PART-TIME poet Pamela Griffiths picked up a £1000 first prize in a national contest - after penning verses capturing the beauty of the Sheffield village where she lives.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch Pamela read her poem.
The 58-year-old NHS worker impressed judges with her entry Home Sweet Home in Loxley Valley - and picked up a prize of £1,000 as a result.
Pamela’s poem came first ahead of many thousands of entries in the Local Poem Competition run by United Press.
But don’t get the idea she is a complete beginner - Pamela has been writing verse for many years, and had her first work published in 1999.
Since then her works have appeared in a variety of anthologies and collections, on CD, on Kindle and now in her own book Expressions of Life.
Pamela collected her cheque and a certificate at a presentation held at Sheffield Central Library in Surrey Street.
“It was a great shock to win the competition,” said the widowed mother of three.
“I’ve been entering the Local Poem Competition every year since it started five years ago and it’s been my dream to win it.”
Pamela said she first started writing when she saw an entry form for a different competition in her local library at Hillsborough.
“My late husband Clive encouraged me to have a go and since then I’ve been published in over 40 anthologies. My winning poem is a new one specially written for the competition,” she said.
”I’ve lived in Loxley for 30 years and it has always been a good source of inspiration.”
Judge Peter Quinn said Pamela’s winning poem was a traditional rhyming verse with all the qualities the competition was looking for.
“The whole aim of the Local Poem Competition is to encourage more people to write poetry. It’s free to enter and we ask people to submit a poem about someone or something local.
“Poems which come from personal experience often have that special ring of authenticity. They’re about things which matter to us personally. In the competition, we encourage people not just to celebrate their environment, but to describe and define it.
“Previous winners have been about towers, a river, village life and local history. Pamela’s poem sits alongside all the other annual winners as a very worthy prize winner.
“It’s a beautiful evocation of the pastoral, natural beauty of this country.”
Born and bred in Sheffield, Pamela is a quality and development officer at the NHS Sheffield Community Equipment Loan Service. She lives with her partner Sandy Hoffman.
“Poetry has become something very precious in my life and I would recommend it to anyone,” said Pamela.
“I am retiring in two years time and I hope them to devote even more time to my writing,” she added.
HOME SWEET HOME IN LOXLEY VALLEY
Our house is our haven, in a lovely spot
We wouldn’t change it, we love what we’ve got
Trees stand tall and the fields are green
We are lucky to be here, it’s so serene
In summer it’s marvellous in its glory
But in winter it’s a different story
Winter brings snow, everything stands still
Can’t get off the drive or up and down the hill
It’s worth all the hassle to live in this place
Whatever the season, Loxley shows its grace
When spring arrives it lifts our spirits high
The sprouting leaves, the clear blue sky
The birds come home to sing in the trees
As leaves begin to rustle in the warm breeze
We will never leave here, it holds us under its spell
The duck pond and the little ducks we know so well
Country lanes we drive along lead to scenic bliss
Sights around Loxley we’d never want to miss