School students show off artistic skills in Arkell’s Brewery Jubilee drip mat competition


Students at Kingsdown School in Swindon have put their artistic skills to the test by taking part in a Jubilee drip mat competition with local business Arkell’s Brewery.

The Wiltshire based family brewery wants their pubs to celebrate in style and will be sending a barrel of their new Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Ale to each of their pubs along with the Jubilee drip mats and metres of bunting.

Arkell’s Brewery launched its Platinum Jubilee Ale in bottles at the end of March, but with the Jubilee weekend just weeks away, Alex Arkell has brewed a fresh batch of the smooth dark amber ale and it will be available on draught in all Arkell’s pubs in time for the long-awaited four-day weekend celebrations. 

The special extended bank holiday weekend provides an opportunity for communities to come together to celebrate the historic milestone of Her Majesty The Queen becoming the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service. With celebrations being so community driven, Arkell’s Brewery chose to involve the local school students in the creation of a drip mat to go alongside its beer in the pubs. 

Emma Leigh-Bennett, Headteacher of Kingsdown School, in Stratton St Margaret encouraged students across all the year groups to design the drip mat for the local brewery’s competition. Eighty-five entries were presented to Mrs Leigh-Bennett and then whittled down to 10 to be presented to brewery Chairman, James Arkell. 

Mr Arkell hand selected two favourite designs and more than 50,000 drip mats have been printed so far featuring them. 

“The students all put great thought into their designs, but one that stood out was a colourful regal design cleverly covering all the aspects of the Royal Jubilee, with dates and honouring the Queen’s great achievement, the other was a youthful interpretation encompassing the brewery and the crown,” he said.

Armed with a bundle of the drip mats that have been produced, Managing Director, George Arkell and Head Brewer, Alex Arkell visited the school to congratulate the winning students and present them with their prize; a voucher for a family meal at local Arkell’s pub, The Kingsdown Inn. Winners Will Fawkes and Harry Chase, both in Year 8, were delighted to have been picked and to see their design realised. 

Mrs Leigh-Bennett commented “We are so proud of our students at Kingsdown School.  Each and every student truly enjoys our expressive and performing arts curriculum at Kingsdown and developing their creative skills.  Students at Kingsdown love a challenge and we were delighted to see so many students take part in the Arkell’s family brewery competition."

"Kingsdown School is looking forward to developing further links with businesses in our local community.  We are so proud of our students, the skills they have and are developing as well as what they can offer our great town.”

Platinum Jubilee Ale is 4.2% ABV and is described as a smooth dark amber ale which gives a sweet caramel undertone, then a good dose of hops brings moreish fruity and citrus flavour on top to keep your thirst perfectly quenched; a fantastic beer for a memorable event, available on draught in all Arkell’s pubs.

Pictured from left:  Mrs Leigh-Bennett, Mrs A Slade (Head of Art), Harry Chase, Alex Arkell, Will Fawkes, George Arkell.