Village of the Year - Not quite this time!

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Channel Four's programme to find the Village of the Year featuring Audlem was on television yesterday.Competing in the Central Zone to go through to the semi finals were:

Histon and Impington in Cambridgeshire
Audlem in Cheshire
Strangford in County Down
Frampton on severn in Gloucestershire

Histon and Impington was described as one wonderful community originally from two villages and the home of the Chivers Jam factory established in 1875.
This community spirit was exampled by the village orchard where groups of up to 20 people have planted 70 apple trees and school children planted beds of wildflowers. The old rail platform wall was the focus of a village art project — Graffiti art!. A summer food festival brought together a wide variety of local foods including Sarinder and Sue with their Indian samosa pioneers.

Audlem's main theme was transport namely,

  • Village summer transport festival
  • Canal transport and canal art
  • Billy Gibbon's "quirky" Rock a Billy rocket

Bernard Gribbin proudly displayed his Austin 7 whilst losing his hat and describing the village as the "finest on the planet" whilst Bill Consterdine described the fantastic festival organised by ASET each year.
Peter Silvester described the canal activities — both holiday traffic and local home. Meanwhile Jane Marshall provide one of her renowned canal art workshops.

Finally Billy Gibbons showed his 1950's styled home and his rocket described as "she's a flier if you'll trier"

Strangford was described as Peaceful — Beautiful — Creative in a waterside location in County Down where most villagers have a sea view and bots a 16th century castle.Famous for its beautiful scenery one of its key creative activities is Marie Claire who designs and sell hats. Its main summer festival over four days which involved a raft race which seemed to be very competitive.!

Frampton on Severn in Gloucestershire boasted the longest village green Known as Rosamunds's green) with an ancient Manor House and Frampton Court alongside. It is famous for the birthplace of Rosamund (Nee Jane) Clifford who became Henry II's mistress who named her Rose of the world (Rosamund!).
A canal was built in industrial times to bypass a particularly difficult part of the Severn for navigation. It was praised for its fantastic architecture and its hedgehog sanctuary.

The Channel Four team after some deliberation chose Histon and Impington to go through to the semifinals. Many congratulations and best wishes to them. Commiseration to the Audlem team but a good try!

Ed: It may be thought that Channel Four covering only the Transport Festival ( Fantastic though it is ) may have been a somewhat narrow view of Audlem as a community. Much else took place here over the last year — Music and Arts Festival, Party on the Park,Firework Display, Adas Street decoration, Christmas trees and lights and Father Christmas, Youth Club, and ADCA activities for the Elderly , Charity Shop, Church Concerts, Audlem Voices- not to leave out the fantastic new Public Hall Annexe constructed last year.!