Higham is Lancashire's 'Best Kept Village' as Pendle and Ribble Valley dominate awards

Higham was named Lancashire's Best Kept Village
Higham was named Lancashire's Best Kept Village

Picturesque villages and pretty hamlets around Pendle and the Ribble Valley were praised in the Lancashire Best Kept Village awards.

The Lancashire Best Kept Village Competition held its 61st Annual Awards Ceremony at the Villa in Wrea Green, which saw Higham named 'Champion Village'.

The village received a commemorative plaque, along with a trophy, a framed certificate and an oil painting of the Village Hall in Higham commissioned by Lancashire Life Magazine.

It was a successful evening for local villages with Pendle's Blacko placed as runner-up, followed by the Ribble Valley's West Bradford, Sabden and Grindleton also placed.

Meanwhile, in the 'Medium Village' category, Waddington and Chatburn were placed fourth and fifth respectively.

Finbally, it was a strong showing in the 'Hamlets' category with the Ribble Valley's pretty Wiswell named number one followed by Pendle's Barley and Roughlee in second and third sport and Newchurch in Pendle in fifth.

The third highest number of entries was for the best kept War Memorial Award.

In announcing this award, chairman of the awards organising committee John Isherwood commented that the high number of entries for war memorials shows that Lancashire still remembers and honours the men and women who never returned to their villages.

The joint winners were the Cenotaph in Freckleton and the War Memorial in Blacko. West Bradford came very close and was awarded runner-up, and Highly Commended awards were given to Sabden and to Bislborrow.

John said: "There is a lot of hard work that goes into the judging process. All the judges are ordinary members of the public who volunteer because they believe in encouraging Lancashire villages to look their best.

"The three judging stages take place over the three months from the beginning of June until the end of August for those that make it that far. The final stage is by an invited external judge and this year it was John Gilmore from the afternoon programme on Radio Lancashire.