Big Society in Lancashire - Blacko is just magic - but which are the other communities?

PUBLISHED: 00:16 31 October 2011 | UPDATED: 20:13 20 February 2013

Big Society in Lancashire - Blacko is just magic - but which are the other communities?

Big Society in Lancashire - Blacko is just magic - but which are the other communities?

A community in Pendle Witch country is magic according to judges in an award supported by Lancashire Life Painting by Gordon Wilkinson

Roy Fewster admits Blacko isnt the prettiest village, but beauty is only skin deep. It has something he regards as more important community spirit.


It is this spirit which has seen this village, deep in Pendle Witch country, pick up the top prize in this years Best Kept Village competition, a contest supported each year by Lancashire Life.

We are all absolutely delighted, says Roy, chairman of the Blacko Parish Council. It all boils down to the fact that this is a community where everyone gets involved. We work very closely and take a great pride in the village.

The community of around 600 straddles the old turnpike road between Gisburn and Nelson and is surrounding by beautiful countryside close to the old Yorkshire border.

In a innovative programme, locals adopt spots in the village, taking responsibility for ensuring there is no litter and clearing weeds from the paving stones.

The competition is all about being the best kept, not the prettiest, added Roy. He and his fellow villagers went to the home of another competition supporter, the luxurious Gibbon Bridge Hotel at Chipping, to receive their award this original Gordon Wilkinson watercolour.

They plan to follow this up with another celebration in the village, which has managed to retain three pubs. Hospitality is one thing youll plenty of


Roy Fewster admits Blacko isnt the prettiest village, but beauty is only skin deep. It has something he regards as more important community spirit.

It is this spirit which has seen this village, deep in Pendle Witch country, pick up the top prize in this years Best Kept Village competition, a contest supported each year by Lancashire Life.

We are all absolutely delighted, says Roy, chairman of the Blacko Parish Council. It all boils down to the fact that this is a community where everyone gets involved. We work very closely and take a great pride in the village.

The community of around 600 straddles the old turnpike road between Gisburn and Nelson and is surrounding by beautiful countryside close to the old Yorkshire border.In a innovative programme, locals adopt spots in the village, taking responsibility for ensuring there is no litter and clearing weeds from the paving stones.

The competition is all about being the best kept, not the prettiest, added Roy. He and his fellow villagers went to the home of another competition supporter, the luxurious Gibbon Bridge Hotel at Chipping, to receive their award this original Gordon Wilkinson watercolour.

They plan to follow this up with another celebration in the village, which has managed to retain three pubs. Hospitality is one thing youll plenty ofBlackoin Blacko. It has a vibrant social scene and last year they notched up no fewer than 13 gatherings.

But they are also keen to help those less fortunate and the village has its own hospice committee and another group raising money for the NSPCC. In many towns and villages you find the same faces whenever you look for volunteers, adds Roy. In Blacko everyone wants to help.

That sense of achievement spreads to the primary school, which received a glowing reports from OSTED. There is also a recreation ground, with its award-winning playground, and allotments which stand in the shadow of the iconic Stansfields Tower.

It may be small but Blacko could be a model for the Big Society.

Gordon Wilkinsons original watercolour paintings on these pages are for sale. Contact Gordon on 01244 531785, or email him at watercolours@gordonwilkinson.com. More of his work including other paintings he created for Lancashire Life can be viewed at www.gordonwilkinson.com.

Red Rose Roll Call


Here are the top five in each category



CHAMPION VILLAGES

1 Blacko, 2 West Bradford, 3 Bretherton, 4 Elswick, 5 Mawdesley


LARGE VILLAGES

1 Croston, 2 Hambleton, 3 Grimsargh, 4 Edgworth 5 Longton


MEDIUM VILLAGES

1 Caton, 2 Newton with Scales, 3 Sabden, 4 Halsall, 5 Chatburn


SMALL VILLAGES

1 Newburgh, 2 Clifton, 3 Whitechapel, 4 Waddington, 5 Welch Whittle


HAMLETS

1 Wiswell, 2 Walker Fold, 3 Shirdley Hill, 4 Crossmoor, 5 Haighton



The print version of this article appeared in the November 2011 issue of Lancashire Life

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