Winners announced for youngsters' competition to design a narrowboat in Banbury

Schoolchildren across the Banbury area took part in a competition to design a dream narrowboat - and the winners have been chosen.
Harvey and Tyler with their winning creations.Harvey and Tyler with their winning creations.
Harvey and Tyler with their winning creations.

This summer, Tooley’s Boatyard launched its first-ever design competition - ‘what floats your narrowboat’ - and received almost 60 entries from primary school children across Banbury and Oxfordshire.

The judges were so impressed with the amount of quality of entries that they decided to pick not one but three winners and a runner-up when the judges met at Tooley’s Boatyard on Friday August 26.

Tyler Hupalo (11) from Bloxham, Harvey Mills (6) from Hanwell Fields and AJ (3) and Billie Jean (4) Boneham from Dashwood, were all hailed joint winners - each receiving a family trip on board Tooley’s narrowboat, The Dancing Duck.

Emily Macey's designEmily Macey's design
Emily Macey's design

The judges were particularly impressed with Tyler’s entry due to the traditional streamlined boat shape, complete with cabin, and made entirely out of card, paper and masking tape.

The joint entry from AJ and Billie Jean caught the judge's attention through their imaginative use of colour and the variety of materials used and the moving parts and solid structure involved in Harvey’s entry wowed the judges.

Emily Macey (8), also from Hanwell Fields, took the runners-up prize of a signed copy of the Muddy Waters storybook, which is a collection of children’s stories inspired by the Banbury waterways.

Chair of Tooley’s boatyard trust John Madden, who sat on the judging board, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support for the competition, the time and effort that the children have dedicated to creating their unique designs has been a delight to see. Part of our role at Tooley’s is to encourage a love of the waterways within the next generation, and it was great to see so many children discovering narrowboats and the canal during the summer holidays.”

The joint entry from AJ and Billie Jean BonehamThe joint entry from AJ and Billie Jean Boneham
The joint entry from AJ and Billie Jean Boneham

“We just had to give an additional runner-up prize to Emily. Her rainbow colours and additional extras, including sweets, an ice cream parlour and even a bowling alley, were wonderfully creative.”

Cllr Dr Okeke, who was also one of the judges, said “It was great to be invited to see the creativity these kids possess. Many thanks to Tooley’s Boatyard and Orinoco for allowing the imagination and creativity of these children to flourish.”

The entries will be on display and available to be collected by their creators at Tooley’s Boatyard until 10th September.

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