Sat, 27 Jan 2018
COULD the UK’s village of the year be right here in West Berkshire?
Hampstead Norreys has made it through to the semi-finals of Channel 4’s Village of the Year in the South East region.
The picturesque village featured in the programme on Monday and was unanimously chosen by judges, who said Hampstead Norreys was energetic, ambitious and encouraged villagers to try new things and gain new skills.
Pamela Betts, who nominated the village, said: “We are delighted to have made it through to the semi-finals.
“Hampstead Norreys is a wonderful village to live in, with a fantastic community spirit, so I am so pleased its qualities have been recognised by this TV programme.
“Let’s hope we make it through to the next round.”
Hampstead Norreys is now in the final 76 villages featured in the series, presented by Penelope Keith, having been shortlisted from a list of more than 400.
Ms Keith and her team of judges, Alex Langlands, Juliet Sargeant and Patrick Grant, travelled the country to find the one village worthy of the prestigious title.
Mr Grant visited Hampstead Norreys to film the episode that aired on Monday at the end of May 2017, during the village’s FreeFest Arts Festival and summer market.
During his visit, Mr Grant made coffees for customers in the community shop and knitted for people with dementia.
The programme celebrates how villages are looked after and the people who live there.
Its scope is wider than a traditional ‘best kept village’ competition, however, as judges are interested in villages that have soul as well as beauty.
Hampstead Norreys is being judged for its appearance, history and heritage, village events, activities to do and visitor experience.
The winning village will receive £10,000 to spend on a project to benefit the community, with Hampstead Norreys eyeing the prize-money for a major refurbishment of its village hall.
The Village of the Year airs on Channel 4 every weekday at 3pm and at weekends at 8pm, until February 10.
Hampstead Norreys will feature today (Saturday).