MEM­O­RIES OF A WIN­NING DAY

Countryfile Magazine - - Lazy Days -

I wanted to share a mem­ory with you. In 2000, I en­tered the Coun­try­file pho­to­graphic com­pe­ti­tion with a shot of a bee in flight (below). One day in Au­gust, I went to the park to take pho­to­graphs, though my wife asked me to re­turn home by 10.45am but didn’t say why. At 11am, a car ar­rived and I recog­nised John Craven, com­plete with two as­sis­tants and film­ing equip­ment. Af­ter in­tro­duc­tions, John ex­plained that I was one of three fi­nal­ists in the com­pe­ti­tion. Fol­low­ing the film­ing of some of my ‘flight tun­nel’ cam­era equip­ment, John and his crew moved down the gar­den. Un­ex­pect­edly, he said “Con­grat­u­la­tions Ar­mold, you are the win­ner of the Coun­try­file Pho­to­graphic Com­pe­ti­tion”. I re­sponded with a very lively “Wow! That’s ter­rific”. Af­ter con­sult­ing with the film crew, John asked if I could do it again, which I did twice more be­fore he was sat­is­fied. It was dif­fi­cult to re­spond with the same ini­tial ex­cite­ment. All of us were then trans­ported to Bryan’s fish and chip restau­rant in Head­in­g­ley where we had a very en­joy­able meal.

On 31 Au­gust, I ar­rived at Cotswold Farm Park for the prize pre­sen­ta­tion. The sound of an ap­proach­ing he­li­copter an­nounced the ar­rival of the af­ter­noon’s guest, Lord Lich­field. Af­ter pre­sent­ing me with an en­graved bowl, Lord Lich­field in­vited the cam­era crew and me to stroll across a pas­ture where we chat­ted about pho­tog­ra­phy. Thus ended an ex­cit­ing day 18 years ago, one I shall al­ways re­mem­ber. Arnold Wil­son, Leeds

You can buy this year’s Coun­try­file Cal­en­dar by call­ing the or­der line on 0330 333 4564, or by vis­it­ing www.hc­scal­en­dar.co.uk.

Lord Lich­field presents Arnold with his award (with John Craven, left)

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