In March 2020 the Village Hall laid out plans for the annual duck race and fashion shows, along with other events and the showcase pièce de résistance ‘VE 75th Anniversary celebrations”, all of which were washed out by covid and lockdown(s). You might not know it but a lot of thought and preparation goes into making these events happen. As all the grand party plans and preparations had to be put aside for the foreseeable future we turned our hands to creating Flash’s first calendar, something which no one had done before.
We decided to run a photography competition which seemed simple enough to begin with but oh, how wrong we were. I mean, for a start, how do you run a photography competition without encouraging people to go galavanting around the countryside during a national covid lockdown! Then there was the subject of competition rules which even though we kept as short as possible, people managed to ignore….
‘Photographs to be taken in Quarnford or looking from Quarnford’ – 1 photo of Blackpool tower was submitted, as was a photo of the Hindi god Ghanesh and beautiful photo of Flash’s amiable frenemy, Wanlockhead.
And so on…!
It must be said that even the judges ignored the rules as the initially voted for 5 portrait format photographs to be included in the calendar which would have only worked if we displayed them on their side. The submissions were of high standard, Blackpool tower was particularly good and I absolutely loved a photo of a tractor in the snow but sadly it was too small and would have looked like something from ‘Minecraft’ had it been made to fit the calendar.
One rule I would add for any future calendar would be a maximum number of entries per person, one winner submitted enough great photos to make calendars for 2020, 2021 and 2022.
We sent off the 13 winning entries (we needed an extra photo for the front cover!) to the printers and nervously waited for the proof to be returned. You’ll have to watch the film to understand the sentiment but when the proof dropped through the post, there was a mini Spinal Tap ’Stonehenge’ moment – I expected a large A3 calendar but what received was a smaller A4 calendar. The printers were right, I just ignored their ‘rules’…..!
We ordered 100 calendars with quite a significant upfront cost and all 100 were quickly sold. If you have one, hang on to it as Flash’s first calendar may well become a collectors item in the future – a few unscrupulous eBay sellers are asking £20+ for “rare”, “vintage”, “first edition” copies of Margret Parker’s “Flashback” and “Flash school”.
Are there plans for another calendar? The next one would be better organised, we would make more of a fanfare of the finished article and may even have a winning prize. It just depends how interested people would be…..