Village’s best kept secret is out

The cast of the Spirit Youth Group's production of Bugsy Malone at Cheddington Village Hall
The cast of the Spirit Youth Group's production of Bugsy Malone at Cheddington Village Hall

A youthful spirit made the villagers of Cheddington top of the class, as they were awarded the DeFraine Cup for the Buckinghamshire Best Kept Village Competition 2014.

Cheddington, which was entered into the 1500 – 3000 population category, was nominated by its parish council and was particularly praised for its inclusive activities and facilities, as well as the number of young people who are involved in village life.

Council chairman Rob Grant, 46, said: “It is fantastic news and has come as a complete surprise! In Cheddington we’ve always been proud of our community and try to make it a friendly place to live.”

As well as seeing villagers smile and wave at each other, Cheddington is a hive of activity for both young and old. We’ve got a youth club, a youth football team, Cheddington Scout Group and Cheddington Youth Drama, whose latest project was Bugsy Malone,” said Councillor Grant.

“The Scouts do something nearly every night in the village, and they are always holding lots of fundraising events.”

The adult community are also busy bees, involved with, among other clubs, football, tennis, bowls, amateur dramatics, and a large WI.

Councillor Grant, who moved to the village in 1998, has always loved Cheddington. He said: “There have been changes – people come and go – but every new person is an active community member. That is what’s important, people getting involved!”

Cheddington won the Buckinghamshire Village of the Year Smaller Communities category for three years running in 2005, 2006 and 2007, was runner up in 2009, and won both the ‘DeFraine Cup’ category for villages of 1500-3000 and the Community Award in 2010. In 2011 it received a ‘Highly Commended’ in the Tindall Cup.

The awards are based on various categories covering community life, business, young people, older people, environment and information communication technology. The contest was run by Bucks Best Kept Village Competition Committee, whose chairman Richard Pushman said: “All the entries displayed much evidence of good village life with numerous activities and community participation.”

Full results:

Fulmer - Gurney Cup (population up to 500). Runner-up - Weedon.

Hedgerley – Morris Cup (population 500-1500). Runner-up - Mursley.

Cheddington - DeFraine Cup (population 1500 – 3000). Runner-up – Granborough.

Olney – Michaelis Cup (small towns). Runner-up – Marlow.

Chalfont St Peter - Pushman Cup (rural population over 3000). Runner-up – Haddenham.

Halton – Tindall Cup (2013 cup winners) Runner –up - Winslow.

Fulmer - Sword of Excellence (for the winner with the highest marks).

Mursley - Dashwood Trophy (for the best runner-up).

Hedgerley – Community Award.