Winners of The Lost Words of Epsom Common competition have all been presented with a specially printed book at an awards ceremony and festival performance event.
Poems and illustrations of 33 children and young people from nine schools were selected to be included in the specially commissioned publication, and invited to read or show their work on stage. The audience was also treated to piano performance by young pianist Andrew Garrido. Competition judge, poet and Epsom resident, Audrey Ardern-Jones OBE led the event, with books presented by judges Su Davey, Margaret Hollins and Kendra Haste.
The competition was inspired by book The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, which pairs illustrations of nature words that were removed from the Oxford Junior Dictionary with poems. Bourne Hall Museum curator Jeremy Harte was tasked with looking back into history, to uncover eight ‘lost words’ from the seventeenth century, used at the height of Epsom’s popularity as a spa town. They describe the creatures and activities of Epsom Common where the original well was sited.
In the book’s foreword, Jeremy Harte explains the danger of losing the names for things, writing: “It takes away the nature of what is around us. Instead of oak and ash and beech and lime, we just see ‘tree’. We can’t smell the honeysuckle or hear the call of the fuzzchat in the long summer sunshine, because we have lost the words, and it is words that help us see and smell and hear and feel the world.”
Well done to all young people who submitted their fantastic work, and congratulations to these winners.
Maya Klimentova Boneva
Zion Farai Mutopo
A limited number of books are available of this one-off edition. If you would like to order a copy, please contact us.