YOUNG people across the district have put pen to paper to write "inspiring" poems about what Bradford means to them.

The Telegraph & Argus teamed up with the National Literacy Trust and the Kirkgate Shopping Centre to ask primary school pupils to use their creative writing skills as part of the Love Bradford poetry competition.

The contest's winners have now been announced, and as well as winning shopping vouchers, the winning poems will appear on selected First Buses, inspiring travellers on their daily commute.

Over 100 budding bards entered the contest, with poems about the district's tourist attractions, diverse cultures and even how the Boxing Day floods devastated areas like Baildon.

The aim of the competition was to inspire and motivate reluctant writers, especially boys, to do more creative writing.

Local poet Joolz Denby and the manager of the Bradford Literacy Hub, Imran Hafeez had the unenviable task of choosing two winners from the 100 plus entries.

In the Years 6 - 8 category, the winner was Caiomhe Richards, 10, from St Cuthbert & The First Martyrs' Catholic Primary School. She wowed the judges with her poem Memories.

The poem looks at the district's unique character, referring to its moors, cobbled streets, Bronte connections and historic buildings like Lister Mill.

Suma Abdulla, 9, from Dixons Marchbank Primary, won the Years 3- 5 category with her poem Big, Beautiful Bradford. The piece looks at the sights, sounds and even smells of Bradford.

Runners up in the Year 6 - 8 category were Lilian Bingham, 11, from St Cuthbert and The First Martyrs' Catholic Primary School for her poem ‘Bradford’ and Jessica Corry, 10, from Baildon Church of England Primary School for her poem Caused by a Flood, about the flooding that wrecked parts of the town.

Year 3 - 5 runners up were Isam Yaqoob, 9 from Dixons Marchbank Primary for his poem My Poem, Nina Philips from Brackenhill Primary School aged for her poem Bradford Rocks and Hayaam Faisal, 9, from Farnham Primary School, for her poem Look through my Eyes.

The winners will receive £100 worth of shopping vouchers from the Kirkgate Centre and a stack of books.

The two runners-up from each category will receive a stack of books worth £50 from Walker Books.

Imran Hafeez, manager of the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford, said: “The Bradford Literacy Campaign is all about providing fun ways to improve literacy skills across the area.

"Poetry is a powerful way for young people to express themselves and it was inspiring to read about what they love most about their home city. It has been fantastic to celebrate all that Bradford has to offer, including its architecture, multicultural diversity and the stunning Yorkshire Dales.

"We commended entries for their atmospheric descriptions and strong visual imagery, as well as their enthusiasm and humour.”

Poet Joolz Denby, who lives in Bradford, said: “The poems were all so evocative of Bradford and taking part in judging has been a lot of fun.

"Deciding on the winners was tough but they were both sharp, playful and packed full of charm. I wish I'd written them.

"Congratulations to the winners and I urge all Bradford’s youngsters to give creative writing a go – it’s a great way to be heard.”

Colin Brushwood, operations manager at First Bradford, said, “We strive to be active members of our local communities, so partnering with the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford to inspire a love of writing and celebrate all this fantastic district has to offer has been a great opportunity.

"We hope that the winning poems make our customers smile.”

Jessica Corry's flood based poem reflects the devastation many people in the Aire Valley felt when the River Aire burst its banks over the Christmas holidays.

Tom Van der Gucht, Year 6 teacher at her school, said: “The Boxing Day floods were a significant event for many children in Bradford lives. When I asked my pupils what came into their heads when they thought about their hometown, they were drawn to sharing their experiences of the natural disaster, which led to them independently researching poems about floods."

They then produced some of their best writing to date and showed a new found delight in poetry.”

Winning poems

Years 3 - 5

Big Beautiful Bradford

Big, beautiful Bradford!

cause we made it all, we made it all!

Bradford is big

Bradford is beautiful

Bradford’s a home everybody loves

There’s no place like big, beautiful Bradford.

Bradford has wondrous sightings

That no one wants to miss

The birds tweet

while the rats squeak.

The horses clippity clap on a beautiful fresh day.

As the sound moves straight across big beautiful Bradford.

The sweet smells burst into my nose with happiness

The air rushes past when the bicycle zooms round the towers

The clock sings with the children’s delightful song

The music flows down

my ears as it rushes down the street.

The mysteries appear into the

Children’s head and it pops right away.

The butterflies twinkle as they flop into the distance.

The sun shimmers over big, beautiful Bradford

Fireworks burst into the sky and it sizzles into beauty

The stars laugh out loud

as they twinkle above us

the flowers shimmer with bright beautiful bold colours

The snow wraps all around us like a piece of cotton wool.

The piece gazed above

Big, beautiful Bradford!!

The water shivers as it runs down the lake.

The harmony in big beautiful Bradford

The air swishes as the kites

soar high in the yellow shining bright sky

By Suma Abdulla, aged 9, from Dixons Marchbank Primary

Years 6 - 8


Wandering through the neighbourly town

Memories filled my mind like a tap filling an overflowing sink

Remembering, exploring jungles of Moors,

Chasing on the cobble

Paddling in the Aire,

Can you guess where I am?

Of course, it’s Bradford

Climbing up the steep hill,

The icy wind cheered me to the top,

I looked up and followed a plane with bright eyes,

Until I found a piece of history,

Lister Mill,

A tourist’s place,

Can you guess where I am?

Of course, it’s Bradford,

Walking to the home of three writers,

Who once I did not know,

I read the front covers of their books,

All written by a Brontë

Can you guess where I am? Of course, it’s Bradford

Rounding up my memories,

I hear a gentle voice say

“Excuse me love”,

I then move,

And carry on with my day,

Making new memories,

Can you guess why I’m here?

Of course, it’s Bradford

A place to make memories.

By Caiomhe Richards, aged 10 at St Cuthbert & The First Martyr's Catholic Primary School