Train operator C2C has announced the winners of its City to Coast Views photography competition.
Local people were asked to share photos of their favourite view along the C2C line. The shortlist was released in September, but now the winner has been revealed to be Jamie Penfold from Barking, with his view of the Walkie Talkie in London.
Like all good photographs, there is a story behind it.
“When I took this picture, I wasn’t in a great place in my life,” Jamie said. “My marriage had broken down, I’d recently attempted to take my own life, and I was off work as a result. I felt like my world was caving in.
“I had to find somewhere to escape the hustle and bustle and found this place purely by chance. It was just so peaceful, and the reflection was pretty damn good. Up there, I had escaped and had time to reflect. I sat up there for ages to be honest with my parents just talking through everything.
“Now, when I look at this photo, I feel happy, positive and thankful! That moment up in the roof garden was a big turning point in my life. I take my kids there now and it’s one of their favourite places.”
On being told he had won the competition and its first prize of a £250 Intu Lakeside gift card, Jamie said: “I’m blown away! I’m just glad that something good has come out of a tough time in my life and I hope it inspires others going through similar!”
Three entries were jointly named as runners up and have each won pairs of tickets to either Shrek’s Adventure, SEA LIFE London, or the London Dungeon.
Darran Hart from Leigh on Sea took a photo of sunrise on Southend seafront. He said: “Sunrise at Southend seafront, longest pier in the world; palm trees, sun, sea and sand. This could be any riviera, but it’s ours, looking perfect.”
Kay Barrett actually comes from Southend, but her prize-winning entry was of a boat on the water a few miles away. She explained: “Between Chalkwell and Leigh on Sea is my favourite view from my commute. At certain times of the day and year, in certain weather, you can get a beautiful shot – if you’re quick!”
Southend also featured in Erin Calwell entry. Although she hails from Battersea, her photo was of women at the end of Southend pier. “My friends and I took a day trip to Southend,” she said, “and had the BEST time! Fish and chips, arcades and the fairground. I love this picture of them taking a rest after a long walk along Southend Pier! What a view out to sea!”