Shotley is Suffolk's Village of the Year
Shotley has been crowned Suffolk’s Village of the Year, just weeks after being named Babergh’s top village.
The wonderful community at the tip of the Shotley Peninsula, pipped West Row and Grundisburgh to the title in, what the judges described as, a very tough competition.
The competition, for villages with between 500 and 3,000 people on the electoral register, was won after Shotley triumphed in the District Council stage, and then made a shortlist of three following another round of judging.
The final stage came on August 22 when judges visited the three highly-vaunted Suffolk villages and the winner was announced on Lesley Dolphin’s BBC Radio Suffolk Show on September 4.
She spoke to Shotley’s Village of the Year coordinator Geraint Pugh before Shotley heard the good news in his living room, where the win was celebrated with tea, coffee, Welsh cakes and a jam and cream sponge cake.
Mr Pugh said: "This is fantastic news for Shotley and all the people involved. It proves what a tremendous community we have and what a lovely village we live in. It is about the people and also the wonderful things we have here, from our youngsters in the scouts and Beavers, Kidzone, the village hall, which is used by so many voluntary groups of all ages to things like the Tea on the Quay, the Ganges Museum and the exciting Footpath Group and the walks through Heritage Woods (well I would say that wouldn't I?)
"Seriously though, thank you to everyone who got involved, and there were loads of people who did and that clearly impressed. Let's party."
Bernard Nichols, Shotley Parish Council chairman, said: “I am delighted that Shotley should win both prestigious awards and it is a tribute to the whole community, especially in the face of such strong opposition. We all know that Shotley is a wonderful place to live and it is marvellous that the judges have also come to this conclusion by us receiving this recognition.”
Derek Davis, Babergh District Councillor and Shotley resident, said: This is a wonderful and well deserved accolade for the people of Shotley. I may be a bit biased, but living here also means I know what a superbly inclusive community we have.
“Yes, we have beautiful views over the Rivers Stour and Orwell, and fabulous rolling countryside to make it a fabulous tourist destination, but it is the people that make the village what it is, and I can well understand how the judges must have come to their conclusion after meeting so many representatives of the huge amount of community groups we have here.
“I congratulate West Row and Grundisburgh for making the shortlist and all the villages that made the effort to take part and make this such a marvellous competition, which Shotley must be very proud to win.”
The annual Suffolk Village of the Year competition is organised by the Suffolk Association of Local Councils in partnership with county and district councils, and is sponsored by BBC Radio Suffolk, UK Power Networks, the EADT, Suffolk Magazine and Adnams.