Best little village’s joy for Great Hinton

This Is Wiltshire: Sarah Troughton, president of the Wiltshire branch of the CPRE, unveils Great Hinton’s award for the Best Kept Small Village in Wiltshire Sarah Troughton, president of the Wiltshire branch of the CPRE, unveils Great Hinton’s award for the Best Kept Small Village in Wiltshire

Residents in Great Hinton are celebrating their village being named the best kept small village in Wiltshire.

It last won the title 25 years ago and residents had been working hard to repeat the victory in the section for villages of 500 people or fewer.

The title is awarded by the Wiltshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

The group’s chairman, George McDonic, said: “The judges are looking for two things; evidence of community spirit and effort, and that the village has been kept in good order and that it’s evident that there is a pride in the village from its inhabitants.”

The award presentation was made on Sunday, at the Village Hall, when Wiltshire’s Lord Lieutenant and county CPRE president Sarah Troughton unveiled a shield.

Air Commodore Nigel Williams, chairman of West Wiltshire CPRE District Group, presented a framed certificate to the council.

The award comes with a cheque for £150.

Mike Dodd, chairman of Great Hinton Parish Council which covers the village, said: “It’s not a massive amount, but it’s good for the village. I’m sure we’ll find a project for it.

“We do a lot in the village, one way or another, so there is a lot we could spend it on.

“The presentation was brilliant, nice and informal.”

Many villagers got involved in preparing for the judges’ visit, making sure all their gardens and communal areas were up to standard.

Mr Dodd said: “We just keep it clean and looking as good as possible. The judges are looking for how well the gardens are kept, whether the hedges and footpaths are neat and for special features.

“We have a nice village pump and we’ve now got a telephone box library. The phone box was being closed down, so we bought it, decorated it and now use it to swap books.”

A new portable defibrillator machine for the village hall was also unveiled at the CPRE award ceremony.

The parish council was given a grant by Melksham Area Board for half the cost and raised the rest with an auction of promises.

The machine can be used by anyone in the village, in case of a cardiac arrest Mr Dodd said: “We are a bit isolated out here and, by the time you get an ambulance out here, we might be able to do something for ourselves.”

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