SOME of the area’s “creative geniuses of the future” won prizes in the Forest of Dean Local History Society History Competition.

There were four categories for the competition and any KS2 pupil in Forest primary schools could take part.

The challenge was to create something to portray an element of Forest History.

The most popular category was to create a 3D model, and the winner was Jessica Smith with her model of the Union Pit Disaster at Monument Mine.

The judges appreciated the level of detail that Jessica had put into the work and the ‘setting of the scene’ with the trees and the coal.

Jessica won £25 herself and also won £100 for her school, Coalway Junior.

A spokesperson for the school said: “All of our staff and Headteacher Mrs White were very impressed with her dedicated attitude to her work.”

The writing category also represented our Freemining heritage as Cam Breeze from Yorkley school won £25 with his ‘First Time Miner’ story of danger and suspense.

Yorkley School had recently been on a visit to a Forest freemine whilst working with Roger Deeks, Cheryl Mayo and the Dean Scribblers, so it was Cam’s experience of being a ‘hod-boy’ that inspired his story.

Leo Agnew of Ruardean Church of England Primary School won £25 in the powerpoint category, portraying the changing wildlife in the Forest over time.

Ruardean also produced the winning video entitled ‘It’s only a Bear!!’ created by Daisy Chilton and Grace Watkins who shared the prize money, winning £12.50 each. The video was then played to the whole school, who enjoyed it immensely. (No bears were injured in the making of the video.)

There were other ‘Highly Commended’ entries from Ruardean which were for Leo Wright and George Vanhegan for their 3D models of weapons inspired by Andy Seed’s ‘The Story of the Forest’ book, and for Isabella Giaquinto’s writing entry, which summarised the History of Freemining.

Local places of interest were celebrated as Paige Freeman from Clearwell School was ‘Highly Commended’ for her model of Clearwell Caves.

A whole team of pupils from Yorkley were ‘Highly Commended’ for their version of the stained glass window on the Sculpture Trail.

All of the children received oak leaf badges to recognise their hard work in creating their entries and these were colour coded, so Green was for ‘Highly Commended’, Yellow was for winning a category and Orange was for the Overall winner.

The funding for the cash prizes was provided by a legacy from Dr John Jurica of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society through the Gloucestershire Local History Association.

This means that the History competition will run for the next four years and the Forest Of Dean Local History Society looks forward to receiving many more entries in the future. A spokesperson added: “Congratulations to all the winners!”