Villagers celebrate second in close-run contest

VILLAGE PRIDE: Stoke-by-Nayland residents are delighted to have come runner-up in a best village competition, the first time they have entered.
VILLAGE PRIDE: Stoke-by-Nayland residents are delighted to have come runner-up in a best village competition, the first time they have entered.

VILLAGERS in Stoke-by-Nayland had official confirmation this week that their village is one of the best in the district.

They were pipped to the post for first place in the annual best village competition run by Babergh District Council, which it entered for the first time this year. The village came runner-up to winner Cockfield, near Lavenham.

Parish councillor Alan Shrosbery said: “Obviously we were very pleased to come second, but naturally disappointed that we were so close to winning. There were only two points in it between Cockfield and us.

“We are happy for a bit of recognition and, of course, we are better prepared for next time.”

Villages were awarded marks for appearance, community spirit, achievements, activities, and their parish council, with Stoke-by-Nayland winning £200 for coming second. The neighbouring village of Polstead came fourth.

Jo Beever, Babergh’s community grants officer, said: “It was a very close run thing, with only two points between the top two spots and 14 marks between first place and the last placed village.”

She added: “As a first-time entrant, Stoke-by-Nayland did especially well to receive high marks.”

The villages will now go on to compete in the semi-finals, with the chance to win £1,000 and the title of Suffolk Village of the Year.