Every year Helmdon enters the Competition for Northamptonshire's Best Village,
(sponsored for many years by Calor Gas under the name Village of the Year) and for the last few years by B.Hollowell & Son Funeral Plans. It is run locally in conjunction with Northamptonshire ACRE (Action with Communities
in Rural England).
The Lady O'Dowd Cup
The first recorded instance of the village entering this competition
is minuted in November 1955 when "A special Parish Meeting
was held in the schoolroom regarding the County Tidy Village Competition.
10 present, Mr H Gulliver chairman. The Schedule of the Competition
was read and considered. Proposed
that Helmdon Village be
entered in the Competition. Proposed
that a letter be handed
to all Householders in the Village asking for support in this Competition".
The village has entered the competition most years since, achieving
a good showing in the 70s and 80s but more success came along in
the late 1990s under the chairmanship of Councillor Terry Glassett,
with the village winning in 1996 and 1999. The penultimate success was
in 2002 and Terry Glassett, though no longer serving on the council,
arranged for commemorative signs recording the three recent wins
to be placed on each entry to the village. 2011 saw Helmdon Best Village for the whole of Northamptonshire, as well as being placed first in the Medium Village category.
The competition focuses on community spirit rather than picturesque
cottages and village ponds. It is all about what the village is
doing, and whether it is making the most of what is has.
Helmdon is a vibrant active community of around 950 people with
a public house, a Reading Room which hosts a rich variety of activities, and one public house. There are over 30 active groups catering
for everyone from the youngest child to the most senior resident.
If you want to get involved then you're sure to find something to
interest you, and if you can't find anything at all then you'll
discover people ready to help you get something new going.