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Contest judges impressed by Harleston

PUBLISHED: 20:28 16 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:28 12 July 2010

HARLESTON has high hopes of winning through to the final of the 2007/08 Calor Village of the Year competition.

The event is for communities with a population of 5,000 or under, and the town was invited to represent Norfolk in the regional round of the contest, following its success in the county heat.

HARLESTON has high hopes of winning through to the final of the 2007/08 Calor Village of the Year competition.

The event is for communities with a population of 5,000 or under, and the town was invited to represent Norfolk in the regional round of the contest, following its success in the county heat.

Judges paid a visit on Tuesday, and town councillor Sue Kuzmic believes they were impressed with what they saw.

“When we put the entry, we had to say what we do for the environment, the community within Harleston and the businesses, including charities, about the people and an overall bit. Because we had only a very strict two hours I thought 'What is the best way to bring Harleston to the judges?' as we were not allowed to give them anything to take away,” she explained.

“We had a short film, getting people off the street to say what makes Harleston special to them, and a power-point presentation of all the different topics. There are more than 100 groups and organisations in the town and we tried to get as many involved as possible.

“At the end the judges went through the arch of the Swan Hotel into the high street and they were amazed and said 'Wow, it's beautiful'.”

There is £40,000 prize-money up for grabs, and Harleston faces stiff competition from Ashdon, Cheddington, Clapham, Hertford Heath, Levington and Little Paxton in the East of England round. There are a total of 39 entries nationally.

Mrs Kuzmic added: “It isn't the prettiest place in the world competition. The judges wanted to see the people that make the town special. It went very well, and I hope we have encouraged them to come back and visit Harleston again some time.”

Calor Village of the Year manager, Suzanne Wier, said: “The effort that competing villages show is admirable and I wish Redenhall with Harleston lots of luck in their race for the title.”

The winner will be unveiled at an awards luncheon in London on December 2.

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