PROUD community-minded villagers have collected their accolades at a presentation evening of the Suffolk Village of the Year 2012.

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Did you know?

n Cockfield has been inhabited for more than 2,000 years. The discovery of a sword (now in the Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds) is evidence of Bronze Age settlement.

n The name ‘Cockfield’ is derived from “Cochan-feld” probably indicating a site established by a person named Cochan. During the Middle Ages, the village became “Cokefield” and finally “Cockfield”.

n The square flint tower of St Peter’s church dates from the 14th Century. The tower was nearly destroyed by a storm during the winter of 1774. It was damaged again in August 1775, just after repairs had been completed, by a lightning strike.

It was this year’s winners Cockfield that hosted the event on Saturday. The Village Hall was bustling with conversation between competing communities ahead of the trophies and certificates being handed out.

BBC Radio Suffolk presenters Lesley Dolphin and Rob Dunger, who were the judges for this year’s event, handed out the awards to Bardwell and Worlingworth, who came second and third, respectively.

Phil Spiby, sustainability advisor for UK Power Networks, who sponsored the awards along with the East Anglian Daily Times and the Suffolk Magazine, gave the first prize to Cockfield, who also shared with Worlingworth the Suffolk Wildlife Trust Natural Environment Award.

Other awards included the Suffolk County Council Open Space Award to Moulton, and the Suffolk Association of Local Councils Award Parish Council of the Year 2012 to Stoke by Nayland. Rona Burt, organiser of the Village of the Year, said UK Power Networks had confirmed its sponsorship for next year.

Janne Cutting-Keyton, parish councillor and co-ordinator of Cockfield’s winning entry, said the competition is a brilliant way to showcase Suffolk’s villages and paid tribute to the support from the community. She added: “The process makes you focus on not just what you have that’s good, but also on what you can do to make things better.

“Cockfield isn’t a village that sits back and waits for things to happen. Residents not only take responsibility for their ‘own bit’ but also take on the care of ‘extra bits’.”

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