultural and diverse place
Foods to be eaten from any place.
We live together as one.
Newham is so much fun!
Trains, planes and the Olympic Games,
I love living in Newham.
Fountains, shops and not many raindrops,
What could be better?
Striking displays and good weather days,
What more could you ask for?
Great public transport and an international airport,
Everyone wants to visit.
Bike riding lanes and schools for hungry brains,
What awesome education.
Famous landmarks and memorable remarks,
Always something new to see.
Climbing trees and dirty knees,
This is the way to live.
The colour is pink with many transport links,
It’s easy to get to Newham.
Different cultures all living together,
What a well-managed borough.
Free music lessons and good progression,
This is the life of a child.
Wildlife in the parks and dogs with happy barks,
What a special place to be.
Jobs for all as long as you go to school,
Opportunities for everyone.
Police, fireman and doctors ready.
I love living in Newham because I feel safe.
We’ve been receiving dozens of book orders by email and phone, and sending them out by post. Our special cycling volunteers are helping with local deliveries in Newham, Wanstead and Leytonstone.
Apart from many orders from our local customers, we’ve been sending signed copies of Polly Samson’s new novel A Theatre for Dreamers to fans across Europe, the USA and Australia! Your local independent bookshop is going global.
Are you locked down with children in years 5 or 6? We have four lessons for classroom or family use developed from On the Record’s oral history project centered around Newham Bookshop, Writing and Reading Newham. Click here for full details.
Michael Rosen’s poem, These Are The Hands, features in a book of poems from the heart of the NHS, which has just been published.