Lancashire Best Kept Village Competition
The Lancashire Best Kept Village Competition held its 62nd Annual Awards Ceremony at the Eaves Hall in West Bradford on Monday 11th October at which 120 guests including 9 Mayors representing many Lancashire towns and villages were present. Vice-Chair Kelly Wood thanked the judges and villages for all the hard work through a difficult year, especially after the disappointment of having to cancel the competition in 2020. Whilst the numbers of entrants was understandably down, it was great to be involved and to see the care and work put in by villages across Lancashire - we can all be very proud of the difference and local improvement that villages looking their best and being part of this competition makes. Kelly hoped that moving forward we could build up the number of entrants to the competition.
An overview of the competition and its history is given at the Presentation event, with an explanation of the judging stages and process over the summer months from June until the end of August. As usual the final stage judging is done by an invited external judge - this year we were pleased to have the services of The Hon. Ralph Christopher Assheton, who in 2020 was High Sherriff of Lancashire, and he joined us at the Presentation to present the awards. All the results are a closely guarded secret until revealed during the Awards Ceremony.
The 9 villages who through to Final Judging this year were:
Grindleton | Halsall | Pilling | Barton | Blacko | Little Eccleston | Whitechapel | Barley | Wiswell.
The winner of the 2021 Champion Village Class was Blacko. They received a commemorative plaque, along with a trophy, a framed certificate and an oil painting of the Recreation Ground in Blacko commissioned by Lancashire Life Magazine. The artist chosen by Lancashire Life was the winner of their Artist of the Year Competition, Ken Roberts who lives in Lytham.
Other major Whole Village Class awards went to Halsall (Large Village), Barton (Medium Village), Whitechapel (Small Village) and Barley (Hamlets).
There were 15 'Outstanding Features' Awards for features nominated by the villages themselves. This year most entries (27) were for War Memorials & Public Monuments won by Blacko War Memorial (runner-up Freckleton Cenotaph), showing that Lancashire still remembers and honours the men and women who never returned to their villages after war. A popular category was Public Houses (26 entries) won by Moor Hall in Town Green. Featuring highly in nominated categories: Places of Worship & Grounds (23 entries) won by St. James’ in Whitechapel, and Schools (24 entries) won by Ashbridge School in Hutton.
Competition Winners (2021) [class entrants]
- Champion Village - Blacko (Runner-up - Grindleton; Highly Commended - Higham, Elswick, Sabden). 
- Large Village - Halsall (Runner-up - Pilling). 
- Medium Village - Barton (Runner-up - Heapey). 
- Small Village - Whitechapel (Runner-up - Little Eccleston; Highly Commended - Haskanye). 
- Hamlet - Barley (Runner-up - Wiswell; Highly Commended - Roughlee, Inglewhite). 
Outstanding Features (2021)
- Place of Worship and Grounds 
Winner: Whitechapel - St. James' Church
Runner-up: Barton - St. Lawrence Church
Highly Commended: Sabden - St. Nicholas Church
- Schools 
Winner: Hutton - Ashbridge School
Runner-up: Halsall - St. Cuthbert's
Highly Commended: Mawdesley - St. Peter & St. Paul
- Public Houses 
Winner: Town Green - Moor Hall
Runner-up: Little Eccleston - Cartford Inn
Highly Commended: Lower Adlington - The Retreat, Barley - The Pendle Inn, Bretherton - Blue Anchor, Halsall - The Saracen's Head
- Hotel / Guest House 
Winners: West Bradford - Eaves Hall
Highly Commended: Barton - Barton Lodge
- Public Building 
Winner: Grindleton - Pavilion
Runner-up: Higham - Village Hall Roughlee - Village Centre
Highly Commended: Mawdesley - Village Hall, Croston - Heritage Centre
- Public Playing Field 
Winner: Town Green - William Arnold Silcock Field
Runner-up: Whitechapel - M.U.G.A. (Multi-use Games Area)
Highly Commended: Elswick - Village Hall site, Hambleton - Bob Williamson Park
- Children's Play Area 
Winner: Grindleton - Playground Blacko - Recreation Ground; Freckleton - Memorial Park
Runner-up: Croston - Recreation Ground, Hambleton - Bob Williamson Park
Highly Commended: Haskayne - Jubilee
- Industrial / Commercial Premises 
Winners: Bilsborrow - Barton Grange Garden Centre, Sabden - Specialised Automotive Services
Highly Commended: Walmer Bridge - William Loughran, Freckleton - Threlfall's Transport
- Shops 
Winner: Barton - Kopper Kettle
Runner-up: Blacko - The Hairdresser's
Highly Commended: Mawdesley - Post Office
- Sheltered Accommodation 
Winner: Grindleton - Almshoues
Runner-up: Blacko - Hillview, Mawdesley - Stocks Hall
- Community Notice Board 
Winner: Little Eccleston - inside Bus Shelter
Runners-up: Blacko - Gisburn Rd/Hollin Fold, Mawdesley - Spar
Highly Commended: Grindleton - Village Hall, Higham - Hall Rd/Kiln Hill
- War Memorial 
Winner: Blacko - War Memorial
Runner-up: Freckleton - Cenotaph
Highly Commended: Whitechapel, Sabden, Wiswell, Higham
- Bowling Green 
Runners-up: Sabden - Sabden Crown Green Bowling Club
Highly Commended: Mawdesley, Hambleton
- Cricket Grounds 
Highly Commended: New Longton
- Accessible Public Garden 
Winners: Elswick - Village Hall
Runner-up: Shirdley - Hill Village Green
Highly Commended: New Longton
Download Lancashire Best Kept Village Full Results 2021.
Previous Years' Results
The 2020 Competition was cancelled due to Covid and Lockdowns.
Preparations are now in hand for the 2022 Competition. There has been a further review of our Constitution, entry and judging criteria, and Judges training scheduled. Organisers now welcome entries from Lancashire villages - by 30/4/22.
Following the cancellation in 2020, the Competition resumed in 2021 with 46 villages taking part - understandably down on the usual number of entrants.
Champion Villages in 2021:
Final judged by Ralph Assheton (Sheriff of Lancashire 2020).
◆ Champion Village: Blacko
◆ Large Village: Halsall
◆ Medium Village: Barton
◆ Small Village: Whitechapel
◆ Hamlet: Barley
2021 Full Results
As ever we much appreciate all who take part and support this event, especially our Judges, Committee and sponsors. Good luck to all who take part!
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.
- Competition Entry Form 2022 (Word)
- Competition Entry Rules 2022 (PDF)
- LBKVC Constitution (PDF)
- Outstanding Features/Whole Village Mark Sheets 2022 (PDF) | (Word)
- Judges Report Form 2022 (Word)
- Results (2021) | Press Briefing (Awards Ceremony 2021)
- Results (2019) | Press Briefing (Awards Ceremony 2019)
- Results (2018) | Press Briefing (2018)
'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 2021 sponsors: Lancashire Association of Local Councils (LALC); Eaves Hall Hotel at West Radford; Lancashire Life, Lancashire Live and new sponsor Barton Grange Group. We are grateful too for the support of a number of Lancashire County Councillors.