MORE than 6,000 youngsters from 20-plus schools across Oldham took part in heats of this year’s Spelling Bee to produce the 21 winners.

They appeared in the finals held at the Council Chamber, Oldham Civic Centre.

Welcomed by mayor of Oldham Cllr Ginny Alexander, the finalists participating in the fourth year the competition has been run were congratulated on their achievement in winning through school events to reach the finals.

Over the next two hours they were engaged in a hard fought sudden-death contest to find the eventual winner - Ruby Graham a Year 6 pupil at Delph Primary School.

Runner-up was Yousuf Amin a Year5 pupil from St Patrick’s RC Primary School. All the finalists were presented with a Gold Bee medal, a scroll Certificate and a Dictionary, with the winner additionally gaining a Bee themed trophy, a voucher to spend at Madeleine Lindley and a specially designed Bee House for their school.

Sponsored by Madeleine Lindley Books Ltd and the Rotary Club of Oldham Metro the Oldham, Spelling Bee is believed to be the first in this country.

Organised by Simone Nixon of St Patrick’s School, each participating school held class heats leading to a school final for children in Years 3 to Year 6 based on age-appropriate words and spelling patterns within the National Curriculum.

Organiser Simone Nixon said: "The standard of contestants competing was astonishing – they certainly all proved themselves worthy of the crown. Well done to Ruby Graham from Delph Primary School who was crowned our 2019 Oldham Spelling Bee Champion."

President of Oldham Metro Rotary Club Jack Wild gave a vote of thanks and added his congratulations to all the pupils who had taken part and praised Simone Nixon for her excellent organisation.

He said: “Throughout the event, from the start in March to the final here in the Council Chamber there has been a real buzz for the pupils, for schools and for today’s audience. Each School running their in-house heats must have been a Hive of Industry with the Workers Bee-ing buzzy and no one Droning on.”

For further background contact the MC - Mel Farrar of Oldham Metro Rotary Club Tel 0161 633 0374