One of the UK’s leading national newspaper cartoonists, Neil Kerber, has chosen to shine a spotlight on Original Richmond in a cartoon depicting Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, in a relaxed chat with the Queen. Ignoring all that the couple have enjoyed throughout the year, at the front of the Queen’s thoughts is Original Richmond’s shortlisting in the Great British High Street Awards!
Neil has created only two cartoons for this year’s Awards and Marcia McLuckie, Chair of the Original Richmond Business and Tourism Association, is pleased and flattered by the attention Neil has focussed on the market town: “When I spoke with Neil on the phone I asked why he had selected Richmond. I probably should have known the answer as it is something heard from so many people, that Richmond is a lovely town to visit and he has been here frequently. For me, I’m lucky, I get to live here!”
Neil Kerber is best known for his daily topical cartoons published in a well-known national newspaper and the long-running and popular Supermodels strip in the prestigious, satirical magazine Private Eye. He also has regular slots in glossy magazines including GQ and Vogue.
In readiness for the visit of the Great British High Street Awards representatives, the town is preparing to greet the judges when they visit on Wednesday 17th October. Marcia and the Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Bob White, will welcome the judges outside the Kings Head Hotel at 12.50pm. They will be accompanied by the Town Crier, Councillor Barry Heap, who has prepared a ditty for the occasion to welcome the visitors and call out to attract the attention of all in the town. The Great British high Street VISA team will also be in town with giveaways and a chance to learn more about social media in their pop-up social media classes. Samples of food from the town’s retailers will be served to passing shoppers who will be invited to join in the celebrations.
The judges will be shown around the town with visits to two of the recently renovated garden areas created for Yorkshire in Bloom and highlighted in the judges’ shortlisting summary. They will also meet local business people and will enjoy a ‘Walking Lunch’ at some of the local food retailers and restaurants. The judges drew attention to the “inspiring trading initiatives, including Love Being Local, Richmond Town Ticket and the October Loyalty Promotion that is now in full swing, which they said provided interest and incentives for residents and visitors to shop locally.
Events such as the Walking and Books Festival, GeorgeFest and vintage markets also helped to drive footfall to the town and they were impressed by the work carried out for Yorkshire in Bloom to improve the streets and environment through more flowers around the centre and new planting in the Gas Holder Gardens and the Old Orchard. They also praised the use of social media, online business and the originalrichmond.co.uk and richmond.org websites.
Everyone is encouraged to vote for Richmond using social media as the shortlisted streets and towns (there are 26 in Richmond’s category of Champion High Street) – will now battle it out in a public vote, which accounts for 30% of the final scoring. The other 70% is decided by the visiting judges.
The prize for the wining English Champion Award is £5,000 contribution towards a street party and the overall winner from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland stands to win a £10,000 grant for a local community project.
Marcia and Richmond’s Great British High Street team are determined that they will make every effort to succeed and they are again busy weeding and tidying the streets and making sure all is shipshape for the judges’ visit. “After all,” says Marcia “We can’t disappoint the excitement of Neil Kerber’s Queen and the accolade would be a serious signal that Richmond is a well worthwhile place to open for business.” She added, “The prize money would also be nice – we could do a lot with £10,000!”
To vote for Richmond please go to https://thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk/ click on ‘Meet the shortlisted high streets’ then ‘Champion Award Finalists’ and scroll down to ‘Market Town Richmond’. Or hashtag #myhighstreet #GBHSrichmond