Eleanor takes poetry to heart

Spalding High School student Eleanor Toal who reached the finals of a national poetry recital competition for young people.
Spalding High School student Eleanor Toal who reached the finals of a national poetry recital competition for young people.
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It was a test of nerve, skill and memory for Spalding High School student Eleanor Toal (16) who reached the national finals of a poetry recital competition for young people.

Eleanor, from Spalding, was up against 37 other 16 to 18-year-olds from across England at the Poetry by Heart finals held at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Despite not winning the competition, Eleanor was praised for her recital of poems by Oscar Wilde and Alun Lewis, with the bonus of a trip on the London Eye, a tour of the British Library and a meal at the Hard Rock Cafe.

English teacher Mandi Rossi said: “Andrew Motion, the former poet laureate and head judge, sought Eleanor out to compliment her for an “intelligent and moving performance.

“She was a delight to chaperone around London and she’s an outstanding student who is always prepared to step outside her comfort zone.”