Actress Penelope Keith has visited scores of rural communities in her ‘Hidden Villages’ series for Channel 4. Now she is taking on her biggest challenge yet – to scour the length and breadth of Britain to crown one village ‘Village of the Year 2017
Should Kintore throw its hat in the ring and see if we can reach the area finals, or even win the overall title?
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Former Kintore and District Community Council chairman, Kenny Thomson, contacted Kintore.org.uk to highlight the competition.
“I immediately thought it has the potential to generate pride in our town,” Kenny explained, “should it reach even the stage where it features in a visit.
“We have Hallforest Castle and its history of association with King Robert the Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots and the fantastic façade of the Town House, with what is proposed for its modernisation to community use. Having seen some of the TV programmes featuring Penelope Keith as the presenter, these two factors would seem to be in our favour and may attract attention.”
Kintore was first granted Royal Burgh status with a royal charter in the late 12th century (about 1190), the charter being renewed by King James IV in 1506. There are suggestions that Kintore is not just a Royal Burgh but should carry the title ‘Royal and Ancient Burgh’.
In addition to the history associated with Hallforest Castle, Kintore has more prehistoric roundhouses than any other place in Scotland and, of course, there is the Deer’s Den Roman camp, which had more bread ovens than the rest of Britain put together, to feed pizza to the centurions!
Kenny Thomson highlighted a few of the other community attributes Kintore has to shout about:
- the summer floral displays (all arranged and managed by volunteers and local businesses), which will be in full bloom as this ‘Village of the Year’ initiative gets underway.
- a modern pub.
- two schools, one of which is extremely busy providing community facilities in the evenings.
- a Rotary Club and numerous voluntary groups from young, to not so young.
- community gatherings such as the annual Kintore Summer Festival and bonfire/fireworks display.
- a youth and community facility at The Bothie, which is very unusual if not unique, in that its walls are of environmentally friendly straw bale construction.
- two sheltered housing complexes.
- a vibrant church community led by a very able and friendly minister.
- Kintore Public Hall – a fantastic community resource, also run by volunteers.
- An active community council which has progressed many initiatives, the latest project being a Community Resilience Plan, involving the public hall as a base of operations in times of emergency. Self Help is always good!
- a railway station, which in the late planning stage of provision and due to open in 2019.
Penelope Keith will preside over heats, semi-finals and final, with a panel of expert judges deciding which villages will progress through the rounds before revealing their winner.
Judging will be based on the following criteria:
- History & Heritage
- Village Events
- Visitor Experience.
They will award their chosen village with the accolade of ‘Village of the Year
’ and £10,000 to be used for a worthwhile community project.
For more information and details of how to enter, go to the ‘Village of the Year
’ website. The closing date for entries is midnight on May 14, 2017.