A POEM penned by Halesowen writer Joan Blundell reflecting simple but precious childhood memories has earned her first place in a national competition.

Although work by the retired secretary has been printed in numerous anthologies, her success in the Poetry for All contest is her first competitive win.

Her poem A Fairy Crown, recalling special times spent with her gran, was chosen from more than 1,500 entries winning her a £100 prize as well as inclusion in the anthology.

Mrs Blundell, of Howley Grange Road, said she wanted to put across how precious and fleeting childhood is and how a simple family life made me feel safe.

She added: “My memories are of treasured time spent with my grandmother which is the inspiration behind my poem. We had peaceful days, when the pace of life was so much slower than it is today. It was at a time before technology took hold.”

The 69-year-old said she was “very pleased” to have won the United Press competition and is already working on another poem for the publishing company’s next competition in which she contemplates reaching her 70th birthday.

Mrs Blundell has also compiled a collection of anecdotes and stories which she hopes to have published and hopes a venture producing greeting cards containing her verses and illustrations by her art teacher daughter Jane Blundell will take off.