Village Focus: Hutton Cranswick, East Yorkshire

Hutton Cranswick hosts its village show today. Picture by Scott Merrylees.
Hutton Cranswick hosts its village show today. Picture by Scott Merrylees.
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It has a green heart on a scale that few other villages match and will soon welcome national judges to run the rule over its floral credentials.

At six-and-a-half-acres, the village green at Hutton Cranswick is said to be the largest in East Yorkshire and today this pleasant open space will be filled with the excitable sounds of children having fun, brass band music and the bells of morris dancers.

The green is a visitor attraction in its own right, boasting mature horse chestnut trees, a children’s play area and the village pond, but between 10am and 4pm today it hosts the Village Show and only for the third time in its re-introduced format.

A free event, the line up includes a produce show, vintage tractors, a tug of war competition and a coconut shy, among other family-friendly diversions, but if it wasn’t for a couple of local mothers, Maura Bond and Sally Johnson, the community centrepiece would not have returned for the first time in 2015 after an absence of 58 years.

Mrs Bond, a mother-of-two, said: “We had both moved to the village recently, a year and three years ago. I came from Burley in Wharfedale in West Yorkshire where there was one and I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a village show here.

“We have this absolutely beautiful village green which acts as a focal point for the village and it is a perfect place to have it and bring people together. It’s for young people, older people, people who like the competition and people who like to look around these things anyway.

“I’m absolutely delighted by what we’ve achieved. Last year was the first time we ran it on our own and it’s growing.”

Last night, for the first time on the eve of the show, The White Horse, the only pub in the village, held a music and real ale festival.

And the community spirit extends to horticultural pursuits, as a week on Monday, a delegation of Britain in Bloom judges will be arriving via train at the village railway station to weigh up Hutton Cranswick’s merits as one of 78 national finalists in this year’s Royal Horticultural Society competition.

The village contests the Large Village category and is one of five Yorkshire communities named as finalists in the 2017 round - the others are Harrogate, Otley, Starbeck and Whitby.

Last nominated in 2012 when it won a Silver Gilt Award, the village has been a picture of preparation in recent weeks ahead of the judges’ return.

Gina Simpson, co-ordinator of Hutton Cranswick in Bloom, said: “There is a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes. From January onwards we have had monthly meetings to decide what needs doing and who can get it done. It’s very much a community effort. We get help from literally everyone.”

FACTS

Hutton Cranswick has a population of around 2,000 people is three miles south of Driffield.

It has a fish and chip shop, the long-established Foreman’s garage, the Farm Shop at Cranswick and Cranswick Garden Centre, and is home to James White’s butcher’s shop, as featured in Country Week on May 27.

For more about the village, see www.huttoncranswick.com