Meet Our Competition Winners
Compers News member Thelma Winyard recently enjoyed a weekend in Belfast with top chef Paul Rankin after winning a recipe competition featured on packs of his Irish soda bread!
"We met Paul Rankinon the Saturday evening at The Belfast Cookery School and he couldn’t have been nicer. He chatted to all the winners, asking us a bit about what had inspired our choices - my winning entry was a bruschetta. He recreated all the winning dishes, adding his own personal touch. So we were eating and drinking steadily for three delicious hours!
This spectacular evening came in the middle of a thoroughly enjoyable weekend. One of our hotel’s main attractions was that it was situated opposite The Crown Liquor Saloon, a renowned Victorian gin palace (or Guinness palace, according to your preference). This beautiful building is owned by the National Trust – the only pub they own, I understand. We also headed for Stormont, home to the Northern Ireland Assembly, were we spent a morning walking in the beautifully maintained gardens and woodland.
There is no way we could have afforded to go out for a meal such as was cooked for us by Paul Rankin. He turned my rather nice Irish Bruschetta into something sensational and I expect the other winners felt the same about their recipes. It was a dinner out of this world. All in all, it was an absolutely one-off evening and a memorable weekend. A unique prize. What a great hobby is comping. Where would we be without it?"
Lynne Buddin is not a cricket buff, but if she was to see just one match in her life it would have to be England v Australia at The Oval for the Ashes. Here she tells us about the day she nearly broke her cricket duck.
"Having won a pair of tickets including full hospitality courtesy of Marston’s beer, we were treated to great food and a wonderful view of the cricket pitch, the famous clock tower and London skyline, all washed down with as much beer as we could drink. All very useful while we waited for the rain to clear so that play could start. We were still waiting as mid-morning tea was served, and the rain was still falling as our delicious lunch was moved forward. Come late afternoon, and another deluge of rain had us shrugging as we enjoyed our cream teas.
What could we do? As play was abandoned for the day without a ball being bowled, I’ve still not broken my cricket duck. But at least I got to compare comping stories after meeting a fellow Compers News member."
Alison Walker wrote in to tell us about her Shopping Spree, compete with Personal Shopper!
"I have been comping since 2006 and after a particularly lean 2012 things have really picked up this year. I’ve won a balloon flight for two, an electric toothbrush along with £200 worth of Arcadia vouchers, Jazz Festival tickets and Fisher Price toys to name a few.
However, last month I finally won what I call a Biggie. A £2,000 shopping spree with a personal shopper at House of Fraser! I received the call on Thursday 12th September and, after calming down, agreed to meet with the promoters the following day to take my prize, which was to be filmed as part of London Fashion Week. My mum came with me and we were taken for a lovely Italian lunch and then my mum was looked after with endless cups of tea whilst I was made up and treated like a VIP! The timing was particularly good as I celebrated my 50th birthday just two days later. I spent nearly £700 on a designer coat, boots, shoes, dress and several smaller bits!
I check my Compers News immediately upon receipt and highlight any comps that I consider unmissable and enter them as soon as I can. Comping is a brilliant hobby, fun and so rewarding when you win, particularly when you can share your prize with family like I did with this great day."
Compers News members have reported these BIG prizes since our last issue!1. £6,000 of Homebase and B&Q vouchers2. Two pairs of worldwide flight tickets3. Adventure trip to Peru4. Three ‘Breathtaking experiences’ from Trebor worth over £1,000 each5. £2,500 cashAnd if you need even more encouragement, here is just a small selection of the other prizes our readers have told us about during the past month!Fantastic trips to Los Angeles, Barcelona, Athens, Paris and Switzerland, TWO London theatre breaks, yet ANOTHER Tiffany & Co. platinum pendant worth over £1,000, TWO traditional Pashley bikes, £1,000 cash, THREE £100 Love2shop vouchers, Ragdale Hall spa break, yet ANOTHER solid gold Paddington Bear badge, Samsung washing machine, FOUR £100 Asda vouchers, signed England football shirt, THREE iPad Minis, £1,000 worth of garden furniture, luxury hamper, plus LOTS of £50 Tesco vouchers and £200 Halfords vouchers from Fruit Shoot, even MORE Kindle Fire HDs from Douwe Egberts, Alton Towers tickets from Krave, Samsung digital cameras from Co-op & Trebor, tennis kits from Robinsons, £150 Sports Direct vouchers from Mars and much, much more.
Angela Moore tells us about how she won a trip to Wimbledon and witnessed a moment in sporting history.
"It’s always been my wish to go to Wimbledon and this year I made a real effort to enter competitions to win tickets. So when I won a trip to the Men’s Junior and Veteran’s Finals with my local paper, including an overnight hotel stay followed by a day out at Windsor, I was delighted!
As the day got closer I watched every match on TV in the hope that Andy Murray would make it through to the final. I never imagined I would be there to join in a moment of sporting history. The atmosphere during the day was electric, and standing right in front of Andy Murray when he came out to lift aloft the trophy to the crowd is something I will remember for years to come. I may not have been on Centre Court but I enjoyed a day of amazing tennis and can’t wait to go again."
Janice Skelton is hoping she is just at the start of what will turn out to be a winning streak.
After a pretty lean year so far I’m hoping my luck has finally turned a corner again. Here I am enjoying my favourite mag and a picnic at an 80’s evening at Tatton Park which I won courtesy of a local magazine. The weather was good to us and we had a great evening enjoying Toyah Wilcox, Howard Jones and The Human League. I have just followed that with two National Trust day passes thanks to Banrock Station wine so I’m now looking forward to a couple of days out too.
Let’s hope the sunshine and the winning streak continue! They may only be smaller prizes but they are much appreciated and spur me on until, hopefully, another Big One arrives."
Compers News members have reported these BIG prizes since our last issue!
1. Year’s free shopping at Asda worth £5,200
2. 5* French riviera holiday worth £5,000
3. Tiffany & Co platinum pendant worth over £1,000
4. Luxury trip to Guatemala
5. £1,000 Thomson holiday voucher
And if you need even more encouragement, here is just a small selection of the other prizes our readers have told us about during the past month!
Holiday to Hawaii, USA music festival trip, romantic weekend in Paris, solid gold Paddington Bear badge, Wembley football experience, £1,000 cash, Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone, NINE iPads, luxury hamper, 3D TV, weekend in Bonn, year’s supply of Ribena, Alton Towers family break, £500 cash, designer bike, washing machine, personal shopper spending spree, £750 cash, food processor, plus LOTS of Argos gift cards from Visa, yet more Kindle Fire HDs from Douwe Egberts, Wii U consoles from Robinsons, £100 Tesco vouchers from Pepsi, iPad Minis from Nature Valley, summer event tickets from Sainsbury’s potatoes, trees from Yeo Valley, speaker cans and mini fridges from Budweiser, personalised chalices from Stella Artois and much, much more.
We can sometimes find ourselves in unusual situations and unexpected places thanks to comping - for many of us, this is one of the great joys of our fantastic hobby - but for two Compers News members that meant going straight to the top! Both Chris Read and Anne Lee wrote to tell us that they’d won an invitation to the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace earlier this summer, courtesy of Waitrose and GSK. And what a day it turned out to be!
“Katherine Jenkins, Russell Watson, and all the other celebs were in fine voice and a truly wonderful and unforgettable time was had by all”, Anne told us.The palace obviously wasn't posh enough for Chris though, as shortly afterwards she found herself at Henley Royal Regatta thanks to Lavazza coffee. "We saw the Beach Boys in concert, it was a magical evening and I loved it”, said Chris.To prove Compers News members are a sociable bunch, Anne and Chris even managed to meet at Buckingham Palace - with their favourite comping magazine completing the picture, of course!
Sylvia Gill wanted to tell Compers News about my recent win – a trip to Macedonia courtesy of Pelagonia and Food & Travel magazine!
"My prize was a five-day ‘Gastro’ tour. We arrived in Macedonia and were met at the airport by the founders of Pelagonia products, who were two of the nicest guys you could ever wish to meet!We were taken to lunch and treated to a full Macedonian ‘Meze’ and got to know our hosts and more about Pelagonia and its red pepper products. The next day our hosts took us for a walk around the local market and in the hills above Skopje, we were then driven through the countryside to Popova Kula winery & vineyard where we went on a tour, followed by a long, lazy lunch of five courses with matching wines. On Day 3, we were taken to Ohrid, where we had two days by the lake, shown the sights and even taken to our hosts’ own house. It was this personal touch that made the prize all the more special. Finally, we travelled back to Skopje, spending our last night at another lovely hotel.Altogether, it was an amazing adventure and one we will never forget. Macedonia was somewhere I would never have dreamt of visiting, but thanks to our wonderful comping hobby it turned out to be a holiday of a lifetime that I’ll remember forever."
Jane Richardson could hardly believe her eyes when she got a letter telling her she was a winner in last year’s Nestlé Eurocamp holiday competition!
"My prize included the ferry crossing and a week’s stay in a top-of-the-range mobile home on any Eurocamp site (up to the value of £1,400) and a family pass to the PGL Action Station on the park. I was only brave enough to do archery, but my son and partner did the zip wire, trapeze and climbing too. The park itself had swimming pools, lakes, crazy golf, tennis courts – all set in beautiful gardens and kept spotlessly clean! Even the weather played its part and it was gloriously sunny the whole time. I have to say, it was one of my best wins to date!"