Talented artists and photographers of all ages have taken part in an art and photography competition to capture the spirit of Purfleet.  

The competition was organised by Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation and sponsored by Veolia ES Cleanaway Mardyke Trust and designed to celebrate the opening of the Veolia Mardyke Bridge – the pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Purfleet to the neighbouring RSPB Rainham Marshes and visitor centre – and the specially designed Sun Arch Sculpture, an iconic landmark for Purfleet.

The competition was open to children and adults who live, work or study in Thurrock, from seven years old upwards and the winners of the competition were revealed at the Purfleet Community Event on Sunday 6 June. 

The public were active in deciding on the winners, with a public vote held at the Thurrock Learning Shop, courtesy of UEL, making up 40% of the scoring and final consideration by a judging panel that included representatives of Thurrock Council, Commissions East, Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation, and guest judge, photographer Ian Billinghurst. 

The children’s winner was 11 year old Poppy Jane Little, who produced a sculpture from materials she had gathered from the banks of the River Thames by the RSPB centre at Purfleet, called ‘Sweet Thames Flow Softly’

Presenting the prizes, including bicycles and gift vouchers, Charlie Curtis, Chair of the Veolia ES Cleanaway Mardyke Trust said, “Congratulations to all the winning entries, which were fantastic.  This competition has yet again shown the wealth of talent that is in Thurrock and the pride that local residents have in it – and gave us some fascinating images of Purfleet”

Judging the entries, Sunny Crouch OBE, Board Member of the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation said, “Purfleet has captured the imaginations of each of the artists and they have demonstrated its rich and varied history, community and landscape.  It would be fantastic to see what artists could come up with inspired by Thurrock as a place to live, work and study.”

Russian-born Jurijs Novikous, 25, was the winner of the adult age group with his portfolio of outstanding photographs taken in Purfleet, while runner up Lata Upadhyada showed an imaginative sculpture of natural materials reflecting the RSPB's Rainham Marshes which will now be displayed at the RSPB Visitor and Education Centre.

The judges were so impressed with photographic entries from Jonathan Curzon, 35, and Vivienne Wright, 68, that they were awarded special commendations.

Note -

The accompanying photograph to this announcement is of Veolia Mardyke Trust chairman Charlie Curtis, left, with Jurijs Novikous, Jonathan Curzon, Lata Upadhyada and children’s first prize winner Poppy Jane Little with her sculpture.

For further information, please contact:
Nicola Milne, Sarah Barnes or Lawrence Luketa, Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation, Tel: 01708 895 431 / 895427 / 899389 or email