Billingshurst schoolboy’s artwork could become a Royal Mail stamp
A Billingshurst schoolboy’s artwork could end up on a new Royal Mail stamp.
Henry Willmington, 11, is among young artists who have secured places in the south east regional finals of a Royal Mail heroes’ stamp competition.
Henry - a pupil at Billingshurst Primary School - submitted artwork depicting Covid hero Captain Tom in the competition which attracted more than 606,000 entries across the country - earning the Royal Mail a Guinness World Record for the largest ever stamp design competition.
Henry is one of 12 finalists in the south east region who will each receive £100 in gift vouchers, along with £100 for their school.
He will go forward to the next stage of the competition with a chance that his design will appear on a stamp next year.
The competition was open to children aged 4-14. Eight winning designs will be chosen to make up a special set of stamps.
The designs highlight the work played by key workers and others in keeping the UK connected during the pandemic.
The winners will follow in the footsteps of highly acclaimed children’s illustrators who have designed stamps in the past, such as Quentin Blake, Nick Park and Axel Scheffler.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “It is of great credit to the children of this country that in world record breaking numbers they picked up their paintbrushes, pens and paints and paid artistic tribute to the heroes of our coronavirus response.
“Their brilliant efforts represent the collective gratitude of the nation to everyone who went above and beyond during the pandemic.
“Congratulations to all those who have made it to the next round and thank you to everyone who has taken part and to the teams at Royal Mail for managing this record number of entries.”
Simon Thompson, Royal Mail CEO, said: “We would like to thank all of the 606,049 children who submitted such brilliant designs to the competition.
“We have been amazed and impressed by the sheer volume of entries. And to have achieved a Guinness World Records title in the process shows how much the UK’s children value those heroes who have kept the nation moving during such a difficult period.
“To the 120 regional finalists - Well Done! We are really looking forward to seeing the winning eight designs!”
As with all Special Stamps issued by Royal Mail, the final eight stamps will be sent to the Queen before they can be printed and issued.