Surrey Heritage Tactile Book Competition 2009

Where was the cats’ tea party? Who was the mushroom man? And how exactly do you get rid of a witch? These are just some of Surrey’s true stories recreated as sensory books for visually impaired children this summer.

For a visually impaired child, being able to feel, hear or even smell their way through a story can heighten the experience and understanding. This was the inspiration behind the groundbreaking Surrey Heritage Tactile Book Competition in which museums, galleries and heritage organisations took up the challenge to turn part of their collection into a tactile book.

In a series of free workshops, the stunning books were produced with hands-on involvement from sighted and visually impaired children, families and advisers to ensure their relevance.

Three prizewinners were chosen by a panel of experts from project partners the Tactile Book Advancement Group (TBAG), Surrey Association for Visual Impairment (SAVI), Barefoot Books children’s book publisher and Surrey Heritage on 21 October at the Surrey History Centre.

Marion Ripley of the Tactile Book Advancement Group said, “The creativity and imagination of those involved is truly inspirational. I know the books are intended for children but, as with all great children’s stories, these incredible books are such a pleasure to experience and can be enjoyed by everyone”.

The winning three books were announced in a special awards ceremony, attended by Steven Dodd the Woking Mayor’s Consort and Peter Milton, Head of Cultural Services, Surrey County Council. The first prize winning organisation received a prize of £200 from Surrey Museums Consultative Committee (SMCC) who coordinated and funded the project, in association with Surrey Heritage.

The winners were:

First prize – Brooklands Museum for ‘Aircraft Structures’

Second prize – Guildford Museum for ‘Princess Eleanor’s Special Day’

Third prize – Surrey Heritage for ‘The Witch’s Bottle’

The books will tour a number of Waterstones booksellers and libraries around the county before returning to their own heritage organisation in the new year.

For further details about this project, please contact: Tel: 01483 518737 Email: [email protected]

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