PAMELA Griffiths turned to verse to express how much she loves living in her corner of Sheffield. And her enthusiasm for the Loxley Valley shone through so brightly that her efforts won her the top prize in a national poetry competition.
‘Home Sweet Home In Loxley Valley’ was judged to be the best out of thousands of entries.
“It’s such a lovely area,” said Pamela, aged 58, who has lived in Dunkerley Road, Loxley, for more than 20 years. “When you look out of the window, it’s such a lovely view. In summer it’s breathtaking.”
Whatever the season she counts herself lucky to be living in such a charming spot – even in winter “when you can’t get up and down the hills because of the snow and ice”.
Pamela, a quality and development officer at the NHS Sheffield Community Equipment Loan Service, won the annual free poetry competition run by London-based United Press, picking up a £1,000 prize this week at the Central Library in Surrey Street.
Judges said it was “a beautiful evocation of the pastoral, natural beauty of this country”.
Pamela said she was amazed to have won. “I have never won anything to this extent. I have certainly never won anything for my writing. I have been writing poetry for over ten years. It’s nice to be rewarded for something you love doing.”
The mother-of-three wrote her first poem after the death in 1998 of her husband Clive, aged 54, from a brain tumour. “My late husband Clive encouraged me to have a go and since then I’ve published my own book Expressions of Life and had poems published in many anthologies.”
She saw a United Press entry form in Hillsborough library. One of the judges, Peter Quinn, said: “Pamela’s poem is a traditional rhyming verse and has all the qualities we look for in this competition. 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 said: “I’ve only been writing poetry for a few years but it’s become something very precious in my life and I would recommend it to anyone.”
And she was certainly inspired by her surroundings – “I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”