Blacko is county’s champion village

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THE village of Blacko has this week been honoured with a prestigious regional accolade that names it as Lancashire’s Champion Village.

Results from the 2011 Lancashire Best Kept Village Competition reveal Blacko took the victory in the champion village class after beating off competition from 12 other villages and pipping West Bradford to the post.

The competition was this year judged by Bishop of Lancaster the Rt Rev. Geoffrey Pearson, who judged the villages on a number of criteria that aim to promote a better environment for residents while encouraging community spirit and cohesion.

The winners of these categories then move into the champion class where they remain for four years where Blacko was placed after being named winners of the small village class in 2002 and 2007.

Peter Hesketh said: “We have always been shortlisted but this time we won and the village is feeling great. All of our hard work has paid off. It’s important the village is not only pretty and picturesque but it has a very high level of tidiness and is well maintained. There cannot be any litter or graffiti and benches should be painted.

“A big thank you to all our sponsors who help with local costs, lengthsman Dave Bridge and all the volunteers who help make Blacko a great place to live.”

A plaque to commemorate their achievement will be fixed to the stone feature across from Hill View and the previous plaque will be moved elsewhere.

What’s more the Barber Shop in the village has scooped a Highly Commended certificate of merit in the best kept shop category. Julie Brindle is having a double celebration this weekend as she is also getting married on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Newchurch took sixth position in the hamlet section followed by Wycoller who were seventh. For another consecutive year North Valley Caravan Park, Roughlee, won the best caravan park.

But disappointment was felt in nearby Pendleside with villages such as Spenbrook, Higham, Roughlee and Barley failing to place.

Chairman of Goldshaw Booth Parish Council said: “Neither of our entries were successful in their ambitions this year. The parish council is disappointed with the result and it shows there are lessons to be learned for future years. We hope we will pull together next year to improve our position. It shows effort needs to be sustained over a period of time.”

The awards ceremony is being held at Gibbon Bridge Hotel, Chipping, on October 10th.