This summer, Tooley’s Boatyard launched its first-ever design competition – ‘what floats on your houseboat’ – and received almost 60 entries from primary school children in Banbury and Oxfordshire.
The judges were so impressed with the quality of the entries that they decided to choose not one but three winners and a runner-up when the judges gathered at Tooley’s Boatyard on Friday August 26th.
Tyler Hupalo (11) from Bloxham, Harvey Mills (6) from Hanwell Fields and AJ (3) and Billie Jean (4) Boneham from Dashwood, were all hailed as joint winners – each receiving a family trip aboard the narrowboat by Tooley, The Dancing Duck.
The judges were particularly impressed with Tyler’s entry due to the traditional, streamlined shape of the boat, complete with cabin, and made entirely of cardboard, paper and tape.
AJ and Billie Jean’s joint entry caught the judge’s eye with their imaginative use of color and the variety of materials used and the moving parts and solid structure involved in Harvey’s entry won over the judges.
Emily Macey (8), also from Hanwell Fields, won second prize for a signed copy of the Muddy Waters storybook, which is a collection of children’s stories inspired by Banbury’s waterways.
Tooley Shipyard Chairman John Madden, who sat on the judging panel, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support for the competition, the time and effort the children have put into creating their unique designs has was a pleasure to see. Part of our role at Tooley’s is to foster a love of the waterways within the next generation, and it was great to see so many children discovering the houseboats and the canal over the summer holidays.
“We just had to give Emily an extra second prize. Her rainbow colors and extra extras, including candy, an ice cream parlor 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 of these children. Many thanks to Tooley’s Boatyard and Orinoco for allowing these children’s imaginations and creativity to flourish.
Entries will be on display and available to be picked up by their creators at Tooley Shipyard until September 10th.