The official story of ‘The Bear and The Reindeer’ has been revealed.
The written piece by Constance Heywood, a nine year-old from Southport, was judged to be the overall winner of ‘The Bear and The Reindeer Story Competition’.
The brief invited young people (aged 10 and under) to create a Christmas story based on the two characters to celebrate the arrival of brand new installations in the Town Hall Gardens.
‘The Bear and The Reindeer’ illuminations, provided by Southport BID, will be lighting up Southport town centre over the Christmas period.
There was an incredible response to the competition, with stories being submitted from children in Southport and across the Liverpool City Region.
The winning and shortlisted submissions were chosen for being unique and imaginative stories that exhibited a positive message.
Andrew Brown (Founder at Stand Up For Southport), Emma Harrison (Principal Manager: Access, Engagement & Enterprise at The Atkinson) and Sarah Lovell (Lead Officer – Culture Coordinator at Liverpool City Region Combined Authority), had the difficult task of selecting a shortlist and overall winner from a pool of brilliant submissions.
Sarah Lovell said: “The Bear and the Reindeer Story Writing Competition was a wonderful stimulus for our young writers and storytellers and we were delighted by the number and quality of the entries we received.
“The standard was so high and there was such imagination, heart and creativity in the writing that it made it very difficult to choose the final winners. I would like to say well done to everyone who entered and to encourage you all to keep writing!”
Constance’s story imagines The Bear and The Reindeer being brought to life by Santa to lend a helping hand in the delivering of Christmas presents. The characters enjoy a fun-filled adventure around Southport, whilst having to negotiate some hungry seagulls on their travels!
The Bear and The Reindeer, by Constance Heywood (aged 9)
Once there was a bear and a reindeer. They were stuffed toys and the bear belonged to a little boy called Teddy. The reindeer belonged to his sister Emma.
They had been given them as Christmas presents when they were babies on their first Christmas ever. Emma and Teddy really loved the bear and the reindeer.
One day, on Christmas Eve, Emma and Teddy were getting ready for bed with a delicious mug of hot chocolate. When they went to sleep, Santa came to Emma and Teddy’s house. He was running late because Rudolf had a sore hoof (he had been snowboarding), there was also a sick elf (his friend had buried him in snow, as a game).
Santa badly needed one reindeer and one helper, so he brought them to life. He attached the reindeer to his sleigh and put the bear in the passenger seat and they were off!!! They were delivering all the presents all over Southport, it looked beautiful with all the shiny and twinkly lights. They had been past the Botanic Gardens and made a quick stop at The Atkinson.
They were having an amazing time, but then they were travelling over the pier when disaster struck. All of the naughty seagulls were flying over them, swooping down and pecking at the presents and eating the wrapping paper.
All of a sudden, the bear had an idea. He sent Santa to get some chips (with extra ketchup) from the fish n chip shop on the pier. After snaffling a few of the chips (it had been a long night) Santa got back in the sleigh and threw rest of the the chips down for the seagulls to eat. The bear saved Christmas.
The next day was Christmas Day and the reindeer threw a party to celebrate at the YMCA. It was a roller disco and rock climbing!! Emma and Teddy were invited and they had a blast.
The three judges also chose to shortlist five submissions that stood out. These were written by Ava Forshaw (aged 8), Ben Gray (aged 10), Elsie Stancombe (aged 7), Franchesca Howard (aged 10), and Tony Duffey (aged 8).
All six stories will be displayed at Southport Library in The Atkinson over the Christmas period, and you can also read them online here.
The Festive Fun Day on Saturday 18 November 2023 is the perfect opportunity to visit The Bear and The Reindeer for the first time. The event will see a day of performances on Lord Street Bandstand, including pantomimes, live music, and a Frozen singalong. There’s also plenty of events and activities happening across Southport town centre.
More information can be found here.