Stowupland scoops village of year title

RESIDENTS have been celebrating after their village scooped top spot in a prestigious competition.Stowupland, near Stowmarket, has been named as the Calor Gas Suffolk Village of Year for 2006.

RESIDENTS have been celebrating after their village scooped top spot in a prestigious competition.

Stowupland, near Stowmarket, has been named as the Calor Gas Suffolk Village of Year for 2006.

It beat off stiff competition from 27 other entrants to claim the title along with a cheque for £1,000, plaque, certificate, a selection of plants from Nottcutts Nursery and a firkin of beer courtesy of Adnams.

The village will now go through to the national finals, to be held in April 2007, with the winners announced the following September.


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Jerry Voden, chairman of Stowupland parish council, said the title was a great boost for the village.

He said: “It's brilliant. Not just for the people concerned with the competition but for the whole village. There were some other very good villages so we know we have done extremely well.

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“We organise a lot of community events on our village green and I think that has helped bring everyone together - there is a great spirit among the residents here.

“There has been a tremendous amount of hard work from the village and committees that have been formed to take this project forward and everyone has pulled together to make it happen.”

Jean Collis, landlady at the Crown pub, said: “It's absolutely brilliant and everyone here is tickled pink. The residents who put in all the effort to organise the competition should be congratulated because they have all worked extremely hard.

“Everyone I have spoken to is really pleased. Stowupland is a lovely place to live and all the people here feel very proud that it has been chosen as the best village in the county.”

Ivan Lockett, district councillor for Stowupland, said it was wonderful news and just reward for the hard work of the whole community.

Runner up in the competition, which is supported by the East Anglian Daily Times, was Polstead, near Hadleigh, followed by Barton Mills, near Mildenhall, and Sproughton, near Ipswich.

Meanwhile Walsham Le Willows, near Bury St Edmunds, was named as parish council of the year.

The final stages of competition were judged by BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Rachel Sloane.

She said: “Choosing the village of the year was very hard as all the finalists are obviously much loved by locals. In the end I chose Stowupland partly because the parish council has gone to great efforts to canvas the views of villagers.

“They have quickly taken comments on board and have acted on them, for example, the desire of local people to make use of their wide open greens for social events which are being organised to great success.

“The involvement of younger residents is valued and the big achievement is to make a large, widely spread population feel like a village, even though they are so near to a big town.”

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