'Jacobite Jess' finds her way in the world

Jean McLeish

Nessie's cousin, "Jacobite Jess", has been brought to life in a writing contest for Highland primary pupils. More than 200 put pen to paper promoting the bid to win UNESCO World Heritage Status for Loch Ness and the Great Glen.

Pupils were asked to help Jess, who lost her memory and needed assistance to re-discover her identity. They had to incorporate information about World Heritage Status, Loch Ness and the Great Glen.

To inspire their stories, more than 600 children took part in storytelling sessions in schools and more than a third went on to enter the competition. The event was sponsored by Jacobite Cruises, part of Destination Loch Ness, the group behind the bid.

The winners were from three Inverness primaries - Dan Kennedy, 10, from Crown, Rhiannon Wilson, 11, from Lochardil and Natalie Shaw, 10, from Raigmore. Overall winner, Dan, won a Pounds 200 donation for his school, and all three children and the finalists win a cruise on Loch Ness with their classmates to look for Nessie and Jess aboard the Jacobite boat "Legend".

Children from 23 schools entered the writing competition and four of the 10 finalists came from Lochardil Primary. Lynette Wheelan, a teacher, said: "The competition encouraged their writing and, in our case, the fact that it was familiar to them was a big help."

Her pupil, Rhiannon, described her story: "Jess went with Jacobite Cruises around the world. She was going to the Great Wall of China and on the way she visited other World Heritage sites and interviewed the bosses. I made up good names for the bosses - so when I went to Italy I called the boss Mr Pizza."

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Jean McLeish

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