Freddy’s Purr-fect Design Wins Christmas Card Competition

Freddy Burton, aged 7 is the winner of this year’s Mayor’s Christmas card competition from Valley Road School featuring his kitten, Bagel.

Christmas on the River was the theme for this year and Freddy’s winning design features his parents with Bagel on Henley bridge with a speech bubble saying “Meowy Christmas”.  The felt-tip pen drawing also includes Santa’s sleigh in the sky over a family of swans, with him saying “Merry Christmas, animals” and a rowing crew on the water shouting “Ho! Go! Row!”

Freddy said “I was very surprised and happy when I found out I won.  I was pleased my friend Esme came third.  The hardest part to draw was the Christmas lights. I wanted them to reflect in the water but found it hard to get the colours to match. It was also very tiring colouring the background. My hand ached a lot! I want to be an artist or architect I’m older so I’m pleased the Mayor liked my drawing.  My favourite part of the picture is my kitten Bagel. Bagel appears in a lot of my drawings. I also likes the three trees in the background because they are all different types.

All the runners-ups were from Valley Road School.  Georgina Willow Haigh, aged 9 was second, Esme Carter, aged 6 was third and Tilly Gordon, aged 10 was fourth.

Henley Mayor, Councillor Glen Lambert said, “It has been very difficult to choose just four winners from the 150 Christmas Card designs, there were so many brilliant works of art.”

I really appreciated the cards designed by Ruby Allen, Rose Nieduszynska, Rowan Richins, Beatrice Bertiolli Smith and Megan Bowsher Larner who all featured ice skating on the river because it was a painting of people ice skating on the Thames in London that gave me the idea for this year’s theme.

I would also like to single out a few other artists who came very close with their work. William Sadler for his detailed drawing of the New Orleans, Lucy Jean-Jean for drawing the cutest reindeer, David Szumilkin for his promotion of local businesses, Zara Barnett for her very topical giant pink Santa hypo, Dulcie Meachin for her inspired drawing of Henley on a bauble hanging on a tree, Lily Clegg for her Christmas scene that was as cute as it was amusing and Stanley Bayly-Torreiro for his unique style and hilarious depiction of Henley as bright & Christmassy and Berkshire a dark cold place across the river!

There were also some lovely pictures of our bridge from Annabelle Rogers, Oliver Dodson, Chloe Pullen and I particularly appreciated Georgia Willow Haigh’s satirical take on the twinkle lights! I also loved Tilly Gordon’s adorable Reindeer Fish and Esme Carter’s fish exchanging gifts underwater which was so cute.

Last, but certainly not least, I have to thank Isabella Miles-Kingston for featuring me on her card and Frances Sadler for drawing Anna and I enjoying a Christmas Cruise!”

As well as having his design printed as the Mayor’s official Christmas cards, Freddy will switch-on the lights on the large Christmas Tree on Market Place on 30 November at the Christmas Festival.

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