Terling named as Essex Village of the Year for 2017
Several north Essex parishes have been chosen as winners in the annual Village of the Year competition.
Terling was crowned the overall winner in the Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE) competition, having come out top in the class 3 category – chosen on the basis of population.
Earls Colne placed second overall, having won class 2, while Wickham St Paul came third overall and first in class 5.
Coggeshall won its category, while Bradwell and Pattiswick, Great Bardfield, Great Maplestead, Great Waltham, Little Braxted and previous winners Alresford all received merit awards.
The overall winner receives £500 and the Essex and Suffolk Water Shield, with other winners receiving £200 and £100 respectively.
A total of 37 villages entered, with each asked “what makes your village special”.
Judges said of Terling, which made the Sunday Times list of top ten places to live in the East of England last year, that it had a “plethora” of facilities and events, including the small outdoor swimming pool funded by residents and run by volunteers,
They were impressed by the more than 20 clubs and activities, including the International Trifle Festival which attracts entries from around the world and is in its 15th year.
Judges also commented on the village store and Post Office, which keeps residents up to date and sells tickets for events, and the pub which re-opened last year. They said they were “particularly impressed by the range of community events and facilities in the village and the inclusive nature of the village”.
Nick Shuttleworth, RCCE director, said: “Terling is a vibrant community, proud of its past but very much looking to the future.
“It provides an impressive range of activities, services and employment opportunities for local people.”
Commenting on Earls Colne, one of the larger villages to enter this year’s competition, the judges praised the parish council as being particularly “pro-active” and for its work with churches, schools and businesses to run events – such as the joint carol service and shopping evening. The council’s work running three conservation areas, including the millennium green, was also mentioned.
Meanwhile Wickham St Pauls was cited as “a great example of one of Essex’s smaller villages”, with a population of 300. Noted by the judges was its annual Trafalgar Night held in the Victory pub with the Wickham Chapter of the Belchamp Morris Men, and regular community events such as Crafty Women and a local quiz.
The village prepares a welcome pack which each new resident receives.