The village has won the Environment prize for the Central Region of England in the Calor Village of the Year Competition, 2008. Parish Council Chairman Garth Powell and former councillor Richard Joyner (who co-ordinated the village’s entry) received the award and a cheque for £500 at an impressive ceremony last month at the historic Guildhall in the heart of the City of London.
Most people in the village have probably by now forgotten that East Bridgford was chosen as Nottinghamshire’s entry into this competition as long ago as September 2007. The Calor Village competition, now in its twelfth year, puts the spotlight on what happens in the competing villages, rather than how pretty they look. There are four main categories, People, Business, Environment and Communications. In each of these areas we highlighted many good things that happen in East Bridgford in our written entry, which can be found on the village’s web site. On a sunny afternoon last April residents gathered in the WI Hut to make oral presentations to two judges appointed by Calor. About ten people made presentations, pupils from St. Peter’s School serenaded and entertained everyone, and members of the WI offered refreshments. At about 5pm the judges left, and we did not know if we had won anything at all till that exciting Tuesday in December.
Calor Village of the Year web site provides full details of all the winners in the competition as well as listing the things that the judges highlighted in giving us the Environment prize. ‘East Bridgford is a village which sets its sights high, offering a wide range of educational, sporting and recreational opportunities to all of its residents, from the youngest to the oldest. East Bridgfordians are proud of their natural environment, and have an excellent record of protecting and enhancing it. For a village of 1800 people, voluntary contributions are highly impressive. The enthusiasm for the protection and improvement of assets such as rights of way, children’s play equipment, trees, allotments and open spaces is very impressive.’ Also commended were the Parish Plan, our Footpath Wardens, the Conservation area and its recent extension, and the energy efficiency of the recently built Local Homes for Local People. One of our presentations to the judges highlighted the Hydro-gen project at the Wharf, which is currently under discussion.
We congratulate the winner of the overall Central England Village of the Year, Seagrave in Leicestershire, but I like to think that we ran them close. I am very proud that we received the Environment prize which I believe we deserve, and I would like to offer my thanks to the very many of you who give your time and energy to enhance village life in whichever way. We have always believed that East Bridgford is special, and now we have the award to prove it.
Councillor Garth Powell