Calor Village of the Year Competition


Every year, for the last ten, Calor have hosted a competition in conjunction with the Community Council of Shropshire.  The competition is a national one with county heats, and is funded by Calor and defra (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs).  Last year the winner for Shropshire was Little Wenlock and the England winner was Audlem, representing Cheshire.


This year when the paperwork came through in May I thought that it would be a good idea to have a go – the form looked easy enough, mostly tick box answers, so along with Mike Marsh and Simon Fielder we had a couple of meetings to complete the entry.  There was a very short window to turn the application around but we had a go, despite us all being pretty booked up already.


The focus for the entry was ‘Building Community Life’.  We found it quite easy to include the many aspects of village life that happen locally under the six categories of Building Community Life, Business, Young People, Older People, Environment and Information Communication Technology – even the last one now we have Simon’s village web site – www.calverhall-village.  Have you had a look at it yet?  Simon still needs more information, perhaps you can help him out?  You can contact him on 890123.


Anyway that was easy enough and I dashed into the offices of the Community Council, on the last day for submission and delivered our hastily put together entry.  A few days later I had a ‘phone call telling us we had been short-listed as one of four villages to be judged on Monday 19th June.  Many of you kindly came along to the event we organised in the Village Hall and spoke with the judges (who turned out to be running nearly an hour late).  My thanks to all of you as that was integral to the judging process.


I heard on 5th July that we had not won but that we were invited down to Chorley, Bridgnorth, on 15th July to the celebration of the winning village.  Naturally it turned out to be a busy day already for most of those I contacted, so Paul and I decided to go ourselves.


Chorley is a lovely community nestled deep in the rolling countryside of south-east Shropshire, and the event was held in Chorley Chapel.  It turned out their entry was for Stottesdon with Chorley and Sidbury.  We arrived and found a number of people we already knew and had a very friendly welcome.


Our biggest surprise came when the results were announced, Calverhall won the Environment category, for the work we had done on the pond project and was also overall runner-up for the main competition!  We received two lovely framed certificates, which will be displayed in the Village Hall, but we were also presented with a cheque for £300 as a cash prize for our two awards.  Fantastic!


So well done everybody – it was down to your input at the judging making the difference.  Just think - If we can do so well this year, what could we achieve next year with a bit more effort?  Perhaps we could expand the application to cover more villages?


I would be up for it, so if anyone is interested let me know.  One of the things Chorley has done is create a series of short walks around the Parish and produce a set of leaflets to go with them. (We bought a set to show what can be done). Food for thought!


Elaine Griffiths for Calverhall Village