We might not be counting the shopping days to Christmas just yet, but two young Berwick artists are looking forward to the festive post.
Owen Matthews and Rowan McAlpine, from Berwick Middle School, have moved a step further to becoming two of the designers of Royal Mail’s 2013 Christmas stamps.
As part of Royal Mail’s children’s Christmas Stamp Design competition, the entries from Owen and Rowan, both aged 10, were chosen as two of the best entries from hundreds of schools across the north east.
Their entries are two of 10 that have been shortlisted in the region, joining a 140-strong UK-wide shortlist.
The pair will go through to the next stage of the competition where local judges will select their top two entries to represent the region in the national final.
During the national final, HRH The Prince of Wales will lead a panel of judges who will select the two designs from 24 finalists that will feature on this year’s First and Second Class Christmas stamps.
Also on the final judging panel, joining Prince Charles will be Royal Mail’s Chief Executive Officer, Moya Greene; author of the Charlie and Lola series, Lauren Child and Royal Mail’s Head of Stamp Design, Marcus James.
The stamps will be on sale from November 5.
Owen and Rowan have already won £100 in vouchers and £100 for their school. However, this will increase if they progress in the competition.
In the later stages of the competition, 22 regional winners will be awarded £500 for their school, as well as the same amount in vouchers for themselves.
After that, two lucky overall winners will receive £1,000 in vouchers as a personal prize, and another £1,000 for their school.
There has been an astonishing response to the competition, with Royal Mail receiving an astonishing 240,000 entries from children aged between four and 11 years old from across the UK in response to the question ‘What does the Christmas season mean to you?’
Entries submitted to the competition will be displayed on a special website – www.royalmailstampcompetition.com, launching later this week.
Only twice before in Royal Mail’s history – in 1966 and 1981 - have the official Christmas stamps been designed by children.
As with all such special stamps issued by Royal Mail, both winning designs will have to be approved by The Queen.
Other Christmas stamps for different postal rates, and a religious-themed issue, will also be available from November 5.