It’s not just Marlborough achieving awards for its presentation, Mildenhall (or Minal to the locals) has been awarded the accolade of Best Kept Village in Wiltshire for 2017 in the ‘Medium’ village category of the annual CPRE (Council for the Protection of Rural England) competition.
The commemorative Best Kept Plaque was presented to Parish Councillor Derek Price by the chair of Wiltshire County Council, Councillor Alison Bucknall at a ceremony held at the Village Hall in Minal on Sunday 1 October. Mrs Sarah Troughton, President of the Wiltshire Branch CPRE and Lord-Lieutenant for Wiltshire unveiled the standard and shield which now stands proudly on a post outside the Village Hall.
Following the presentations the Parish Council held a celebration in the Cricket pavilion to which all residents were invited.
Minal residents are very active in looking after their village. As well as the main awards, certificates were presented to individuals who had made great efforts to enable Minal to achieve Best Kept Village status. Linda Cook who is responsible for organising regular litter clear ups as well as undertaking a large area herself, was presented with the Hills plaque by Chairman of Hills Group Mike Hill.
Bob Barnett, whose family have lived in the village for generations and who looks after the cricket ground, was presented with the Best Kept Village certificate. Landlord of The Horseshoe pub, John Desmond was presented with the Frank McKim memorial award, presented to the Best Kept Village in recognition of the efforts made by The Horseshoe, of which the judges were extremely complimentary.
They particularly praised the absence of litter, the well kept cricket ground and the attractive garden and hanging baskets of the Horseshoe pub. They noted the condition of the River Kennet, the clarity of the water in particular and remarked that ‘the whole area was evidently well looked after by the river keeper’.
They also praised the change of use of the former phone box to that of library. ’Tidily kept’, ‘Parish map inside was also useful”, as was the map provided for the judges to find their way around the village.
The judges final comment on their judging report was ‘Overall, we felt that the village had pulled together to present its best appearance, and fully deserves first place. Congratulations!’.