THE winners of this year’s Best Kept Village (BKV) Competition have been announced.
John Perry, MBE, Chairman of the Best Kept Village (BKV) Working Group, which organises the competition which is now in its 59th year, on behalf of the Community Council of Staffordshire, declared the winning villages in the five judging areas and those villages which had been Highly Commended for their efforts on Monday, August 4, at Stafford College, Tenterbanks Hall.
Alton was named the Best Large Village for the Staffordshire Moorlands, Oakamoor was crowned the Best Small Village and overall area winner, and Cauldon Lowe and Kingsley Holt were Highly Commended.
An Award of Special Commendation for consistent participation, effort and achievement in BKV over 50 years
was awarded to Ipstones.
Mr Perry said: “57 villages entered this year, which was up on last year’s entry of 53, so we were pleased that while we lost a few “regulars” we more than made up by villages returning to the competition after breaks of between two and nearly 50 years.
“Very high standards were achieved this year in many areas and judges had no easy task in identifying the “Best” villages.
“A great deal of work was achieved by groups and individuals across the county and there was significant awareness of BKV and a great deal of community involvement in a great many areas.
“These results were great achievements and rewards for the commitment, involvement and hard work of many individuals and groups in these villages.
“They all worked hard between May and July in particular to achieve remarkably consistent levels of maintenance and care across all features of BKV which really impressed the judges. “The BKV competition is, however, not just for those villages which win the top awards and the judges were really impressed by those villages which, while not likely to win, worked hard to maintain and indeed improve the environment of their communities by using the BKV competition as a focus for community involvement and effort.”
In addition to the main BKV competition, the children’s poster competition, sponsored by KGL (Estates) Ltd, and a new competition for young children’s poetry, sponsored by Mrs Jan Altham of Alrewas, saw hundreds of posters and poems being displayed in many villages to supplement their efforts to make residents aware of BKV.
The “In Remembrance” competition, sponsored by The Leavesley Group on behalf of The National Memorial Arboretum, saw outstanding entries by 11 to16 year olds from five High Schools across the county.
The results of these competitions will be awarded at a separate presentation evening at Stafford College on Monday, September 8.
Mr Perry added: “We can only organise the competition with the generous help of our sponsors Staffordshire County Council, Rubery Owen Holdings Ltd, South Staffordshire Council, South Staffordshire Housing Association, Lafarge Tarmac and The Leavesley Group and we are extremely grateful for the continued support.
“I should like to thank all the villages that entered BKV in 2014 and worked so hard through the summer to achieve such high standards.
“Finally, I must thank our 70 or so volunteer judges who give up their time so generously to make the competition possible. “Few got wet this year, a few got a bit sunburnt, but they all enjoyed their judging days.
“We could always do with a few more judges so if you would be willing to spare a couple of days in May and June next year, please get in touch with me or Liz Sanderson at the Community Council on 01785 242525 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org”