Rydal Penrhos pupil Lily Copeland won a special competition from the creators of the popular Charlotte Holmes Adventure Box.
A special visit to Rydal Penrhos Senior School from Ben Richards and Will Cousins, creators of the “Charlotte Holmes Adventure Box”, Year 7 pupils were given the chance to get creative and possibly even see their name in the next edition of the popular children’s mystery.
Mr Richards and Mr Cousins invited pupils to create an exciting story – full of action – about Charlotte and the people of Batley Hall and the winner of the story writing competition will have their name included in the next adventure, which is set to be published in the coming weeks.
There were a host of incredible entries from the enthusiastic Year 7 group, who spent seven weeks before the Christmas break going through the adventure box during English lessons with Fiona Earle, Head of Rydal Penrhos’ Language, Literacy and Communications faculty.
Among the activities Year 7 took part in was creating the strangest big vegetable, cake decorating and potato head design.
This competition opportunity was a reward for the pupils’ exceptional dedication and commitment to their studies throughout the autumn term, which was especially evident considering the COVID-19 impact and restrictions were having on their day-to-day routine.
It brought out the very best in each pupil who submitted an entry, improving creative writing and storytelling in the process.
The creators spent a considerable period reading each entry and deciding on a winner, which was Lily Copeland for her incredible story entitled “The Mystery of the Unknown Source”.
This is the latest in a long line of achievements for Lily, who has been at Rydal Penrhos throughout the entirety of her education so far and has gone on to great things both academically, within the performing arts, and from a sporting perspective.
Everyone at Rydal Penrhos would like to thank Ben and Will not only for giving up their time to visit the school before the end of term, but also for devising such an incredible competition for our Year 7 pupils.
The Mystery of The Unknown Source – by Lily Copeland
I did not realise; I didn’t even know. There had been so much commotion since I arrived at Batley Hall and I was trying my best to keep up. After all this fighting, arguing and accusing it was the butler, Alfred?!
The sergeant had arrived at the hall and everyone’s mood had gone from being excited and cheerful, to annoyed, confused and upset. Alice looked hurt, however. I swallowed the lump in my throat that was holding me back from talking to her.
“Alice,” I walked over to her and gently tapped her shoulder.
‘Oh, Charlotte, hello.” She countered; I could tell she did not want to speak to me. At all. I expected that. I just could not live knowing I did her wrong.
I poured my pure heart into apologising and asking for forgiveness. Yet our chat was cut short as I could see Sergeant Stan heading towards me. Although that wasn’t the sight that had caught my eye. It was the horrid butler being shoved aggressively into the back of an aged car. He looked at me dead in the eyes, it was like someone was pointing a gun towards my face, it felt awful. I pretended not to notice him, but I couldn’t help but realise he was speaking to another officer.
As I was about to speak up about it, I was swept away by a crowd of journalists and officers, begging to hear the whole story of what had happened during my visit to Batley Hall. Great. They asked me plenty of questions, in fact, so many that I can’t remember any of them; I really wasn’t concentrating though. Something just felt wrong, everything had gone way too smoothly.
That thought whirled around my head for the rest of the day and night…
I woke up to the beaming, golden sunshine peering through my patterned curtains. I felt vacant. My blurry vision adapted to the harsh light of the room and I glanced around the sparse area. I got changed, had breakfast and decided to look around where the Summer Fete was held, to see if I could put together the unsolved puzzle in my head. Flashbacks were beginning to appear in my memory as I stumbled around the pebbled pathway. The church money, the sirens, the shock and anger of everyone’s reaction.
Until I came across where the police car had been. I stopped, and stared hard and long at the area, it was a beautiful day, like all the others and I saw something glimmering under the precious light. Primarily, I thought it was just the rocks, however, it then became clear to me that it was a radio. From the officer that was talking to Alfred. I picked it up and dashed inside and ran to Sir Jeremy.
“Look what I found, sir!” I exclaimed, practically breathless.
“Well Charlotte, isn’t that interesting? Let’s have a listen to it” he reacted.
We both listened to it together, it said: ‘Alfred, listen close. This is exactly what we wanted; they know nothing about what’s coming. I will get you out of prison, I promise. Just do exactly what I say and maybe you will get your salary. Remember- word- key- Batley.’ Towards the end of the radio message, it began to break up. I figured it was trying to say ‘the key word is Batley’ but at this point everything was confusing.
“Ah, how a plan does come together, I say, look at this article in the paper Charlotte.” With that I looked where Sir Jeremy was pointing and noticed in big bold letters, a title that said:
ALFRED, FORMER BUTLER OF BATLEY HALL CAUGHT TRYING TO ESCAPE OUT OF PRISON NUMEROUS TIMES.
I looked at Sir Jeremy, my eyes lighting up. He nodded at me but told me I had to be back for dinner as Alice and Johnson wanted to celebrate the day before their wedding. With that, I travelled to the prison with Johnson.
“This is it, Charlotte. Be careful though, Batley State Prison is not the nicest of places, Reverend Kindly says it’s where ‘the most outrageous and awful of the lot go’.
I took his advice in mind and walked nervously, my sweaty palms rattling at the thought of seeing Alfred again. With some confidence, I walked inside. My memory was unclear because of all the confusion that’d been going on, yet I could just remember the appearance of the officer talking to Alfred. I clutched the radio tight in my hand and read the name of it, Bradley. I immediately spotted him and stopped him so I could speak with him.
“So, Officer Bradley, is it?” I began, “May I ask why you were discussing plans with Alfred, the former butler of Batley Hall, two days ago?”
“Wot are you, little girl, on ‘bout?” he rudely retorted, his voice made me shudder. He was clearly unimpressed.
“Well, I found this radio with your name on it. And if I’m not mistaken, this is you talking to Alfred?” I showed him the radio. And fortunately, at that very moment, none other than Sergeant Stan ambled past us, alerted by the arguing.
“May I ask what in the heavens is happening here, Little Miss Holmes?” he quizzed, a perplexed look plastered across his wrinkly face.
“Well, listen to this radio and you may find out Sheriff,” I beamed.
After thoroughly listening to the tape, Stan’s perplexed expression promptly changed to an angry emotion.
“Thank you very kindly, Charlotte. I think I’ll take it from here.” Stan stated.
“You’re very welcome Sergeant, goodbye. Bye, Bradley.” I happily skipped away and headed back to Batley Hall. I couldn’t have been any happier!
That evening everyone had an excellent time, even without Alfred, at the formal dinner for Alice and Johnson! And to add to that, after a couple of days, a paper was published with the title:
OFFICER BRADLEY JONES CAUGHT HELPING A DANGEROUS CRIMINAL IN HIS ESCAPES, LOCKED UP.
I felt a sense of pride! And as I lay in bed that night, I looked up into the clouds and saw a vision of Uncle Sherlock and my parents, all cheering for me.
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