Lancashire Best Kept Village Competition
About & History
The competition was set up by the Community Council of Lancashire whose members were of the opinion that such a competition would promote a better environment for everyone throughout Lancashire.
In the early days of the competition, the whole of the County Palatine of Lancashire was included, but, after the boundary changes in 1974 it was only open to those villages in the administrative area of Lancashire County Council. It was hoped that the excluded areas (parts of Cumbria, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire) would have their own competitions, but this has only happened in Cheshire.
The first meeting was held on 16 April 1958 and six people, representing different voluntary bodies attended. Invitations to enter were sent out to all Parish Councils, Parish Meetings, Village Halls, Women's Institutes, and several other organisations - 500 invitations resulting in 16 entries. The first winner was Eccleston (Chorley).
Over the years, the number of entries has steadily risen, reaching a peak of 123 in 1994 when, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the competition, villages from outside the Lancashire County Council area, that had entered prior to the boundary changes, were invited to enter for that year only.
Since then, numbers have been fairly steady (90 - 100); in recent years entrant villages number around 70. In 2018 the Competition celebrated its 60th year Diamond Jubilee.
As part of a drive to encourage more entries, starting in 2019 and following a re-write of 'Constitution of the Competition', in order to streamline and simplify all paperwork used by villages and judges, the 'Certificate of Merit' part of the Competition has been replaced by a secondary competition called 'Outstanding Features'.
Villages entering the main competition will be able to nominate up to 10 Outstanding Features of their village - one per class for judging. Certificates will be awarded to the best in each class.
Planning for the 2020 competiton is now underway with the entry form now online (return by 31st March). We look forward to a hearing from and seeing the competiton villages and assessing the 'outstanding features'.
Presentation Event (2019) took place at The Villa 14th Oct where the winners were announced (2019 Results):
Champion Villages 2019:
◆ Champion Village: Higham
◆ Large Village: Freckleton
◆ Medium Village: Mawdesley
◆ Small Village: Bretherton
◆ Hamlet: Wiswell
Thanks to everyone who took part and for the time given by our Judges and Committee. A special thanks to John Gilmore of Radio Lancashire.
In 2019 the 'Constitution of the Competition' was updated and streamlined, simplifying all paperwork used by villages and judges; the Certificate of Merit part of the competition was overhauled, replaced by a secondary competition called 'Outstanding Features' - villages entering the main competition able to nominate up to 10 Outstanding Features of their village, and certificates awarded to the best in each class.
'10 Lancashire villages that you should visit' - Lancashire Life (article)
Did you know there are regional best kept village competitions across the United Kingdom?
Our thanks to our 2020 sponsors: Lancashire Life; Lancashire Association of Local Councils; Ribble Valley Borough Council, Lancashire Association of Local Councils, Eaves Hall, Preston & Fylde Live Magazine and James' Places. We are grateful too for the support of a number of Lancashire County Councillors.