Be Seen By The Queen

Sophie McNeill and Kerry Waddell from Pocketful Kids in Eyemouth who are holding a competition for Berwickshire children to design a flag to fly from Unity as it makes its way down the Thames for the Queens Jubilee Pagent
Sophie McNeill and Kerry Waddell from Pocketful Kids in Eyemouth who are holding a competition for Berwickshire children to design a flag to fly from Unity as it makes its way down the Thames for the Queens Jubilee Pagent

NEXT month a vessel from Eyemouth will proudly lineup alongside other boats to take part in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee pageant on the Thames and any young artists out there now have a chance to make their mark on the event.

Pocketful Kids and Eyemouth and St Abbs Rowing Clubs have joined forces for the ‘Be Seen By The Queen’competition to design a flag to be displayed by Unity as it makes its way down the famous river.

ready oar not, the crew of Unity in Eyemouth harbour training for the 'Lammermuirs to London bridge' fundraiser for their journey to represent Berwickshire at the Queens Jubilee Pagent on the Thames

ready oar not, the crew of Unity in Eyemouth harbour training for the 'Lammermuirs to London bridge' fundraiser for their journey to represent Berwickshire at the Queens Jubilee Pagent on the Thames

The competition is open to youngsters aged 12 and under and the prize is the chance to have their artwork seen by the thousands of people lining the route and of course the billions who will watch the event on television worldwide.

Entries can be designed and sumbitted at Pocketful on Harbour Road any time between May 7 and 20, with the winner being chosen by Eyemouth Herring Queen Rachel Lauder and a representative from the rowing clubs on the latter.

And Pocketful’s Sophie McNeill said she hoped the competition would inspire children from all over Berwickshire to get creative.

“It’s a massive opportunity for the children to play a part in a huge event and have their designs seen by so many people.

“Although some of the youngsters who come into Pocketul might not necessarily know too much about the Diamond Jubilee they have all heard of the Queen and we’ll be giving them a bit of background on the event before they start drawing.

“Local businesses have been great to us in helping to promote the competition and we’re very excited to see what the children who enter come up with.”

Someone else grateful to the support from local businesses not only for ‘Be Seen By The Queen’ but for the Community Rowing Project since its formation is the chair Oliver Kieran.

‘The Berwickshire’ caught up with him before the 10 strong squad selected to row Unity down the Thames began their training session on Monday.

“The project is both inter-community and intra-community,” he explained.

“The focus has always been including as many people as possible. When it came to building Unity we had older members of the fishing community passing on their knowledge to youngsters and then of course we had the pupils from Eyemouth High School who constructed their own boat.

“And then the flag competition opens up to children who are younger still so they can play a role. For us to have two boats taking part in the pageant from Berwickshire- Unity and Biscoe Kid- is fantastic considering the 1000s of people who wanted to participate.

“Since finding out we would be going the support from people in the town has been wonderful. We’ve had sponsorship; people offering to put monry towards our transportation down to the pageant; it’s been quite overwhelming.”

As a final push to raise funds, the Community Rowing Project are hosting their own pageant style event this Saturday, May 5, although not all of the action will take place on the water.

‘Lammermuir to London Bridge’ event starts off with a 17 mile cycle ride in the morning via Quixwood, Butterdean, Grantshouse, Cedar Cafe, Howpark, Coldingham Moor, Coldingham and ending up at St Abbs.

Then those who want to take part in rowing the next stage of the event to Eyemouth can take up the offer of 16 rowing places on three skiffs and two clinker dinghies.

Alternatively those wishing to stay on dry land can run the remaining leg of the journey.

Proceeds from the event will also go to the Margaret Kerr Palliative Care Unit at Borders General Hospital.

For more information on ‘Be Seen By The Queen’ visit www.pocketfulkids.co.uk.