Northamptonshire’s best villages named at awards night

Helmdon - Overall 2016 Best Village Competition winner and winner of the medium sized villages cup. Photo shows villagers Ross Vicars, Sarah Adhemar & John Coatsworth  receiving the cup from Annette & Paul Hollowell, sponsors of the competition.
Helmdon - Overall 2016 Best Village Competition winner and winner of the medium sized villages cup. Photo shows villagers Ross Vicars, Sarah Adhemar & John Coatsworth receiving the cup from Annette & Paul Hollowell, sponsors of the competition.
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It was a good night for South Northamptonshire after its villages scooped all the top three places in this year’s best village competition.

More than 50 villagers and other guests gathered on Tuesday evening at the at the Hunsbury Hill Centre, in Harksome Hill, Northampton to hear the results of the 2016 Northamptonshire Best Village Competition.

All the winners in the 2016 Northamptonshire Best Village Competition, plus competition sponsors Annette & Paul Hollowell.

All the winners in the 2016 Northamptonshire Best Village Competition, plus competition sponsors Annette & Paul Hollowell.

The village of Helmdon was the overall winner of the competition gaining the prestigious title of the 2016 Northamptonshire Best Village and winning the prize of £1,000 to be used for village projects. Helmdon was also winner of the Medium Village category.

The judges said: “Helmdon is a vibrant community with many regular activities involving people of all age groups and adjoining villages.

“The village has a caring and friendly environment in which to live and work where there is a true spirit of neighbourliness.”

Syresham was the runner up, having also been runner up in the Medium Village group. Blakesley come third overall, after being named the winner of the Newcomers Cup and winner of the small village category.

The Best Village Competition, sponsored by Hollowell’s Funeral Plans, is run entirely by local volunteers and is based at Northamptonshire ACRE.

The competition looks at all aspects of village life: community and social activities, sustainability, the provision for the younger and more senior residents, the village websites, local business involvement as well as tidiness and the welcome visitors receive.

The full results this year were:

OVERALL WINNERS

Winner, Helmdon

Runner Up, Syresham

Third, Blakesley

LARGE VILLAGES

Winner Braunston

Runner Up Blisworth

Highly Commended Earls Barton

MEDIUM VILLAGES

Winner Helmdon

Runner Up Syresham

Highly Commended Brigstock and Wilbaston

SMALL VILLAGES

Winner Blakesley

NEWCOMERS CUP

Winner Blakesley

Runner Up Braunston

Highly Commended Earls Barton

David Scudamore, chairman of the 2016 Best Village Competition, said: “We would like to compliment every village that entered the 2016 competition. They exemplified the quality of Northamptonshire’s village communities.

“The successful villages all introduced the judges to a wide cross-section of their inhabitants and village activities.

“We would like to thank every village for making the judge’s visits informative, interesting and enjoyable.’’

The county co-ordinator, Barron Walton added: “Helmdon is to be congratulated on winning the 2016 Northamptonshire Best Village Competition.

“Helmdon has been a regular participant in the competition and is an excellent example of the quality of the county’s rural communities.

“We hope that 2017 will see even more Northamptonshire villages competing for the title of Northamptonshire’s Best Village.

“We would like to thank Hollowell’s Funeral Plans for their continued sponsorship of this prestigious Northamptonshire competition.”