A nine-year-old schoolgirl from Bedford has been shortlisted in a competition which could see her festive design brighten up trains this Christmas.
Emily Howell is up against nine other designs, with the winning drawing transform a Virgin Train during December.
The competition launched in September in partnership with the Book Trust, and invited primary school children to send in their ideas for a Christmas train makeover.
Emily’s entry, which was inspired by a Christmas cracker, is amongst those which impressed Jill Murphy, the judging panel chair.
Jill said: “I was delighted with the number of entries received and we carefully pored over each one. Choosing a shortlist wasn’t easy, but in the end we all agreed that these designs showed great flair and really captured the spirit of Christmas.”
Emily said: “I am so excited to be shortlisted, I love art and drawing so this competition seemed like the perfect thing for me to enter. As soon as I heard about it, I started thinking about what I could design but in the end decided on a cracker because it’s a similar shape to a train. I’m really keeping my fingers crossed as I’d be so proud to see my design chosen.”
Should Emily win, her design will be unveiled on Virgin Trains on December 1 and seen across the network throughout that month.
Patrick McCall, chairman of Virgin Trains, said: “We’ve been thrilled to see the number of creative entries flooding in and we’ll have a tough time narrowing it down to just one winner.”
Diana Gerald, Book Trust chief executive, said: “It was fantastic to see so many of the entries inspired by classic Christmas stories, as quite often in children’s books it’s the illustrations that imprint in our memories.”