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Wakefield primary school’s brush with local celebrity artist Ashley Jackson

Holmfirth artist Ashley Jackson popped in to surprise young artists at Pinders Primary School in Wakefield on Wednesday 11 December.

The children had been asked to create artwork for Grand Central’s Christmas card and Jackson, one of the country’s leading watercolour landscape artists, turned up to announce the winners.

Around 200 4-11-year-old Pinders pupils entered the competition, with some completing their work at home and others finishing as part of a school art class.

First prize went to four-year-old student Hawaa for her bold and cheerful reindeer card. Second and third prizes went to six-year-old Lily Ann in year two and year five student Anna (9).

In addition to her prize of a certificate and goodie bag Hawaa’s year group will have the chance to attend a special art session on board a Grand Central train to Doncaster in 2020. Runners-up also received a copy of the Grand Central-supported Cones on The Rails book by Chris Madeley.

“It was difficult to choose from all the fantastic creative designs,” says Jackson, “Unfortunately there could only be one winner and that was chosen for its pure simplicity. The simple use of colour and cheerful reindeer faces made it stand out from all the entries.” He adds, “It was a real joy to judge and I hope others enjoy receiving the Christmas card.”

"We were blown away by the effort the children put into this," says Grand Central’s chief operating officer, Sean English, who also presented the prizes, “all the entries were great and we would have been proud to have any of them on our cards". He adds, “we're looking forward to the arty train trip next year and seeing what else the students can come up with.”

Ashley Jackson, Sean English and winners with the winning artwork

Picture captions:

  • Ashley Jackson, Sean English and winners
  • The winning artwork