A bridge of tales: Clumber Park’s new chapter

Restored stonework on Clumber Bridge with view of church spire in the background

To celebrate the restoration of Clumber Park’s Ornamental Bridge, we have invited submissions to our writing competition over the past few months and are excited to let the judging commense.

Over the last few months entries have poured in for all categories. From poems to stories we have been thrilled with the quantity and quality of the submissions we've received.

Inspired by the story of the bridge restoration, the beauty of our landscape and the personal connections we have to Clumber Park, our writing competition was open to all ages and abilities, with a 500-word limit.

What can I submit?  

Stories can be factual, fictional, songs or poetry – let your imagination run wild! Our only rules are your entry must make reference to the Ornamental Bridge and be 500 words, or less and are submitted before 5pm on 11 September 2020 to be considered. Entries can be in text format or recorded.

We're currently unable to accept physical copies of your entry, please send them via email to yourclumber@nationaltrust.org.uk

The categories

We have five age categories:

•    Young children - 5 years – 9 years
•    Juniors - 10 years – 13 years
•    Teenager - 14 years – 17 years
•    Young Adult - 18 years – 25 years
•    Adult - 26+ years

The winners

Competition winners will have their work published in Made In magazine's November/ December edition and receive a framed copy of the publication.

Please ensure you submit your contact details with your entry (telephone number and email address), as well as which category you are entering.

A family enjoy the stunning backdrop of the Ornamental Bridge
Family by the bridge at Clumber Park
A family enjoy the stunning backdrop of the Ornamental Bridge

How to enter

Entries can be submitted by emailing them to yourclumber@nationaltrust.org.uk

Please note, recorded entries must stick to the 500-word limit.

The deadline for submissions has now closed. All entries will be assessed by our judging panel;

  • Stephen Booth, a local author and a former newspaper journalist and one of Nottinghamshire’s best-selling authors. His Cooper and Fry crime novels, set in the Peak District, have won awards on both sides of the Atlantic, and are sold all around the world, with translations in 16 languages. Described by the Sunday Telegraph as "one of our best story tellers", Stephen is also a director of the writer development agency Writing East Midlands and runs courses and workshops for aspiring writers.

    “I’m delighted to be involved as a judge for ‘A Bridge of Tales’” Stephen says. “I know that many writers share my love of our country’s heritage and the beauty of its landscapes as an inspiration for their writing. I’m looking forward to seeing the creativity inspired by the story of Clumber Park’s iconic bridge.”

  • Jon Rogers, Managing Director Made in Magazine, having settled in Notts over 20 years ago, Jon has become an integrated part of the Nottinghamshire business and creative scenes. Jon is the director of creative and marketing agency Createinn and creator/chief editor of the region’s most prestigious lifestyle magazine, Made. As the official first member of the North Notts Envoys, Jon is now a member of the board. He is the founder of the Notts Food & Drink Awards and the co-owner of Nottinghamshire’s most comprehensive online guide to the region - www.visitnorthnotts.co.uk. With a background in the creative arts and marketing, and a passionate musician, Jon enjoys being a part of the region’s events and tourism activities on a regular basis.

     “This project captures the imagination and essence of Nottinghamshire and its amazing people” Jon says. “A creative project that brings folk together and acts as the perfect ‘bridge’ to epitomise the conclusion of this ornamental rebuild. A fitting example of rejoining in both symbolic and physical terms. Congratulations to everyone involved.  What am I looking for as a judge? I always enjoy a creative description and an embellished use of language to really entice you into a read, some meat on the bones as it were. So I will be looking for a creative flourish beyond the story's structure.”

  • Shirley Roberts, Senior Gardener at Clumber Park, joined the Clumber Park team in 2012, first as a student, then as Senior Gardener. Shirley can be found tending, caring and developing (you’ve probably seen her on TV once or twice!) our nationally renowned walled kitchen garden in any weather.

    “Like the garden, the ornamental bridge gives us a glimpse of a world where beauty was valued in art and craftsmanship as much as in the natural world; where creating spaces in which to enjoy the beauty of architectural features was equally important.” Shirley says.  “These many decades later, the bridge and its surrounding landscape gives me the same opportunities and one of my favourite things is to walk my spaniels along the banks of the lake, catching glimpses of the bridge as we get closer. I'm looking for stories that evoke a strong emotional connection to the bridge and the landscape which surrounds it. I'd like them to be rooted in the present and to inspire me to look at that little piece of Clumber Park with fresh eyes.”

  • Beth Dawson, General Manager North Nottinghamshire. Beth has a deep love for Clumber Park, the changing seasons, stories and people which make it such a special place to work. 

    “The Ornamental Bridge is iconic, one of those spaces where people experience marriage proposals, watch children learn to ride their bike, or peer over or through to watch the world go by.  The pain felt by visitors and the team when we saw the vanadalism will stay with us all for such a long time, but this really is a celebration of the restoration and the memories we care for. I'm looking for writing which continues to celebrate all the bridge has to offer, moments where it takes centre stage, maybe glimpses of memories but also celebrating looking forwards." 

In a nutshell…

Anything goes – fact, fiction, song or poetry, we welcome it all!
Accepted formats – typed or recorded entries can be submitted to yourclumber@nationaltrust.org.uk
Don’t forget! – Include your age, so your entry is submitted to the right category.

By submitting an entry, you are agreeing to the National Trust and Clumber Park publishing your work in full or in part, for future promotional projects.

Any questions? 

Please email yourclumber@nationaltrust.org.uk