"I like writing," says Sheryl Stanners, explaining why she decided to enter a competition asking customers of Dolly's Milk in Stratford to send in their "stories".
Dolly's Milk has a front page advert once a month (see it on this week's front page) featuring a "story" from their cows. Popular with readers, the stories have discussed all sorts of topics, from the new raw milk regulations to selecting a new bull to spend some time with the cows. As the stories are written by the cows themselves, they always offer an amusing alternative view to life on the Dolly's Milk farm.
Margaret Dalziel, who with her husband Peter is owner operator of the popular raw milk business, says asking their customers to have a go at writing stories was something they had been thinking about for a while.
"We know our customers all have great stories to share about their own experience with Dolly's Milk, and we really enjoyed reading through all the entries."
Peter says they soon decided it was going to be too hard to pick a winner.
"We know so many of our customers. Because we see them regularly they become friends, so we asked the team at the Stratford Press to do the judging for us."
Managing editor of the Stratford Press, Ilona Hanne, says the entries were of an impressively high standard.
"We loved the fact everyone took a totally different angle, or had a very different message to share, yet they all had in common a clear passion for the milk and all obviously valued the excellent and friendly service they get from the team at Dolly's Milk."
The winning entry, written by Sheryl Stanners, stood out for its friendly informative style, says Ilona.
"We all loved the way Sheryl wrote about the cows at Dolly's. In one simple sentence she was able to capture their personality perfectly."
Ilona says Sheryl's article was readable, enjoyable and personal.
"It had all the elements of a great read."
Second place in the competition went to Mary-Anne McCallum, who says she has always enjoyed writing, so was inspired to "give it a go" when she saw the competition advertised. For third place winner, Bari Oliver, the motivation to enter came from wanting to share her positive experience with Dolly's Milk.
"If you love something you want to tell other people about it, so the competition was a great way to do that."
All three winners were happy to meet up at Dolly's Milk on Warwick Road to collect their prizes. Sheryl won 50 litres of Dolly's milk, Mary-Anne won 30 litres and Bari won 20 litres. They didn't have to drink it all at once, as Margaret and Peter gave them a card loaded with the value so they can collect their milk from the self service machine.