Best dressed windows revealed

SIDMOUTH’S 4Homes scooped winner and runner-up prizes in the town’s Best Dressed Window competition.

With two lively displays, one window full of Christmas goods, the other largely given over to a snow theme, 4Homes’ High Street store won the large windows category. Its Mill Street tile store was runner-up.

Hilary Hayes, manager of the High Street store, created the displays, which took about a week. She enlisted the help of husband Roy to make the High Street igloo out of chicken wire and wadding.

The idea came to her while ordering Christmas lights in June. “I was looking through the brochure and saw the penguins, which were new for this year, and thought ‘we’ve got to have them’,” she said. “Back then I didn’t realise how appropriate the igloo would be to the icy weather we’re having. It’s fun, we’ve had a lot of comments about it.”

The prizes were a bottle of champagne, a trophy, a bottle of red wine and a box of biscuits.

4Homes director Sally Parrish said suppliers had happily provided items for the displays. “We feel privileged to have won first prize and runner-up,” she said.

The winner of the small windows category was Harpers Barber Shop, in High Street, with a display judges described as eye-catching and bright with a silvery, wintry theme. Runner-up was Coles, in High Street, with an artistic display, mainly of trade goods.

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The Chamber of Commerce and the Herald are grateful to Dorothy Hartnell, Peter Sullivan and Derek Parry for braving the cold to judge the entries. They noted a pleasant balance between the proportion of trade goods displayed and “pure” window dressing, and a wide range of themes.

They were impressed by the effort contestants had made and were pleased three of the town’s charity shops took part.