The judges of the Jubilee shop window competition couldn’t pick between two shops and so jointly awarded the top prize to The Bell Bookshop and The Henley Florist on Hart Street on Friday.
Most of the town’s shops marked the special occasion by filling their windows with bunting, crowns, Queens, corgis, flags, carriages, soldiers and lots of red, white and blue to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and all were entered into the competition.
Hilary from The Bell Bookshop said, “Absolutely thrilled to win especially as we didn’t know that we had entered. It’s been a long time coming!” The window includes a delightful knitted Queen, lots of Queen and Royal family books, bunting and a teapot with ‘more tea vicar?’ on. Emma who helped with the window said, “We’ve had previous models of the knitted Queen for the Golden and Diamond Jubilee but this one is a new one specially knitted by my sister Anna. She’s really good at knitting and rustled it up in an evening. She decided on the yellow outfit.”
Lorna Dunlop who owns The Henley Florist produced a stunning Queen picture made out of red, white and blue flowers including carnations, thistles, chrysanthemums, roses and gerbera, said, “The picture took me about 3 hours to do, the hardest part was the putting the silver and purple ribbon around the outside. It’s a tremendous honour to win and I feel so supported by fellow retailers since I started the business. I think it is an incredible way of bringing the retailers together. I am delighted to come first with The Bell Bookshop as books are my second favourite things after flowers. I hope the displays I put outside on a regular basis to make Hart Street a bit more of an attractive place for residents and tourists.”
The entries were judged by Henley Mayor, Councillor Michelle Thomas, Councillor David Eggleton and David Rodger-Sharp and were scored on being Queen related, time and effort and own product being part of the display. The winners won £100 each and the runners up Hamptons estates agents £50 along with a bottle of Spirit of Henley Gin donated by David Rodger-Sharp.
Lorna will be donating her prize money to the charity in memory of Carolyn Molyneux who sadly lost her battle with cancer a few weeks ago who used to organise the town’s shop window competitions in June for Regatta and December for Christmas.
Henley Mayor, Michelle said, “I was blown away by the effort all of the retailers had gone to, and so many entries – 48! We marked the windows out of 10 as we were walking around and took pictures of them to remind us of them when we were narrowing down the judging later. I commend them all on the time and effort they all went to, some of them really made you want to go into the shop and explore which is the very essence of what a shop front is for! Many of them had made full use of their windows with different colours, textures and objects together with their products. We had a further formula to follow for the finalists with further marks out of 5. We really couldn’t separate first place so decided on joint first with a runner up. Thank you to all who took part and my warm congratulations to the winners. Further thanks to my fellow judges David Roger Sharp and Councillor Dave Eggleton.”