They've all heard of Broughshane now! Village of the Year Champions

Thursday, 15 February 2018

They've all heard of Broughshane now! Village of the Year Champions thumbnailMembers of the Broughshane team on their way to final filming of 'Village of the Year'

THE googlers were working overtime on Saturday evening as people right across the UK and further afield searched for information on Broughshane.
 Newspapers and magazines were swiftly updating their websites with stories headlined 'the best village of you've never heard of ' or 'how to visit C4's village of the year.'
In this area, Broughshane's all round community efforts are no secret  but it has to be said that locals maintained a great 'wall of silence' to prevent any hint of their impending victory leaking out.
‘Broughshane - a charming village and a blooming beauty'. These words of Penelope Keith, presenter of the Village of The Year on Channel 4, were a powerful introduction to Broughshane's appearance in the Grand Final programme.
Broughshane made it into the final to represent villages from the Central Zone of this UK wide competition.  Originally one of 412 entries, Broughshane, having been shortlisted to the 76 villages which were filmed, battled its way through a tough heat and an even tougher semi-final to get to the final.
In the final they were competing with Beer, in Devon; Hampstead Norreys, in Berkshire and Bamburgh, in Northumberland.
“We were all very impressed, and perhaps a little overawed, by the other three villages," commented Hazel Anderson, one of the team from Broughshane.
The Grand Final programme featured highlights from an event which the village put on to celebrate the many hundreds of volunteers who work in the very many organisations which flourish in the village.
“We were challenged to put on an event which highlighted what was special in our village," continued Lexie Scott, Chairman of the Community Association, "And we decided that we had to include our wonderful volunteers. They are the people who add the extra to the ordinary in our village and who help make us extraordinary."
The village put on a cavalcade featuring over 900 participants representing many of the activities which go on in the village.
Patrick Grant, one of the celebrity judges, visited the village for this and was amazed at the numbers taking part and the sheer diversity of the organisations and the vibrancy which everyone brought especially on such a wet day.
The village was declared winners of the title UK Village of the Year on Saturday night's Channel 4 programme and the excitement and delight was clear on the faces of the team who had attended the final which was held in Berkshire in England.
Alex Langlands, another of the judges, said: "This is one of the most talented villages we have seen."
“It's amazing and such an honour,' exclaimed Maebh McKeown who had travelled to the final with a range of musical instruments representing  groups in the area which greatly impressed the judges.
Another of the team, Patrick Connor, who had made a hit with the judges when he sang at the semi-final said, "It's incredible, I can hardly believe it."
The judges had been particularly impressed by three volunteers - the three Bettys - and Betty Millar, known to all as Betty 1, was thrilled when the result was revealed on Saturday evening.
“This is a wonderful achievement," she said, "My phone rang for nearly two hours on Saturday evening with congratulations coming in from everywhere including Alaska!"
The busy village committee is now planning to have a celebration.
“We will need to put our thinking hats on to decide how we can celebrate this remarkable achievement," concluded Lexie.
Mid and East Antrim Mayor, Councillor Paul Reid, has hailed Broughshane's Village of the Year triumph and congratulated the community for its incredible efforts.
Broughshane was crowned the UK's best village, as well as receiving a cash prize of 10,000 to fund community work.
He said: "This is an incredible achievement by all those in Broughshane.
“This success is the culmination of years of hard work, commitment and inspirational community spirit.
“Council has a superb relationship with the community in Broughshane.
“The showcasing of Broughshane to a national audience, its brilliant residents and volunteers, and its excellent economic and tourism potential is superb news for our Borough.
“I have no doubt the Village of the Year success will lead to even greater interest in the area from across the UK and further afield."
North Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA, Robin Swann said Broughshane was a 'beacon for community spirit.'
 "Broughshane is certainly a magnificent recipient of this latest prestigious award and is a shining example to all of true community spirit.
   "As a beacon of such a dedicated community spirit, it can act as a terrific mentor to other village communities throughout our North Antrim constituency and beyond.
   "Our constituency has suffered much in past years from the economic downturns and jobs losses.
“But this super win in the Village of the Year event is a morale boost, not just for the Broughshane community, but for the entire North Antrim region."
  Local TUV representatives were swift to add their praise, with leader Jim Allister saying:
 "This is a tremendous achievement to be recognised as the UKs top village. This required leadership to inspire and organise, and local volunteers to put in hard work that has well and truly paid off."
Cllr Brian Collins, TUV representative for Braid continued: "The community spirit and hard work put in by the volunteers has been inspiring."
North Antrim MP Ian Paisley added that Broughshane people had given the entire area a 'magnificent boost'.
“They pulled together to show the rest of the UK what true community spirit is all about.
“Broughshane has won countless awards in the past but to clinch this title in  front of a nationwide TV audience during a prime time viewing spot on a Saturday evening is simply priceless! That moment when  the result was declared will have brought a smile to the faces of people right across this area. Well done Broughshane!"


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