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Winning stories inspired by Orford lighthouse

PUBLISHED: 15:17 13 June 2014 | UPDATED: 15:17 13 June 2014

Orford Ness lighthouse is opening it's doors to the public for the very first time.

Orford Ness lighthouse is opening it's doors to the public for the very first time.

Archant

The winners of the Orfordness Lighthouse Writing Competition have been chosen from 130 entries.

Orford Ness lighthouse is opening it's doors to the public for the very first time.Orford Ness lighthouse is opening it's doors to the public for the very first time.

Adult fiction winner is Ben Winchester, from Saffron Walden, with Blinking, Not Drowning – a thought-provoking short story inspired by the fate of Orfordness Lighthouse. Second prize in the adult fiction section goes to Sue Ryder Richardson for her moving story about a lighthouse keeper, Shingle Held.

The children’s winner is Leah Manson from Ipswich, who won with her humorous story, My Dad is in Love With a Lighthouse.

“Our two winners stood out for their originality, and for the standard of their writing,” says Liz Ferretti, who organised the competition and lives in a neighbouring village to Orford. “The four judges were unanimous in their decision. We loved the twist at the end of Ben’s story and Leah had us all laughing out loud!”

The Lighthouse Writing Competition was set up to celebrate Orfordness Lighthouse, which was decommissioned last June due to rapid erosion of the shingle it stands on. The competition was hosted by Touching the Tide, a three-year project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, exploring the changing coast of Suffolk.

“The lighthouse on Orfordness faces an uncertain future,” continues Liz. “We wanted to find a positive way of commemorating this much-loved landmark on the Suffolk coast – we are delighted that so many people found inspiration in the story of the lighthouse.

“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to enter the competition. If you didn’t win, please don’t feel disheartened. It was a pleasure reading your work and I would encourage all of you to keep writing!” The winning entries will be published in the August issue of Suffolk Magazine.

The celebrations continue in September 2015 with a major exhibition of lighthouse artefacts curated by Orford Museum, and a concert at Orford church, with the world premiere of a specially commissioned piece of music.

For a full list of winners, and to find out about summer events at the Touching the Tide project, go to www.touchingthetide.org.uk

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