The results of this year’s Best Kept Village Competition were announced on Monday 6 August, at Gnosall Memorial Hall, by John Perry, MBE, Chairman of the Best Kept Village Working Group. (Which organises the competition on behalf of the Community Council of Staffordshire).
As usual at the Presentation Evening there was a large audience made up of civic dignitaries, sponsors, judges and representatives from many of the villages which took part in this year’s competition. The winners of the Children’s Poster and Poetry competitions and their relatives swelled the numbers this year.
The awards in the BKV competition went to all those Highly Commended villages, the Best Large and Best Small villages in the four judging areas, the overall County Winners; and to the winners of the Spirit of Best Kept Village competition.
John Perry said:
“This is my tenth year as Chairman of the BKV Working Group and whilst numbers were down a bit on last year, I was really impressed by the standards which were achieved by so many villages across the county. I know that a great deal of work has to go into making a really good BKV entry and that villages have to stick at it throughout the three months of the judging period if they are going to be successful. It was obvious as we went about our judging that many villages had really got their residents, groups and organisations involved and mobilised to meet the challenges of BKV. Those villages which had worked out a clear plan of campaign got their residents and groups to commit to BKV and to do their bit between May and the end of July were rewarded by the top honours this year.”
Forty villages entered the competition this year. In the first round judges looked at all villages twice, once in May and once in June.
The villages judged twice in the first round included Burston, Fulford, Hilderstone, Oulton, Swynnerton and Tittensor.
Up to three villages from each category (large and small) with the highest percentage marks in each of the four areas went through to the Area Final round.
The results for Stafford area were
Highly commended went to… Burston, Hilderstone, Oulton, Stowe by Chartley and Swynnerton.
The Area Winners were then judged in the to determine the County Winners – The Best Kept Large Village in the whole of the County in was Brewood; and the Best Small Village in the whole of the County was Tittensor (who returned to the competition this year after a long absence).
Each County Winner will receive a shield donated by the Community Council of Staffordshire and a tree donated by Mr Amyas Stafford-Northcote on behalf of CPRE. The competition was closely fought in many areas as usual and the marking was very close. There were only the smallest of differences between villages in the Area and County Finals. Some villages may be a bit disappointed not to have won or to have missed out on a trophy but they will no doubt be determined to turn the tables on this year’s winner in 2019!
There is no doubt that the villages which entered BKV and used it as a focus for their efforts to maintain and improve the environment of their village were well satisfied by the results. That is what BKV is really about, it’s not all about winning; taking part is important and the rewards are worth all the effort which is put in each year. The BKV competition can only take place with the support of its sponsors, Staffordshire County Council, Rubery Owen Holdings Ltd, South Staffordshire Housing Association, Lafarge Cement, The Leavesley Group, and new this year, Woods of Buxton and John German (Estate Agents).
The BKV organisers are grateful for the interest and generous financial support of them all this year.
60-70 judges are needed each year to judge the first two rounds of the competition in May and June. Few of them got wet this summers, but a few might have got sunburnt! They travelled many miles through Staffordshire and enjoyed the lovely well cared for villages which they visited. The BKV organisers would like to thank them for giving their time to judge. If anyone would like to judge next year please contact John Perry on 01785 713241; or email the Community Foundation for Staffordshire at office@communityfoundation .org.uk or phone 01785 339540.
John Perry concluded by saying:
“Well that’s the 2018 BKV competition almost over – apart from sending the Judges’ Comments to all those villages which took part this year and presenting the trophies to the winning villages. Then we can start to think about next year’s competition!”