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Written Word Competition - 7 to 11 years category - Runner Up

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Iain Robson

Alex Lienard was the runner up of the 7-11 years category. He is 9 year old pupil and a pupil at Darras Hall First School. His short story is called "A Switch in time". Alex was asked if he would like to read out his story at our Celebration Concert at Ellingham Hall last week. He did a fantastic job and we were all caught up in the adventures of Jack and Toby ...

A Switch in Time 

Jack and Toby were wandering along the vast white beaches of Bamburgh collecting a variety of stones and shells for a school project. Whilst Jack was digging, a small glimmer of light seemed to wave a mysterious hand at them.

‘What on earth...?!’ cried Jack mesmerised.

‘Just keep digging’ Toby said, amused. And, after 2 minutes of continuous digging, they came to an amazing rock with patterns all over it, and what’s more, a flag, the flag of Northumberland. And as they turned it over a mysterious button-like thing, which being stupid, Jack pressed! And then whoosh! The two boys were soaring over the gleaming seas at Bamburgh – until they stopped and suddenly plummeted down, down... bang! They landed on Lindisfarne in 793AD, right when the Vikings were invading. Jack and Toby clambered to their feet to witness a massacre of flying blood, clashing shields and monks dashing to escape.

Then, out of nowhere, a feather-tailed arrow was flying towards them at top speed. ‘Quick, press the switch! Press the switch!’ Jack shouted as Toby slammed his hand on the switch and they flew towards the Cheviot hills and again they plummeted to the ground. Toby looked up to see two men talking anxiously.

‘My Lord, we are failing to keep the Scots at bay. They are attacking hard’, a buff man in armour said to a broad man.

‘Well go for an all out attack from the sides’ he replied confidently. Jack and Toby watched with interest as the battle of Humbleton Hill broke out in the year 1402 and Harry Hotspur tried to overcome the Scots. Suddenly, a great heap of men ran straight towards them. ‘Well, you know the drill’ Jack said and Toby pressed the switch and once again they went flying over the dramatic Northumberland countryside.

This time they landed in Wylam in the year 1828, right next to a lonely cottage where a miracle was about to start.

‘Oh Dad, look at this! An invitation to the Rainhill Trials. We have to build a locomotive.’ Robert Stephenson said.

‘Oh Robert we need to get to work straight away’. George said grabbing a quill and a piece of paper. ‘So it should have a large engine in the middle and a cylinder sticking out.’ And after a long chat, they got a sketch together. ‘Right, you’ve got all the gear and helping hands. Let’s get to work.’ So off they went collecting everything and grouping things together and checking their design for ideas. Once the metallic shell had been put together, Robert and George started to construct the cylinder and engine.

‘Has the cylinder been put on securely?’ Robert asked glancing at the locomotive. ‘I presume so’, George said hesitating.

‘What do y...’ Robert couldn’t finish for the cylinder shook and groaned and finally fell. Right towards the two boys... after pressing the switch, they again went soaring back to where they started out, the breath-taking beach of Bamburgh!


The judges were very impressed by the speed and pace of Alex's story - and the amount of historical detail he managed to squeeze into it.

Well done Alex! 




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