Villagers celebrate as Felsted named Essex Village of the Year

DUN 28 Felsted Best Village

DUN 28 Felsted Best Village - Credit: Archant

Felsted is celebrating after winning Essex Village of the Year.

The judges said Felsted people of all ages showed real pride in their community and had a clear vision for the village’s future.

The award was given by the Rural Community Council of Essex, a charity which has run the annual contest since 1955. The council’s director, Nick Shuttleworth said: “Our competition is all about rewarding vibrant, enterprising and caring villages, a description that sums up Felsted very well.

He added: “Felsted is a thriving community with over a quarter of the people employed in local businesses living in the village. Its Village Events Committee has run fundraising events for 17 years. Recent community projects include the redevelopment of the playing field, providing a multi-games area, allotments and the reconfiguration of the village war memorial. A Neighbourhood Plan is currently being produced which will set out a 15 to 20 year vision for the village’s future.”

The chairman of Felsted Parish Council, Councillor Graham Harvey (pictured holding the bubbles) said: “We are absolutely delighted that Felsted has won the RCCE Essex Village of the Year competition. There are so many villagers who contribute in so many different ways to make Felsted a special place to live. It is easy to take all this work for granted but this award rightly provides recognition to each and every one of them for all their efforts.”

He added: “We haven’t entered this competition for at least 15 years. For last year’s Tour de France, we had 6,000 visitors and we put up a big screen and made it a fun day.”

The competition is sponsored by the Broadcast’s sister publication, Essex Life Magazine, the consultant electrical and mechanical engineers Worldbridge and Essex and Suffolk Water which gives the prizes. The winners receives £500. There is £150 for the runner up and £100 for third place.

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This year’s second place went to 2010 winner Great Waltham, which has over 300 volunteers running community organisations and annual music festival and drama productions attracting over 1,000 people. The judges noted that Great Waltham has built two affordable housing schemes for local people and has plans for a third.

Third prize went jointly to Little Hallingbury and Wickham Bishops. Little Halingbury has a community shop and post office run by 30 volunteers and Wickham Bishops has an award winning village hall and sports association.

The awards were due to be presented last night at the Annual General Meeting of RCCE at Writtle College, near Chelmsford.