Spalding girl Keira ‘chuffed’ at train design contest success

Competition hopeful Keira Gilman ANL-150311-111805001
Competition hopeful Keira Gilman ANL-150311-111805001
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A Spalding schoolgirl could see her festive drawing transform a Virgin Train this December after entering a nationwide search for a Christmas design.

Keira Gilman (11) is up against nine other shortlisted designs in the national competition launched in September by Virgin Trains and the Book Trust.

It invited primary school children to send in their ideas for a Christmas train makeover.

Keira’s entry, which was inspired by Father Christmas delivering presents, is amongst those which impressed renowned children’s author 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.”

Keira said: “I am very, very excited to have been shortlisted for this competition. I love Pendolinos and even got to sit in the cab of one recently when it came to Edinburgh.

“To see my drawing on a Pendolino would be a dream come true and would make me very, very happy this Christmas.”

Should Keira 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.”