BKV 2013 - Judges Comments
Good BKV awareness had been acheived through local newspapers, parish magazine, flyers to every household, the parish website etc. There were BKV posters on all notuce boards, at village entrances; and two excellent banners on the bus shelters.
There was a wonderful display of BKV themed childrens poters at the village hall and other posters at village entrances. They were attractive, colouful, often amusing - an excellent effort all round.
All the notice bords were in good condition with neatly displayed notices. There was a very good range of local information covering village activities, recycling and dog fouling etc. (Two notices, however, were well out of date in June on the Church Lane/Vanity Lane noticeboard)
Overall the Churchyard was very tidy, except for weeds in the gravel areas to the side and front of the church. The memorial garden was neat and tidy. The noticboard looked as though it will soon need attention. The bluebell areas had just been cut when the June judging took place, and judges wondered if it might be worth defining these areas as conservation/wildlife areas and marking them as such.
The village hall surrounds and car park were extremely neat with no litter or weeds. Judges commented on the "very attractive open space and sitting area next to the boundary rock face"
The Brushmakers Arms frontage was clean, tidy and very welcoming, with attractive hanging baskets and well-kept seating area outside.
The former telephone box was newly painted and being used as an attractive information centre. It was clean inside and out. An excellent initiative.
Both bus shelters were clean inside and outside, and very well used to display local information and childrens posters. The one in Kibblestone Road was in very good condition, but the one in Church Lane will soon need attention to the lower parts of the wooden panels.
All seats and benches were in good condition, with neat and tidy surrounds.
The new public footpath sign looked good (though not strictly a BKV village feature). However the Rockface at the rear of the Village Hall was a really attractive feature and there were a number of attractive planters dotted around the village.
The war memorial was clean and tidy, but there were a few weeds on the memorial and in the surrounding gravel area.
The large open space/playing field was well maintained and cared for, with no litter or dog fouling.
The small open spaces were all very well maintained and all the verges were well mown and litter free. The small open space at the rear of the village hall was particularly attractive.
The private gardens were maintained to a very high standard throughout the village.
The childrens play equipment and saftey surfaces were good (and very well used) There was a good fence around the area and it was free from litter and dog fouling.
The map was good, clear and much improved from last year. However the colours of some of the symbols are difficult to distinguish (eg telephone boxes and village features) and perhaps the small open spaces could be shown in green? These are minor criticisms and easily put right.
No dog fouling or litter was seen during the judging; and there was clear evidence of community awareness and involvement, in what the judges describe as a "nice friendly village"
The village was very well maintained overall and the judges comments from previous years had been taken on board. Oulton had a very "cared for" feel and gave the impression of being a community which has pride in the village and is willing to work hard to maintain and improve its environment. This hard work resulted in a Highly Commended award in the very closely contested Small Village category of Stafford District.
Congratulations and best wishes for 2014!
John T Perry, MBE
Chairman, BKV Working Group
Oulton - Best Kept Village 2013
Oulton Village gained a "Highly Commended" award at the BKV Presentation at Weston Village Hall on Monday 5th August. The places were awarded as follows in the Small Village category on Stafford District.
!st Place - Burston
2nd Place - Salt
3rd Place - Hilderstone
The Oulton BKV Committee would lilke to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers and villagers who helped make Oulton a great place to live and to acheive this award.
Stafford Borough Councillor Lynne Bakker-Collier congratulates Oulton Village on this acheivement.
Images of Oulton
click on image to enlarge
Images of Oulton
click on image to enlarge
Best Kept Village Competition 2013
Oulton Community Group would like to thank Stone Rural Parish Council for the generous donation towards our campaign to win the BKV 2013
Road Repairs - the Flash footpath
Following pressure from the Oulton Community Group, the 'Flash' footpath has been improved by SCC Highways. This is an important link between the village and Stone and is used rgularly by schoolchildren, parents with infants in buggies and older people for exercise and has been ina poor state for some years. With the help of SCC Councillor Ian Parry it has now been improved for which users are very grateful.
Traffice monitoring has been carried out on Kibblestone Road which found that traffic was consistantly speeding through the village. At the behest of Parish Councillor Dave Scrivens and the Oulton Community Group, speed camera warning signs have been erected
Despite the poor start to this Spring the daffodils planted by members of the group last autumn are creating a spectacular display in the village.
Martin and Elaine Robinson and Sue and John Haine have planted more daffodils on the approach to the village and in the area of the playpark
Plant troughs have been planted and maintained by various members of the community over the winter months.
Kibblestone Road - planted and maintained by Maureen and Eileen Manley
Village Hall _ planted and maintained by Elaine and Martin Robinson on behalf of Oulton WI
Parish Notice Board - planted and maintained by Oulton Community Group Andy Burdon
Church Lane/ St Johns Ave - planted and maintained by Parish Councillor Dave Scrivens
Thanks to all those who have contributed.
Wild flower borders - a party of volunteers spent a few hours raking and seeding the verge alongside the "Flash" footpath. Elaine and Martin Robinson and Sue and John Haine sowed a selection of perrenial and annual seeds with will provide an attractive and sustainable display, and attract bees and butterflies in the coming summer months. Our thanks go to them for their hard work. A donation from village resident Betty Benbow enabled us to sow a longer stretch of the Flash footpath than origially intended.
Following last years successful inaugural scarecrow festival on the theme of the Royal Jubilee and the Olympics there will be another festival this year in June/July. No theme has been set so we wait with anticipation to see what characters turn up.
click on thumbnail to enlarge image
photos courtesy of Sue and John Haine
Litter Picks and Village Tidy-up
We will be organising a series of litter picks throughout the coming months.
Sunday 21st April at 10.00 am Oulton Village Hall - a litter pick and general tidy-up. Litter pickers and bags will be provided by courtesy of SBC Streetscene. Please bring gloves and possibly hand-tools.
p.s. A party of around a dozen people came out armed with litter pickers, brooms, trowels and buckets and sponges to help spruce up village. Whilst some picked litter others cleared fallen leaf litter from footpaths. The old telephone kiosk was given a clean as were the village signs, street signs and notice boards. All the overhanging branches from the old "Wheatsheaf" car-park were cut back and the debris taken away. Later, the war memorial in the churchyard was given a wash down.
Our thanks got to all those who came out and to those people who couldnt make the event but have contributed by keepig their little patch of the village clean and tidy
Thursday 23rd May at 6.00 pm Oulton Village Hall - litter pick
p.s A wet evening didnt deter some volunteers from attending this evening's litter pick. Those attending reported that there was very little to fe found which was a good indication that residents were keeping Oulton tidy on an ongoing basis.
Thursday 27th June at 6.00 pm Oulton Village Hall - litter pick
p.s. another wet evening but again volunteers were out seeking out the stray abandoned sweet wrapper and cigarette end rtc. Very little litter was found. All credit to all villagers who are keeping the village looking immaculate.
We would urge all residents to do all they can to Keep Oulton Tidy in the intervening period. Please help by keeping front gardens tidy, trimming hedges etc.
Oulton First School have, again, kindly agreed to mount the Childrens poster campaign and these can be viewed in the windows of the village hall and at various sites around the village.
The redundant telephone kiosk on Kibblestone road had now been adopted by the Parish Council who will insure it. A propgramme of maintenance is in hand with members of Oulton Community Group planning to repaint the kiosk in the near futue, when the weather allows.
Members of the Oulton Community Group will be holdng a meeting to discuss what it could be used for.In the recent past it has been used to display a Christmas Tree and formed part of the Scarecrow festival, but we are looking for a more permanant use. Ideas that have been put forward are as an information and heritage centre. In the meantime it will be used as a gallery in support of Best Kept Village.
Finger Post on Kibblestone Road
Thanks go to John Haine and SCC for arranging to have the finger post in Kibblestone replaced with a new one. Other work has been carried out on the footpath from the village to Oulton Heath and various other places with work in hand.
Churchyard and grounds.
St Johns PCC has contracted a new person to help look after the chrchyard and surroundings.
Oulton Village Management Committee
Oulton Village Hall has played host to a number of events this year organised by the Management Committee.
February - filmshow of James Bond Skyfall
March - Pop-up Restaraunt and Table-top sale
April - Fashion Show
June - "Whalebone" - folk and roots music
July - Oulton Village Fete and garden Party
September - filmshow to be announced
St Johns PCC - has organised a number of fund-raising events throughout the year including a walking quiz and a promise auction.
Fairtrade Market- a regular market is held at the Village Hall, along with local produce sales.