We are delighted to bring you the winning entry of our recent History Writing Competition. Ellie, 9, who is from Caterham and attends Audley Primary School, wowed our judges with her evocative re-telling of the start of the Great Fire of London. Enjoy!
My name is Hanna Farriner and I am a brave Londoner. Today, I have been making delicious bread with my old dad in his bakery. I am going to bed now, leaving my dad to turn the oven off, as he does every night. As I settle down, I make sure that I have my sandbag teddy, Oscar, right next to me so he doesn't fall out of bed. As I am dozing peacefully off to sleep, a maid bursts in strangely, yelping her head off.
"Aaaaaaggghhh!" she wails, "FIRE, FIRE!"
"What is going on?" I think to myself, as she runs back out of the room. I jump out of bed, grab Oscar by the tummy, and run to my parents to wake them up.
"There is a fire! A fire, Mum!" I shriek, running out to wake the servants. The servants are already running worriedly away to tell the rest of the street. I can hear the roar of the fire getting louder and louder from below, as it gets nearer and nearer. My dad and I come up with a brilliant plan to escape the fire.
With Oscar still in my hand, I climb onto the roof thatch to get away, my family cautiously following me across the roof. The maid gets caught up in some thatch and is too scared to untangle herself to get away. Horrifically, the flames form a raging circle around her, and I can't bear it.
I glance around, and see thick blooming smoke drifting out from my friends’ houses. I get down speedily from the roof and flee from my house, hearing the crackling of the blazing sparks ringing in my ears. I sprint to my best friend Daisy's house in the next street, but no-one is in sight. I panic, and run with my family down the steps to the river, along with everyone else.
Once we get there, I see Daisy with her petrified family, taking cover in a boat on the river underneath London Bridge. I run over to her, splashing my freezing feet, and getting my nightdress soaked.
Together we stare in shock at the deadly fire killing our innocent city, wondering how or even if we will survive. We clench each other's hands tightly and pray desperately that we will be saved.
Wow – great stuff, Ellie!
As well as having her story printed in the August edition of the paper, Ellie won a family ticket to see Horrible Histories Live on Stage, courtesy of The Festival Theatre at Hever Castle, which she attended on Thursday 12 August with her parents and brother. She was also lucky enough to be taken backstage, to meet the cast of the show. Look out for Ellie's review, and more pictures, in September's edition of the Caterham Independent!