Celebrating after hearing the news early in the morning
On Saturday 24th August at 6.45am thirty or more excited Great Barton residents met in Great Barton village hall at the ridiculously early hour to take part in Radio Suffolk's Rob Dunger show and hear the result of the competition announced live on air. One village comic even turned up in there pyjamas to emphasize the early hour! Whilst waiting for the result to be announced the residents had breakfast. At about 7.15 John Williams the chairman of SALC (Suffolk Association of Local Councils) announced that Great Barton had won the competition beating Wickham Market into second place and Brantham into third. The bubbly was then opened and the celebrations began.
The village had been judged by Radio Suffolk presenters Lesley Dolphin and Rob Dunger, accompanied by Councillor John Williams the Chairman of SALC, on Sat. 10th August at 11.0am. We were given exactly one hour to impress the judges.
The judges were initially shown around the Village Hall, which has won many awards in its own right, by Project Manager Peter Turner. Mick Brabrook and Pam Dennis then drove the judges around the village. They were shown the highly rated playing field the home ground for 4 football teams, the new allotments and the community woodland areas, including Icepits wood.
They were then introduced to sixteen village organisations which put on displays in the Church Institute.
Barton Players, Second Chance Stroke Group, Children's Society Garage Shop, Luncheon Club, GB W.I., GB Allotments, Holy Innocents' Church, GB Community Woodland, GB Scouts + Cubs + Beavers, GB Computer Club, GB Village Hall - green initiatives, GB Film Night, GB carpet Bowls, GB Emergency Planning, Friday Coffee Morning and GB Parish Council. The village hall could not be used for the presentations because it was being prepared for a wedding.
The judges were particularly impressed with Great Barton for the following:-
Great Barton received an engraved rose bowl and cheque for £500 for winning the district round. It receives a plaque and cheque for £1000 for winning the final and a £50 national garden gift voucher.
Great Barton also won the Suffolk Wildlife Trust Award and receives a prize and certificate for wildlife conservation.
The prize money will be spent on a project(s) which benefits the whole community.
The competition is organised on an annual basis by the Suffolk Association of Local Councils, with support from the district councils, and this year's event has been sponsored by UK Power Networks, the East Anglian Daily Times and the Suffolk Magazine, with support from the BBC and Adnams. Great Barton's co-ordinator for the competition was Mick Brabrook.
Great Barton residents celebrating winning Suffolk Village of the Year 2013