We are delighted to share the top stories from our storytelling competition which ran from February - April 2021. Entrants were invited to write a short story from the perspective of on an object from our collection which was the London 2012 athletes parade jacket.  

Our judging panel included The Mayor of Aylesbury, Sue Wolstenholme (Trustee) and Vicky Hope-Walker (CEO).

The Mayor of Aylesbury judging the entrants to the storytelling competition

Whilst we were looking for one winner, we received such a variety of stories from various age groups it was impossible for our judging panel to select just one winner. As such, we have selected the top 3 entries, which I am sure you will agree with us are brilliant stories!

Harley and her story for the storytelling competition

Harley with her winning story

Prize

We are now in the process of organising VIP visits to the Heritage Centre for our winners along with a Paralympian to read their stories. More details will be shared as the stories are read.

Winning entries

Enjoy reading the stories below along with feedback from our panel on why they enjoyed these stories. We hope you will be inspired to write your own stories and to learn more about our wonderful collection! 

Story 1: Kalvin

  

  

Story 2: Harley


Story 3: Mrs Jane Johnson-Booth

The Thoughts of Simon Munn’s Uniform (Just Maybe)

I’m hanging on the outside of the wardrobe door, slightly surprised to be in the daylight and out of my protective wrapper. Simon has left the room, but I can hear him moving around. He often dips into the wardrobe and gives me the occasional pat, but I’ve not been out for, well, it must be getting on for a year. And then I see the calendar: 29 August 2013, well that explains it. Of course, we’d been matched together before, but one year ago today he put me on, all dazzling white with gold trim, pulled the zipper up to his neck and wheeled out into the Olympic Park for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics. While I’m picturing the scene, Simon returns and he’s got some photos, photos of that night. Almost without realising, he’s stroking my sleeve and together we look and remember.

So, what do I remember? The hours, yes literally hours, waiting outside the stadium as each country entered and their athletes had their moment in the spotlight. The noise was incredible, a roar went up at each announcement, something the athletes would hear again when the games began. Gradually the waiting area emptied until it was just us, Team GB, a sea of white and gold. And then they were announcing us, Bowie’s Heroes played, and we started to move off, walkers and chairs all grouped behind Peter Norfolk. It took fully 10 minutes for us all to get inside the stadium; a blur of noise and images, but I distinctly remember seeing Princess Anne waving her Paralympic Lion scarf, and the marshals lining the route still sashaying to the music with no hint of tiring. Sir Philip Craven made his speech, he’d been a wheelchair basketball player too and I felt Simon’s chest puff out just a little as he listened. When he spoke of Stoke Mandeville in Simon’s hometown, Poppa Guttmann and the start of the Games my sleeve got a little damp as he wiped his face. The Queen declared the Games Open, the flag was raised and the flame all the way from that same Stoke Mandeville was brought in on a zip wire, finally lit by Margaret Maughan – there goes my sleeve again.

The 10 days passed in a blur. Simon was backwards and forwards whilst I stayed on the wardrobe door throughout meals, matches, triumphs and disasters. No medals but fun and friendships and parties. Then on the last day Simon and I reunited for the closing ceremony. I didn’t feel the tension and excitement this time, instead it had been replaced by celebration and pride tinged with some sadness, this time my sleeve wasn’t the only one to be damp.

A year on and I’m here on my own wardrobe door as we both remember that extraordinary time; a time when we were the heroes, and blades and ‘chairs were associated with athletes – ability not disability.