Work for the Best Kept Village never stops ... Even in the winter, even at Christmas,
there is work to be done. The call for a December Tidy-up was prompted by the desire
to see the village spick and span for the 2012 switch-on of Haughton’s famous Christmas
Wrapped for the weather in high-visibility vest and Santa hat
There’s a piece of litter hidden amongst the frosty leaves
A great way to keep warm and fit on a freezing cold day
Willing volunteers begin to gather at the Village Hall in readiness for the 2013
BKV Launch Meeting
Formerly known as Litter-picks and Pick-me-ups, these popular group sessions have
been re-branded for 2013 as Tidy-ups to reflect that it isn’t just discarded crisp
packets, cans and cigarette ends that need our attention, but accumulations of leaves,
dust and twigs blown from trees. Although many people have their own favourite area
to look after (and please continue to do so!), it’s good to get together to chat
and work with others and to seek out and clean up those harder to reach spots ...
If you’ve never been on a tidy-up, why not give it try? There is no requirement
to come on all or even on the first. Just pop along to the Village Hall car park
at 6.30pm on one of the scheduled dates, where you can find a litter-picking tool,
a bag, a tabard and a companion and spend a happy hour making the village look its
The latest addition to the tidying-up cause is this recycling bin which can be found
on the car park at the Jim Jarvis Memorial Playing Field. It has a space at one
end for general litter, a space at the opposite end for cans, glass bottles and plastic
bottles and even a slot in the middle for cigarette ends. Keeping the village tidy
and recycling at the same time. What could be better?
In spite of spring being very late, tidying-up still took place. Even before the
first scheduled group session, dedicated BKV regulars were hard at work ...
... and after.
Photo by Shaun Jones
And what a difference clearing under the hedge makes!
The first group Tidy-up of the season was held on Monday 10th April, a dull, but
at least dry, day. Everyone went off with their bags, broom, pickers, dust-pans,
etc and got to work. By the end of the hour-long session improvements were obvious.
The village was a litter-free zone, the area around the shops had been weeded and
swept and the cemetery beech hedge had been cleared of undergrowth. It may have
been cold, with fading light, but all the volunteers went home warmed by the glow
of a job well done ...
A second recycling bin appeared in April, situated between the butcher’s shop and
the village notice-board.
After what seemed to be an endless winter, the March flowers bloomed in late April.
And weren’t they worth waiting for?
The second Tidy-up took place on Monday 29th April. It was very well-attended, in
spite of a typical April shower which delayed the start by a few minutes. The teams
were well-scattered around the village, making sure that every area was looking its
The wonderful display of children’s posters was put on its new site at the Village
Hall at the end of April. As always, the pupils of Haughton St Giles Primary School
produced a set of thought-provoking, attractive and colourful posters. This year,
the themes for each age group related to all things environmental, including composting,
locally-produced food and recycling.
The 2013 winning posters
Some of the pupils from the school also replanted the special flowerbed, which was
created in 2011, with fresh and colourful pansies.
The weather was finally dry enough for the cemetery gates to be given a fresh coat
of paint. This is just one of the many maintenance jobs, such as the painting of
benches, fences, gates and tubs undertaken by volunteers.
The finished gates
The churchyard gates were also repainted.
Tidying-up involves much more than litter-picking, as this picture of a commemorative
rose bush being pruned during the group event on Wednesday 8th May shows.
The fourth scheduled Tidy-up took place on Thursday 16th May, in fine spring weather.
The fifth Tidy-up, held on Thursday 30th May, marked the half-way point in the Tidy-up
schedule. Some of the evening’s volunteers are shown picking, sweeping and binning,
as well as coping with the windy weather.
The children of St Giles Church Sunday School produced these beautifully painted
pots and stones and then filled the pots with fresh new bedding plants at their May
meeting. They make a stunning and welcoming display by the church porch.
The railings around the graves and memorials to the Royds at the rear of the East
end of the church have been repainted in the same black and gold as the churchyard
gates. (Compare this with the picture on the church page.)
Thursday 6th June was a beautiful day. Those who joined the fifth scheduled Tidy-up
found an abundance of cigarette ends thrown from open car windows on either side
of the main road! This picture shows some of the team pausing outside the school
in Rectory Lane.
Maintaining the flower beds on Newport Road is a huge job. It takes many days of
hard work to clear one season’s plants, replenish the soil and put in the new season’s
plants. This year the spring flowers bloomed late, and just when the beds were being
changed from spring to summer planting, the weather went dry, then wet and cold.
Thanks to the work of Bert Moore the bedding plants were in their plots by mid-June.
Now all that is needed is some seasonal sunshine and warmth to help them grow and
The Tidy-up of Thursday 27th June was shortened by inclement weather. The shop area
was tidied and the main road scoured for litter. In addition, the bins were given
a good dose of disinfectant, as shown here, under the shelter of the trees.
The weather was much better for our eighth Tidy-up, held on Thursday 4th July. Many
people came and there was much to do, including sweeping up dust and debris from
around the shops.
On the same beautiful evening, three tyre planters, already embedded in their new
situations and containing fresh plants, were being undercoated.
The finished tyres are shown here in the dappled light of a bright July day.
General litter picking, sweeping up around the shops and a thorough tidying of the
churchyard took place on the hot evening of Friday 12th July.
The final scheduled Tidy-up of the season took place on Wednesday 17th July, the
hottest day of the year so far. Even so, a good deal of picking, weeding, brushing,
cleaning and sweeping took place!
The Awards Evening for news of this year’s result and the presentation of the Best
Kept Garden Competition will be held in
Haughton Village Hall at 7.30pm on Friday 9th August.
This year’s event was held at Weston Village Hall on Monday 5th August. Haughton
once again swept the board by winning all three awards, Best Kept Large Village in
Stafford District, Best Kept Village (Large or Small) in Stafford District and Best
Kept Large Village in Staffordshire. This is the third successive year in which
Haughton has won the three top titles. (In 2012 Best Kept Village in Stafford District
was shared with Derrington.) This result is immensely pleasing for all concerned,
a reward for the many individuals and groups who joined together to ensure that Haughton
looked its best. The success reflects everything that BKV stands for; caring for
the environment, community spirit and a sense of pride. So many people have looked
after their front gardens, road edges, streets and areas, cleaned up after the dog
and picked up litter and debris that when the judges visited they gave high marks.
Communal areas, flowerbeds, planters, churchyard, playing field, Village Hall, the
pubs and shops were pristine. Thanks are due to everyone who lives here. You have
all taken part and these are your awards.
Best Kept Large Village in Stafford District
Best Kept Village (Large or Small) in Stafford District
Best Kept Large Village in Staffordshire
Pictured here with this year’s collection of awards are Bert Moore and Councillor
Derek Warbrick. The award for winning Best Kept Large Village in Staffordshire is
the County Shield, which will be displayed in the Village Hall until next year and
a tree (this year a maple) donated by the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. The award
for winning Best Kept Village in Stafford District is the large trophy pole, which
will stay in place on the green opposite the Old Post Office and a prize of £200.
Some of the winning team pictured at the Village Hall on the morning of Wednesday
Bert Moore, holding the County shield, which bears the name Haughton three times
The Best Kept Garden Competition
was judged in July and the results were announced at the Awards Evening.