RICHARD FLINT COMPETITION

The Richard Flint awards were invented through a very generous legacy left to the Fellowship by Richard Flint. It was his hope that the money would be used to encourage survivors of Polio to embrace there artistic flare and allow it to flourish. Every year since we have run competitions in three categories for Polio survivors. This years entries were judged anonymously by a panel of three. The winners for 2020 are as follows...

 

Art 

1st Place, Watercolour Flowers by Cherry Evans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2nd Place, Stained Glass Scenery by Betty Brown

 

3rd Place Polluted Beach by Alia Hassan

 

 

Photography

1st Place, Squirrel and Coconut by Violet Roe

 

2nd Place, Liverpool Bay by Paul Oulton

3rd Place, Robin Catching Worm by Robert Barlow

Poetry

1st Place, Dark Days in Guildford by David Mitchell

Algipan for rheumatism, to me they said,

spread it on thickly just before bed.

So tube after tube i went and bought,

but no miracles happened, life was very fraught.

Day after day the pain increased,

but I was running the hotel so work never ceased.

I limped along dragging my poor old legs,

with aching arms and stiff fingers like pegs.

"What's wrong David" friends asked of me?

Then wonderful sympathy and lots of tea.

In the gloomy corridors guest looked on in fear

at this shambling figure looming ever near.

Simple jobs like stock taking in the store

involved gymnastics, perspiration and lots on the floor 

And then to the doctor, brief questions and barely a glance

no diagnosis - I missed my first chance.

The pain was appalling, every moment a nightmare

I just wanted rest and relief and some loving care.

My manager was ill and unable to cope,

So I carried on daily, kept going just by hope.every night.
 

Soon the paralysis started to grow,

my work rate went from frantic to extremely slow.

Olive and Peggy recognised my plight,

cutting up my food and mothering me 

Regular customers noticed by limited uses,

I brushed them aside with jokes and excuses.

Stairs became a problem, the cellar a test,

three steps at a time then pause for a rest.

Every day brought more agony, growing distress,

more covering up and attempting to impress.

Then carried to a taxi, once more to the quack,

and this time an answer and no taxi back!

Panic, confusion and complete desolation,

then into the ambulance and off to isolation!

A huge sense of relief followed all over me,

was the end of my struggle coming to be?

An old fever hospital became my new home,

I just lay there rigid, aching muscle and bone.

The hotel was shut, all the staff had a test,

sugar lumps throughout Guildford

Whilst I had a rest.

Celebrities and stars vacated their suites

whilst others less famous were chucked on the streets.

I thought I was lucky just to be saved by the bell 

but then an old iron lung - oh bloody hell!

At the age of 23 you should not have to ponder

about life and death and the future out yonder.

But months of care, love and top treatment

resulted in hope, mobility, peace and contentment.

Back then home to Lincoln hoping for some peace

But no chance, a physiotherapist who just wouldn't cease.

My job was held open so that I did not have to worry,

and eighteen months later I went back to Surrey.

Next door was Boots' chemist for potions and pills

but I decided against Algipan whatever my ills.

Years have gone by and I look back with praise

for the wonderful help during those desperate days.

When we chat at our meetings about our different lives

I marvel at the support of husbands and wives.

Some heart wrenching tales come from round the table,

and the human spirit is truly that word 'able'.

What things they have done, what jobs they have had,

memories so happy, so happy proud but never sad.

So many of our members are now dead and gone

but thank you God that the Fellowship still carries on.

2nd Place, Did You See My Carrots? by Brenda Phillips

Did you see my carrots?

Did you look down and sigh

As I planted cabbages too close

The beans collapsed

And I tried hard not to cry?

But did you see my carrots?

They really were the best,

I held them up to show you,

To prove that I do try.

Have you watched your roses bloom? Oh how they made you smile,

I've pruned and mulched and talked to them And missed you all the while.

Have you watched me mow the lawn, Attempt to cut the hedge?

I've cleaned the pond and fed the fish, Life goes on, but how I wish        

I've redesigned the borders to enable me to stay

Because you're with me in our garden, Each and every day.

3rd Place, The Enemy Within by Betty Brown

We all have an enemy within our souls

Sometimes hidden, sometimes for all to behold,

Now what is mine where can I begin?

To let the world know what is hidden within.

Hidden deeply only known to me 

Can I be brave enough to let it roam free?

The enemy for me is to prove I'm better than most

Before I go on, let me say I don't mean to boast.

It started when I was the youngest of five

Four brothers older I had to struggle to survive,

"Push off we don't need you following us

Go play with your dolls stop making a fuss."

I wanted to be the Indian Squaw

When brothers were the cowboys four.

One day they tied me to a tree

"Don't dare start crying they said to me"

As they ran off with their mates

Leaving me to my fate.

 

So at a very young age I said,

"I'll be as good as them or better instead,"

I was thrown into the pool by brother four

And managed to swim so he didn't score

I became a better swimmer than him

For i learned later that he couldn't swim,

All this thriving to be the best

Helped when I was older to beat the stress.

Of trying to beat this enemy within

Raising its ugly head don't let it win.

So when Polio visited and I was confined to a bed

The enemy within helped me a path to tread.

And here I am seventy years on

Still trying to prove I am as good as the next one.

And beat this enemy the enemy within.

We must never let the enemy win.

Contact us: 0800 043 1935 / 01923 889 501

CP House, Otterspool Way, Watford, WD25 8HR

©2019 by British Polio Fellowship.