MEMORIES OF A WINNING DAY
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)
Letter of the month