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Wednesday, 23 January, 2002, 12:39 GMT
Village challenges 'ugly' tag
Dove Holes
The village has two pubs and an annual beer festival
A Derbyshire village voted the ugliest in the UK is attemptin to change its image by winning the village of the year competition.

Dove Holes in the Peak District was exposed in a tongue-in-cheek BBC Radio Five Live poll in December 2001.

Now village leaders are aiming to turn the tide by entering the more official Village of the Year contest.

Theirs is the first entry in the 2002 competition.

Brass band

Ken Gibson, of the Dove Holes Community Association, said: "Although Dove Holes may not seem the prettiest of villages as you drive through, it really does have a community spirit second to none.

"The village sports two village shops, a busy rural post office, two pubs, village school and an active brass band."

"We are proud to house the Buxton Mountain Rescue Club, where volunteers regularly give time to rescue people who have got into difficulties on the moors and hills."

The winner of last year's competition, Tedburn St Mary in Devon, was praised for its community spirit.

Margaret Beckett
Ms Beckett praised the village's "inner resolve"

Nearly 10% of the Radio Five Live voters chose the Peak District village as the nation's ugliest - at least four times as many as any other village.

One listener nominated it for worst village in the world, but another defended it by saying: "Bricks and mortar are not the only part of what makes a village - the people are very friendly."

An internet site asking for comments on special places for young people to meet in the village had a reply that said: "I can't imagine that there are any!"

'Inner resolve'

It is also described on the Knowhere website as "a bleak place in winter, almost surrounded by quarries and split by the A6, along which heavy traffic roars relentlessly".

The village boasts an annual international beer and jazz festival in early July.

Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Margaret Beckett, launching the 2002 Village of the Year competition on Wednesday, said: "These awards epitomise what is great about British villages.

"So many communities have shown an inner resolve to overcome problems such as foot-and-mouth or inadequate transport services.

"Tedburn St Mary and Dove Holes are both excellent examples of this and I hope that other villages will be motivated to enter their own county competitions."

More than 1,500 villages compete for the title and a share of the 28,500 prize fund.


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See also:

05 Dec 01 | England
Devon village 'best in Britain'
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