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Wednesday, 5 December, 2001, 18:48 GMT
Devon village 'best in Britain'
David Parker, Prince Charles, Christopher Gibbs
Prince Charles announced Tedburn St Mary as winner
A Devon village, near Exeter, has won top prize in a national competition.

Tedburn St Mary, which boasts two churches, a post office, two pubs and a shop, has been handed the title of Village of the Year.

But villagers said it was the "community spirit" among its 1,400 population which won it the award.

Celebrations began in Tedburn on Wednesday after the win was announced by Prince Charles at a ceremony in London.

Community spirit

Chairman of the village's parish council Chris Sampson, 42, said the success was "absolutely brilliant news".

He said: "It was the village's community spirit which won us the title. It is a good village to be in. All the organisations here help each other."

Representatives from 46 local organisations gave presentations to help the village reach the final.

The Calor Gas and Daily Telegraph 2001 Great Britain Village of the Year Competition aimed to find the place with the strongest spirit and liveliest social scene.

Celebrations were already under way in the King's Arms pub where one villager, Heather Pike, 45, said the win was "amazing".

She said: "Tedburn is still a village, not a suburb of anywhere, and is a good community."

Meanwhile an informal poll of listeners to BBC Radio Five Live has come up with Britain's "ugliest village".

Twisted voters

The breakfast show ran an alternative to the village of the year competition and Dove Holes in the Peak District, Derbyshire, polled four times more than anywhere else named.

A spokesman for the station said: "It is all very tongue-in-cheek and a bit of a laugh really.

"We think the reason that it was probably named more often is that it is on a through road - people drive through it on their way to somewhere else and that is why they remember it.

"Also it is blessed with a speed camera and people I think are a bit bitter and twisted about that."

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