AN ELDERLY typewriter in Beaminster Museum inspired a schoolgirl to write a prize-winning poem.

Ten-year-old Choka Ayunga was presented with the first prize for the museum’s Junior Literary Competition, for her poem entitled The Typewriter That Hides Upstairs.

The prize of a £20 book token and signed copy of The Palace Library by local author Steven Loveridge was presented by Christophe Dupuy, another local children’s author who writes about Ruby the Routemaster.

This competition was held in conjunction with the museum’s exhibition ‘Local Writers and Local Writings’ which showcased the significant number of authors and poets who lived in or wrote about the local area.

Young visitors up to the age of 12 were invited to submit a short story or poem inspired by anything they had seen in the museum or based on Beaminster or one of the nearby villages.

Entries were submitted to a panel of judges comprising Steven Loveridge and Christophe Dupuy with the museum’s curator, Brian Earl and education coordinator, Sue Morse.

Choka’s poem now enjoys pride of place in the museum alongside the artefact – an early 20th century LC Smith & Corona typewriter – that inspired her poem. It can also be read on the museum’s website on with two highly commended entries; ‘The Netherbury Knight’ by Georgina Gardner and ‘Together at Last’ by Isabel Hallett. Beaminster Museum opened its doors to the public on Saturday, April 5, with a new exhibition, ‘Water: Shaping Life on the River Brit’ which shows how settlements in the area were determined by the availability of water and how man, over the centuries, has attempted to manipulate water for his own ends.