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Hertfordshire Village of the Year Competition - 2010
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‘What Makes My Village Special’

What makes our village special? 500 words are surely not enough when the Knebworth community directory takes over 1300 just to list the people to contact if you require help or information!

We could start by setting Knebworth in its wider context - where else can you tap into the attributes of our capital city, new towns, towns steeped in history, picturesque villages, farms and beautiful countryside? Resources beyond imagining and all on our doorstep, with easy transport links!

We could look at the village itself and show how New and Old Knebworths complement each other, bringing together our richly historical heritage and parkland and more modern developments.

We could list all the shops and services, many of whom have forged special links with - and give freely to support - our community.

We could emphasise how Knebworth caters for our needs, whether physical, recreational, social, spiritual, intellectual, cultural or educational. Churches, clubs for sports, walking, crafts, music, drama, health and fitness, horticulture – to name but a few! If you look for it, it’s there!

Putterill’s Estate Agents don’t have enough houses available for all those who would like to move to Knebworth. People come to live here, from far and wide, for one reason or another. But it’s why they stay that makes the village special.

They stay because of the people, many of them volunteers who give their time freely, sharing talents and skills, breathing life into our community, reaching out to help all ages.

They become involved themselves. With such diversity of opportunity, nobody need be lonely or bored. We all have something to contribute!

We hold our very own annual Knebworth Festival which seeks to give people opportunities to get to know each other. Our village halls, churches and sports clubs are bursting with activities and events throughout the year. Many groups organise fund-raising events, which encourage others to come along. Knebworth Village Trust gives generous support for local ventures for young and old.

Not everything is perfect in our village. The Parish Plan flagged up possible problems and expectations. People rise to the challenges - a parking initiative, questionnaires over relocating the Doctors’ surgery, planting hedgerows and bulbs in our parks and passionate proposals for a secondary school of our own.

Our excellent communications foster this community spirit: the Parish Magazine, village website, local radio station (actually in Knebworth itself) and a regular column in the Comet newspaper - all offering a forum for airing opinions. The Parish Council welcomes people’s attendance and views at meetings.

From within Knebworth, we have groups who reach out to the wider community, like our French Twin Town, Châtelaillon-Plage. Knebworth volunteers help out in local hospitals and other charitable institutions that serve our village.

It’s hard to describe what is special about Knebworth. That’s because it is intangible, it’s about the heart of the village, which beats with a real community passion.

Joy Hall

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