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Briar Chemicals celebrated its 11th Young Poets of the Year poetry competition earlier this month.

This year the young poets joined television astronomer and writer Mark Thompson, the final stage judge for the poetry spectacular, at the “Spectacular Space” themed ceremony held in the BBC Voices studio at the Forum in Norwich.

Mr Thompson said:

“The standard of the entries were fabulous. I was really amazed by the creativity of all the children who entered. It was incredibly difficult to choose the winners.

“Competitions like this create a whole different dimension of learning for them. Writing creatively is hugely important because it helps children keep in touch with being children.

Since 2005 Briar has invited schools from across the region to take part in the themed poetry competition, aimed at pupils aged eight to eleven. The competition was first launched to encourage youngsters to enjoy writing creatively, and with the support of the local schools hundreds of entries are received each year

Tim Green, Site Manager of Briar Chemicals said: “We thoroughly enjoy reading all of the poems and this year we have had some amazing entries. The theme has certainly inspired everyone to be creative”.

Tansie Dakers of Rollesby Primary School and Lexie Pratt of Wicklewood Primary School were over the moon to receive their prize of £100 and £500 for each of their schools, courtesy of Briar Chemicals. A copy of Mark’s book, “A Down to Earth Guide to the Cosmos” and certificates were also presented to each of the winners and runners-up.

Main judge Mark Thompson at Briar Chemicals Poetry Spectacular
Briar Chemicals Young Poet of the Year competition winners, Tansie Dakers and Lexie Pratt with judges Mark Thompson, Tim Green Briar Chemicals site manager, and Simon Proctor, EDP. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

BBC Norfolk Radio broadcasted the winning poems for their listeners to hear on National Poetry Day; Tansie’s “Sweets in Space” poem for the age 8-9 category and Lexie’s poem, “A Recipe for a Star” for the age 10-11 category.

First stage judges were Simon Proctor from the Eastern Daily Press, Professor Anne Osbourn of the John Innes Centre and founder of the SAW Trust (Science, Art and Writing), and Tim Green of Briar Chemicals.

Briar Chemicals also donated £500 towards Mr Thompson’s charity event, 24-hour Space Spectacular which took place on 22nd October at the Royal Institution in London in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.