Rushden car dealers team up with local schools to design new sleigh for Santa

Mark Swindells from Croyland Car Megastore is headteacher Jan Marshall and pictured in the front row - from left to right - is competition winner Eliyah Takara with her certificate and winning design alongside fellow pupils Niamh Inglis and Robert Hazell.
Mark Swindells from Croyland Car Megastore is headteacher Jan Marshall and pictured in the front row - from left to right - is competition winner Eliyah Takara with her certificate and winning design alongside fellow pupils Niamh Inglis and Robert Hazell.

Santa could take to the skies in a different sleigh this Christmas after an Irthlingborough pupil won a competition to design him a new one.

Hundreds of youngsters from local schools entered the annual festive competition, staged by Rushden’s Croyland Car Megastore, for a chance to win a prize.

Artistic Eliyah Takara, six, from Irthlingborough Nursery and Infant School, was announced as the overall winner.

She won a £50 Toys R Us voucher as well as £250 for her school.

Her headteacher Jan Marshall said: “I’m really pleased. We have a lot of talented artists at the school and Eliyah has done fantastically well.

“At the moment we have a real push on increasing the books and technology we have here as part of developing our school library so the £250 prize will go towards buying books and technology for the children.

“It’s fantastic to win. It couldn’t have happened at a better time for the school.”

Runner-up prizes of £30 and £15 gift vouchers and certificates were also awarded to Amelia Lavin from Risdene Academy and Ryan Kerr from Victoria Primary Academy, whose designs were awarded second and third places respectively.

Entries included a shark sleigh, one model made of sweets and even a design featuring childhood computer console favourite Sonic the Hedgehog.

They were displayed in the dealership’s showroom, allowing customers and visitors to select a shortlisted top 20.

These designs were then available to view on social media, where the public were invited to vote for their festive favourite.

Croyland Car Megastore general manager Mark Swindells said: “We were inundated with so many fantastic entries this year.

“I’m glad the decision to select the winner was left to the public as I couldn’t pick a favourite – the standard was so high.

“I want to say a massive thank you to all of the talented pupils and schools who participated in the event this year and we look forward to working with local schools again in 2017.”