Handwriting is not an art of the past, says Maura Wilson, and this year’s Wanstead Fringe is giving Wanstead’s primary school children the chance to prove it with a handwriting competition
Like me, most readers of the Wanstead Village Directory can probably remember sitting in a classroom as the teacher stood writing beautifully shaped letters on the blackboard. As pupils, we followed suit, repeating the same letter formations time and time again.
By right, everyone’s handwriting should be identical. And yet, even though the days of elegant copperplate script are long gone, we all have our own styles, each of which says something about us. I don’t buy the notion that your handwriting reveals deep secrets about your personality, but you can’t deny that you reach certain conclusions about someone when you see their writing.
Even though we prod our phones all day long, and rarely, if ever, write even so much as a cheque, our handwriting still matters. It still says something, whether that’s a message that you’re carefree, confident or fastidious. It still shows how much attention you are paying to the way you’re presenting yourself on paper. And it’s still a joy to see someone’s beautiful handwriting, even if nowadays they only really get to exercise their talents when writing postcards from a sunlounger or Christmas cards to Aunt Jane.
Which is why, as part of this year’s Wanstead Fringe, we’re inviting the primary school children of Wanstead to pick up their best pens and start writing, and really show the rest of us what they can do. They stand the chance to be named as Wanstead’s best handwriters and to win prizes for their school, courtesy of our sponsors Petty Son & Prestwich.
The rules for the competition are simple. Any pupil up to Year Six can take part, as part of their class or individually. All they have to do is write out the Lewis Carroll poem The Crocodile, as reproduced below. All submissions must be made by the end of the summer term and will be judged over the holidays. The winners will be announced during Wanstead Fringe fortnight, which this year is running from 10 to 25 September.
Full rules and entry forms are available on the Wanstead Fringe website. You’ll also be able to sign up for the Fringe newsletter and be among the first to hear about all the cultural activities being planned for this year. Though I tried my best, I’m afraid the newsletter will be sent by email and will not, unfortunately, be handwritten!
The Crocodile by Lewis Carroll
How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!
How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in,
With gently smiling jaws!
For more information and an entry form, visit wnstd.com/handwriting