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Bidwell shows he is prize guy

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 January 2009 | UPDATED: 22:15 05 July 2010

John Bidwell with all his trophies. PICTURE: PAUL PEEK PHOTOGRAPHY

John Bidwell with all his trophies. PICTURE: PAUL PEEK PHOTOGRAPHY

THE preparation was all worthwhile, as a special surprise present led to a picture-perfect image for posterity.

Sally Bidwell surprised husband John - six times world clay pigeon shooting champion - by working tirelessly to polish more than 150 medals and many more trophies, cups, pennants and certificates in preparing for a stunning photograph.

THE preparation was all worthwhile, as a special surprise present led to a picture-perfect image for posterity.

Sally Bidwell surprised husband John - six times world clay pigeon shooting champion - by working tirelessly to polish more than 150 medals and many more trophies, cups, pennants and certificates in preparing for a stunning photograph.

For the first time in more than 40 years, Bidwell's honours were pulled together for the picture at the Oulton Broad couple's family-run business at High Lodge in Darsham.

“There are stories behind every trophy, as it focuses on trips around the world to places like Australia, New Zealand and South Africa,” Bidwell said.

“The collection has never been seen together before, and it took about three car loads to take everything back and forth for the photograph, which I don't expect will ever be seen again.”

Bidwell has been a member of the Great Britain national shooting team for the past 30 years, and after not being able to attend the selection shoots last year it was the first time he didn't represent his country last year.

“I'm hoping to get back in the national team and represent GB again this year,” Bidwell said. “My next championship shoot is in April.”

He will be off to Australia in November for the world championships, as he hopes to return to his “old stomping ground” and win the title again that he'd first lifted in 1988.

“When I look back on things it did jog a lot of memories and what was nice was that I was able to pick up any trophy and remember the actual event,” he admitted.

Viewings of the trophy haul at High Lodge have been popular in the past week, and now Mr Bidwell is hoping to work on his own autobiography and “his dream” is to potentially create a gallery at the popular Darsham venue, High Lodge, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary later this year, has gone from strength to strength.

Hopeful of continuing it's success, applications are being planned to build more lodges at the venue and Bidwell said: “In the near future I hope we can put in an indoor air rifle range at High Lodge to give people a chance to shoot in a facility that would be the first of its kind in Eats Anglia.

“We've got lots of things in the pipeline and everything is buoyant at the moment,” he added.

To find out more about High Lodge, log onto www.highlodge.co.uk or telephone 01986 784347.


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