SOUVENIRS of Charles Dickens will never be in short supply.
But Portsmouth High School students came up with something extra special when they designed and made an original set of Dickens mugs and bookmarks.
They will now be sold to raise funds for a memorial in Portsmouth to the legendary author.
All the proceeds will go to the Charles Dickens Statue Fund, which needs to raise £150,000 by April for a larger-than-life bronze in Guildhall Square.
Sellene Clark, 17, who pitched up a stall at the New Theatre Royal on Dickens’ 200th birthday last week, said: ‘Dickens was inspirational and a real source of pride for this city – I feel privileged to be a part of the celebrations. I have a personal interest too as one of my ancestors Charles West, who founded Great Ormond Street hospital, was a friend of Dickens.’
Florie Moran, 13, said: ‘Making the mugs has been so much fun – I’m proud to be involved in the fundraising effort.
‘I walk through Guildhall Square every morning and it’s a fantastic location for a statue of Dickens so everyone knows he’s from Portsmouth.
‘Dickens is one of my favourite authors.’
Lauren Foord, 14, added: ‘Dickens is part of our heritage and it’s nice to be doing our bit.’
Teacher Graeme Field said he was proud of his students who used a hi-tech laser cutting machine for the bookmarks and printed the mugs using ‘sublimation’ – a technique which seals ink on to a polyester coating.
Prof Tony Pointon, chairman of the statue fund, was so impressed with what he saw that he now hopes to deliver two personalised mugs to The Queen and Prince Philip when he visits Buckingham Palace for a Dickens reception tomorrow.
He said: ‘It’s quite an experience to see these images and souvenirs made so brilliantly by modern technology.
‘Charles Dickens would be thrilled to see these. He was so interested in all modern developments.’
To make a donation to the statue fund visit dickensportsmouth.co.uk. com.