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2023 Year 6 First Prize
An Ode to the Empty Benches
by Aras, Edith, Daniel and Marnie 

An ode to the tools scattered defiantly on the scratched and worn worktops.
An ode to the cobbles on the dusty trodden roads and the misplaced tiles on the millions of roofs
Below the smoke-engulfed London skyline.
An ode to the spark that was struck in the minds of courageous match girls.
An ode to the broken glasses, love letters, pieces of metal and wood that littered the floor of the Bryant and May factory.
An ode to the chants sung in the streets,
To resilience.
And finally, from the purple, green and white,
You are the match girls that struck our light.

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On 1st July 2023, a new musical composition was premiered at the Great Hall of the Peoples Palace at Queen Mary University in Mile End, to commemorate the 135th anniversary of the Matchgirls Strike of 1888.

The Matchgirls Memorial ran a schools poetry competition to celebrate the event.

Judges were Tanya Landman, Author, Dr Anna Robinson, Senior Lecturer UEL & Poet, Chris Searle, Retired Teacher, Author and Poet

Aras, Edith, Daniel and Marnie from William Patten Primary School won First prize in the Year 6 category with the poem, 'An Ode to the Empty Benches'.

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