THIS beautiful shot of a frosty Hylton Castle is set to warm up thousands of Wearside commuters after winning top spot in an Echo competition.
Amateur snapper Alan Wynn’s photo was plucked out from scores of entries and will now adorn a new Grand Central train as it makes its daily journey to London.
As well as having his work seen by thousands of rail passengers, Sunderland University maintenance engineer Alan and his family will also enjoy a return trip to London and be part of the unveiling ceremony of the new look carriages alongside other North-East winners.
The 55-year-old dad-of-two, from Fulwell, said: “I was surprised when I got the phone call to say I had won because I thought they were calling to say someone else had.
“It was when I got up one morning that I went past Hylton Castle and saw everything around it covered in snow.
“I created the picture by backtracking in my footsteps.”
Alan, husband to Susan, 47, and dad to Kalvin, 21, and Karl, 19, added: “I’m not really a keen photographer but I’ve always had a little camera.
“My son bought me a Nikon one a while back and when I go out on my bike sometimes, I take photos of nice places.”
Echo chief photographer Kevin Brady and representatives from Grand Central deemed Alan’s snap the best of all the entries, which included shots of famous Wearside landmarks such as Penshaw Monument and Roker Pier.
“It’s dramatic and quite a technically difficult photograph to get, especially because it was shot against the light,” said Kevin.
“It’s also nicely composed.
“It was a close contest and there wasn’t much in it, but Alan’s entry just edged it.”
Sean English, general manager at Grand Central, said: “We received many wonderful images that really showcase the best of the region, but this image was particularly noticeable.
“We’re delighted that our train will now unveil the phenomenal scenery and attractions the North East has to offer, which not only gives those living within the region something to be proud of, but also highlights the North East as a great destination to passengers from the south.”