Crowland hopes to win the crown

CROWLAND residents and businesses are keeping their fingers crossed in the hope of being crowned the prettiest small market town in Lincolnshire.

Months of hard work by volunteers and traders have helped Crowland to reach the final of the Community Lincs Best Kept Small Market Towns competition.

Judges are due to visit Crowland later this month to look at the array of gardens, flower arrangements and hanging baskets that have brought a blaze of colour to the town.

But Crowland faces stiff competition from rivals Casitor and Horncastle, with the winner set to be announced next month.

Philip Green of Classic Printers in Crowland, one of the people heavily involved in the town’s entry, said: “We won the competition back in the 1960s and we’re absolutely delighted that we’ve managed to get to the finals this year.

“There’s a feeling of happiness and a lot of excitement in the town about the competition and people are hoping that we do well.

“All the shops are behind us, businesses are really going for it by keeping the town streets tidy and we have high hopes that our hanging baskets and flower display stand up well against our competitors.”

Crowland hopes to take the Best Kept Small Market Town title off Casitor which has won for the last three consecutive years, while Horncastle is a previous two-time winner.

There is also an additional prize for the town or large village that has gained the most involvement of shops in supporting the competition to help mark its 50th anniversary.

Crowland parish councillor Ros Knight said: “We’ve entered the Best Kept Small Market Towns competition every year because we think it’s a thoroughly good thing to support.

“One of the things that has helped us is the number of clubs and societies in Crowland, but the parish council has also done a lot to help this year in all sorts of ways, from providing street furniture to keeping the place free of litter.

“It was a very nice surprise to get to the final this time and in my mind we’re facing some fairly stiff competition.

“But it’s really brought the people of Crowland together.”