Winners of BID’s new 2024 calendar show off more of Westside’s delights

Amateur photographer Pete Vale was clearly out in front when it came to entries for the 2024 edition of the annual Westside Business Improvement District (BID) calendar.

For Pete’s image of the International Convention Centre in Centenary Square has earned him the coveted position on the front cover of the calendar, which makes its third appearance next year after popular runs in 2022 and 2023.

Judges were once again impressed with the quality and breadth of the photos which were submitted for entry into the latest calendar, with numerous prospective contributors attracted by almost £1,500 worth of prizes on offer.

As an added incentive, all winners will also see their pictures printed and framed before being displayed in a new exhibition to be held at a Westside venue next summer.

Pete, from Kitts Green in Birmingham, receives a £200 gift voucher to eat out on Westside for winning the cover position, and the other 12 winners will each receive £100 gift vouchers.

Pete, who is editor of a collectables magazine specialising in autographs, became more interested in photography following the discovery of a serious medical condition.

He said: “I was diagnosed two years ago with bowel cancer and part of my therapy, both physically and mentally, was to go out for exercise, and so I have used that. I was itching to go out once I could.

“I always take my camera or phone with me to see what photos I can take. I go two or three times a week into the city centre because there’s always something going on in Birmingham.

“I’m probably more of a documentary photographer than a street one, so I do a lot of portraits. I’m brazen enough to go up to people if they look interesting and ask to take their photo. I have a pretty good success rate.”

Describing his winning photo of the ICC, Peter said: “There are a couple of marvellous benches opposite where I sometimes sit to have a rest. I saw the trees in the foreground and immediately thought about the framing with the leaves.”

He added that he was too late to enter last year’s calendar competition but made sure this time and was “delighted” to hear last week that his photo was to grace the front cover.

“I was recently diagnosed with diabetes, so it was a real boost to hear about the photo competition. I said this was better than insulin.”

Professional photographer Jas Sansi, who headed Westside BID’s judging panel, said: “It’s always appreciated when people not only stop and capture an image on Westside but then take the trouble to enter their image for submission in the BID’s annual calendar.

“I really enjoyed studying these images to identify the 13 winners. There are not enough months in the year to include all images received so, if yours is not in the new calendar, please keep on snapping and keep them coming. There is always another year!”

Mike Olley, general manager at Westside BID, said: “We have once again been deeply impressed with the quality of the photographs entered into our latest calendar competition, which ensured that our judges had a really difficult decision to make.

“We are confident that the winning photos which make up the 2024 calendar will continue to showcase the Westside area as a fabulous place to work, live or visit.”

The full list of winners in the 2024 calendar are below, and the individual stories behind each picture will be told on the Westside BID website at the start of appropriate month.

  • January: Daniel Sturley
  • February: Ameeta Gupta
  • March: Benedict Ferraby
  • April: Damien Walmsley
  • May: Elliot Brown
  • June: Ian Yates
  • July: Ian Yates
  • August: Elliot Brown
  • September: Jack Ed Babington
  • October: Meetu Varshney
  • November: Jack Ed Babington
  • December: Tracey Babington

More of Pete Vale’s photos can be seen on his Instagram page: @photosbyvaleb1 

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