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MEET Owen Hulme and Amy Ellison - the winners of our 2003 Baby of the Year competition.

WINNING duo ... Owen and Amy
WINNING duo ... Owen and Amy

MEET Owen Hulme and Amy Ellison - the winners of our 2003 Baby of the Year competition.

The bubbly blonde duo were chosen from a shortlist of seven babies and five toddlers in the biggest-ever vote by Observer readers.

Owen, who is now 21 months old, won the section for babies between six months and 18 months. He lives in Westwood Street, Accrington, with his parents Paul Hulme, a civil servant, and Laura Entwistle. Delighted Laura, who works as a sales assistant at Mark One in Burnley, said: "I can't believe he's won. I am really proud."

For Amy, who lives in Stanley Street, Accrington, it was a case of second time lucky as the two-year-old was also a finalist in last year's competition.

This year, she clocked up a total of 166 votes to win the section for toddlers from 18 months to three years - much to the delight of her parents Paul Ellison, 25, a worker at Ward Knowles in Oswaldtwistle, and Tracy Doran, 24. Tracy, who works at Hyndburn Press, Accrington, said: "It is brilliant news and her grandparents will be really pleased."

Coming second in the baby category was nine-month-old Neve Hargreaves, of Queen Street, Clayton-le-Moors, while in third place was Declan Holt, eight months, of Ramsbottom Street, Accrington.

Second place in the toddler category went to Teala Rose Lynas, 23 months, of Charter Street, Accrington, followed by Keela Gerdom, 19 months, of Edge End, Great Harwood.

More than 200 babies had originally been entered for the competition.

Both the winners will receive a magnificent 20" by 16" framed wall portrait worth £250, donated by the competition's co-sponsors, the Garth Dawson Studio, along with a £50 cheque.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist