Grand idea wins rail competition

A TEENAGER enjoyed a weekend in London after coming up with his own grand idea.

Jack Sharp, 15, came up with Hart of the North as the new name for a Grand Central locomotive after reading about the Name Our Train competition in the Mail.

Rail bosses wanted a new name for the 180107 train that celebrates Hartlepool.

And Jack, a pupil at Manor College of Technology, beat the competition after impressing them with his idea.

Ecstatic Jack said: "I was sitting with my granddad when he told me about the competition so I had a think about it and came up with Hart of the North.

"I didn't really think any more of it until my dad got a phone call saying I had won a competition.

"I was absolutely over the moon when I found out."

The name was unveiled on the train during a ceremony at Kings Cross Station, in London,where Jack was present as a special guest of Grand Central.

And Jack and his family made the most of the trip as they spent the weekend in the capital – the first time they had been sightseeing in London.

Jack was joined by his parents, Steven, 40, and Shirley, 45, his older sister Charlotte, 18, and grandparents Albert Porritt, 70, and Sandra Porritt, 62.

"It was a brilliant weekend, we went to Buckingham Palace, Madame Tussaud's, and some museums," said Jack, who lives in the Owton Manor

area of town.

"It was really nice to have all my family there with me, especially my granddad who has a real interest in trains."

Jack was presented with his winning plaque, which he said is going to take pride of place in his granddad's house with his train collection.

A plaque was also presented to the Mail in recognition of the newspaper's involvement in the competition.

Jack added: "My granddad loves trains and has an impressive collection so it is great to be able to put this up next to them.

"My great-granddad used to work on the trains as well, so it is quite apt to have won this award.

"It is definitely something good to look back on when I get older."

Sean English, operations director for Grand Central, said: "Grand Central is all about engaging with the community, so it is absolutely fantastic to have a local lad naming the train, he is a well deserved winner."

One of the winning plaques was also presented to the Mail.

Editor Joy Yates, said: "The Mail is really honoured to have received this plaque from Grand Central and it will have pride of place in our newsroom.

"We really appreciate Grand Central's community-spirited approach and commitment to Hartlepool and the generosity shown in joining forces with the Mail for this competition."