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Great British High Street awards

From Allan Muirhead

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Hi, and congratulations on your double win yesterday at Lancaster House.
I was with the Kirkby Lonsdale team who were runners up in the Village section. We enjoyed taking part in this competition - our first attempt - but fell short of a satisfactory vote count. You did impressively well, not only winning your category, but also garnering 40,000 votes, and we wondered if you'd share with us how you organised things over the weeks when on-line voting was being encouraged.

We found it difficult to convince people that voting every day was allowed. Repeating the message, don't forget to vote, also seemed to be counter productive at times.

As we'd like to enter this competition again, it would be helpful to tidy up loose ends such as this, so if you can offer some advice, it'd be much appreciated.

If you have a secret recipe, of course we'll understand!
Again, congratulations.
With best wishes,

Allan Muirhead, Kirkby Lonsdale Town Council

Kirkby Lonsdale - with one of the top three High Streets in the country.

From Dave R

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Well done on your place. I'm a fan of Kirby Lonsdale myself.

I think the vote harvest was via the use of clever social media. If you are on Facebook or Twitter, look at Hebden Bridge Town Hall's page for ideas. Nothing secret I don't think, but a lot of work went into the campaign.

I personally think we also gathered a lot of sympathetic votes. The flood raised the profile of the town and there were a lot of people glad to see us bounce back from it.

Good luck for next year.

From Kez Armitage

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Whilst I'm glad Hebden Bridge won its category, the voting process did seem to be a little bizarre.

I really can't understand the 'one vote per email per day' rule. This is in no way to detract from Hebden Bridge's success, but I can't help thinking there may be fairer ways to vote - like one vote per person.

As it is, I suppose you could argue that the number of times you vote equates to your enthusiasm for the town/village you vote for, so in that respect it's fair. But I bet, if you wanted, you could get computer programs to automatically vote for you every day you log on, create new email addresses for you, and vote with them too!

So there's no secret. Just get as many people as you can to vote as often as they can, with however email addresses they may have.

It's a level(ish) playing field, but I still think there may be better ways.

That said, well done Hebden Bridge. And good luck to Kirkby Lonsdale next time.

From Eileen Kelly

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Hi Allan

In my voluntary role as secretary of the Hebden Bridge Business Forum, I was the person behind the town's initial nomination, all of the activity and the social media effort that went into our eventual prize, which we were obviously delighted to receive.

Please feel free to e-mail me - ek@cresswells.co.uk - however there was no secret other than a great deal of hard work, which started around the end of August when we first heard about the competition, right through to 12 December when we attended the awards ceremony. As I have a full-time job, I ended up working evenings/weekends for much of this period in order to keep up the momentum and still do my job!

Please get in touch with me as it would be good to chat about everything. It might also help if you go for it again next year.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards


From Jane Scarborough

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

What a wonderful high street we have. Three shops selling incense, but you'll search in vain for a 3 pin plug. What a joke.

From Tim M

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

I think you'd struggle to get a three pin plug on most high streets these days, let alone in a town of 4000 odd people. However, I did manage to do all of my Christmas shopping here.

From Adrian Crowther

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Jane - if you want a 3 pin plug (and pretty much any other "household thingy", nip round the corner to Bonsalls.

From Martyna Q

Saturday, 17 December 2016

I have to say as much as some of the memes on Hebden Facebook group were somewhat cheesy, they made me laugh and reminded to vote every few days. Also all of friends we had visiting were impressed by the place, enjoyed shopping, seen posters in windows and voted too.

I think between collective of visitors enchanted by the place and Hebdeners who truly love their town we pulled it together.

Good luck next year!

From Frances Minto

Monday, 23 January 2017

I am really proud that Hebden Bridge got this award less than a year on from devastating flooding. I did a bit of lurking on the day the judges came, got a great coat, but didn't see anyone with clipboards. I was slightly concerned about the yard outside the fabulous soap shop, which looked a bit forgotten.

Perhaps we could buy a tin of yellow paint and maybe get a disabled parking bay on Market Street? The only ones at the moment are at the coop, and it feels naughty to use their car park spaces when I no longer shop there (obviously I pop in for something). Sometimes I can walk from George Square, but quite often it is too far, and I love to check out Spirals and The Bookcase etc. I wonder how many visitors can't get to Market Street due to the distance?