Lancashire Best Kept Village Competition
The Lancashire Best Kept Village Competition held its 61st Annual Awards Ceremony at the Villa in Wrea Green on Monday 14th October at which 120 guests including 9 Mayors representing many Lancashire towns and villages were present. John Isherwood, Chairman of the organising committee, addressed those present thanking everyone from particpating villages (56) to judges and organisers for their efforts, hard work and commitement this year - we can all be very proud of the goals and results with villages looking their best that this competition brings.
Explaining how the three judging stages take place over the three months from the beginning of June until the end of August; the final stage is by an invited external judge. This year we were pleased to have the services of John Gilmore from the Afternoon Programme on Radio Lancashire. Presenting the awards was Councillor Paul Hayhurst from Elswick, the village named the Champion of Champions in 2018.
The 10 villages who are through to Final Judging were:
Barley | Blacko | Bretherton | Chipping | Halsall | Higham | Freckleton | Little Eccleston | Mawdesley | Wiswell.
The 2019 Champion Village Class was Higham, which received a commemorative plaque, a trophy, a framed certificate and an oil painting of the Village Hall in Higham commissioned by Lancashire Life Magazine painted by their Artist of the Year, Ken Roberts, who lives in Lytham.
Other major Whole Village Class awards went to Freckleton (Large Village); Mawdesley (Medium Village), Bretherton (Small Village) and Wiswell (Hamlets).
There were 15 Outstanding Features Awards for features nominated by the villages themselves. Most entries (33) for Places of Worship, won by St. Nicholas Church in Wrea Green. The Public House award (32 entries) was won by the Blue Anchor at Bretherton. War Memorials featured highly showing that Lancashire still remembers and honours the men and women who never returned to their villages; joint winners for this award were the Cenotaph in Freckleton and the War Memorial in Blacko.
Competition Winners (2019)
- Champion Village - Higham (Runner-up - Blacko; Highly Commended - West Bradford).
- Large Village - Freckleton (Runner-up - Halsall; Highly Commended - Longton).
- Medium Village - Mawdesley (Runner-up - Chipping).
- Small Village - Bretherton (Runner-up - Little Eccleston; Highly Commended - Haskanye).
- Hamlet - Wiswell (Runner-up - Barley; Highly Commended - Roughlee).
Outstanding Features (2019)
- Place of Worship and Grounds. 
Winner: Wrea Green - St. Nicholas' Church
Runner-up: Bilsborrow - St. Hilda's Church
Highly Commended: Parbold - Our Lady & All Saints
- Schools. 
Winner: Halsall - St. Cuthbert's
Runner-up: Higham - Higham School
Highly Commended: Sabden - St. Mary's Primary
- Public Houses. 
Winner: Bretherton - Blue Anchor
Runner-up: Mellor - Spread Eagle
Highly Commended: Lower Adlington - The Retreat; Halsall - The Saracen’s Head
- Hotel / Guest House. 
Winners: West Bradford- Eaves Hall; Chipping - Gibbon Bridge
- Public Building. 
Winner: West Bradford - Village Hall
Runner-up: Roughlee - Village Centre
Highly Commended: Haskayne - Village Hall
- Public Playing Field. 
Winner: Haskayne - Jubilee
Runner-up: Hambleton - Bob Williamson Park
Highly Commended: Town Green - William Arnold Silcock Field
- Children's Play Area. 
Winners: Blacko - Recreation Ground; Freckleton - Memorial Park
Runner-up: Mawdesley - Millenium Green
- Industrial / Commercial Premises. 
Winner: Sabden - Specialised Automotive Services
Runner-up: Welch Whittle - Festive Lights
- Shops. 
Winner: Longton - Blundell's Hardware
Runner-up: Blacko - The Hairdresser's
Highly Commended: Parbold - The Old Post Office
- Sheltered Accommodation. 
Winners: Grindleton - Almshoues; Mawdesley - Stocks Hall
Runner-up: Blacko - Hillview
Highly Commended: Goosnargh - Bushell House
- Notice Board. 
Winner: West Bradford - Grindleton Rd
Runners-up: Blacko - Gisburn Rd/ Hollin Fold; Higham - Hall Rd/Kiln Hill
- War Memorial. 
Winners: Blacko - War Memorial; Freckleton - Cenotaph
Runner-up: West Bradford - Coronation Gardens
Highly Commended: Bilsborrow - Memorial
- Bowling Green. 
Winner: Sabden - Sabden Crown Green Bowling Club
Runners-up: Bretherton; Hambleton
- Cricket Grounds. 
- Accessible Public Garden. 
Winners: Wiswell - Coronation Garden; Waddington - Coronation Gardens
Runner-up: Haskayne - Orchard & Wild Flower Garden
Download Lancashire Best Kept Village Full Results 2019.
Previous Years' Results
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.