J.C.Squire asks for a narrative introducing as many English place-names as ordinary words e.g. How can I stoke the furniss when I’m reading? In principle this is exactly the same as Competition 2502, in 1978, which was the first one I entered (on that occasion it was poet’s names used as ordinary words). the entry is predictably huge, with one competitor managing nearly a hundred place-names in his allotted 300 (too many, says Squire, but gives him the ruinner-up spot). D.A.M. is commended for his line ‘She sat alone under the County Oak thinking that if a Manchester she would not be able to run Bacup the Busby lane because she was afraid of the Blackpool’ (My introduction to Martin Fagg, who gained the top prize in 2502, was his final couplet ‘A ralegh pleasant afternoon;/ I’m surrey though to have to leave sassoon’). The list of also-rans is huge; the winners are M.C.Trench and Dythe.
The B competition, the winning entry of which Squire particularly admires, is for a sonnet ‘When I consider how my days were spent’ written by a young man or woman looking for a job after finishing their education. The linguist Dermot Spence is the winner and Kikine the runner-up.