An East Lancashire village is among the best kept in the country after winning a competition.

Sabden won the ‘large village class ‘ at the Lancashire Best Kept Village Competition, which judges areas on Lancashire based on appearance.

After months of cleaning, weeding and litter picking the town won the award for the first time since 2017, when it was named best kept ‘medium village’.

Lancashire Telegraph: Sabden won the ‘large village class ‘ at the Lancashire Best Kept Village CompetitionSabden won the ‘large village class ‘ at the Lancashire Best Kept Village Competition (Image: Lancashire Best Kept Village Competition)Sabden Parish Councillor Susan Clarke has thanked the village's residents for helping to help clean the village.

She said: “We are very pleased to have won. We last won in 2017 so there has been a bit of a gap, so we are very pleased that our efforts have paid off.

“We are very pleased to anyone who has supported us.

“I want to thank Di Grimshaw and Ruth Kershaw who both worked really hard for the village, supporting us in all we tried to do. They worked hard around the village.

“They supported me in what I have tried to do and worked hard around the village.

“A lot of people do little things, like picking up litter and watering plants.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Brownies helping to clean up SabdenBrownies helping to clean up Sabden (Image: Sabden Parish Council)

Susan said the number of people who help “increases year on year”. This year members of the Sabden Brownies cleaned playground equipment and helped with litter picking, back in May.

She said: “We had a spring clean in May, a month before judging. That was a huge help after the winter months.

“The Brownies came and washed the play equipment at the park.

“A lot more people seem to have helped this year. Year on year we see a lot more people doing more to help around the village.

“Everything came together and people worked together.

“I want to thank everyone for their efforts. We have a lovely village. It is nice to see that people appreciate it and want to keep it looking nice.”

The winners of the competition were announced on Monday (October 16).

The finals judge was Sir Peter Openshaw, who lives in the Ribble Valley, and he joined the team on Monday to present the awards.  

This year the winner of the ‘champion village class’ was Elswick. They received a commemorative plaque, along with a trophy, and past winner Blacko was runner up.

Grindleton in the Ribble Valley won the small village class with Roughlee coming second, and Little Eccleston secured the hamlets class with second place going to Haighton.

There were also 15 ‘outstanding features awards’, as  nominated by the villages themselves.

Best kept place of worship and grounds went to The Church of Our Lady & All Saints, in Parbold. Out of the 27 entries for schools, the joint winners were Belmont Primary School and St Aidan’s in Preesall.  

There were 31 entries for the pub award, the highest number of entries for several years, according to the competition organisers. The overall winner was the Ship in Elswick. Eaves Hall in West Bradford took the award for best hotel/guest house.

Elswick and Samlesbury were joint winners for their excellent village hall and Elswick also won the category for the best kept children’s play area.

The Lancashire winner for best industrial/commercial premises went to Moy Vets in Stalmine, whilst the best shop was awarded to both Pulse hairdresser in Blacko and Henshaw’s in Aughton.

Blacko’s War Memorial took top spot and Sabden was a worthy winner of the best community notice board, and also Bretherton for its Bowling Green. 

Mawdesley Cricket Club took first place in the cricket grounds category, and Shirdley Hill, In Halsall, won best public garden.

In the heritage feature award, Weeton’s old village sign won first place.

Councillor Richard Newmark said: “We are delighted that Sabden has won the award for best kept village in the Large Village class for 2023.

“This is a fantastic competition which brings together the whole community and encourages all villagers to take pride in their location, encouraging everyone to care and maintain the village to a high standard.

“Credit must go to the outstanding support of the Parish Council and, in particular, to Sue Clarke and her amazing team of volunteers who continue to be the driving force in Sabden behind our participation in this competition. We are hoping to encourage more residents to volunteer next year so that we can continue our success into 2024! 

“We are also delighted that, once again, Saben scooped one of the awards for outstanding features for our Crown Green Bowling Cub.

"Massive congratulations and well done to everyone who contributed to helping Sabden achieve these awards.”