Hornchurch gift shop wins best decoration award
�A Hornchurch gift shop has won the Best of British competition – an invitation to the town’s shops to deck their windows with British flags and colours.
Fifty-five shops were filled with all things red, white and blue for a fortnight to celebrate a very British year that has included the Queen’s Jubilee, Euro 2012 and the Olympics.
The Havering Council-run competition was open to all independent retail shops.
Residents were encouraged to visit the shops and vote for the one they thought was the best decorated with the British theme.
The five shops with the most votes went to a panel of judges, made up of local councillors.
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The panel decided to agree with voters – announcing Hamiltons of Hornchurch in Station Lane as the winner.
More than 2,000 votes were cast and runners-up included Wyndham Hair, House of Couture, Le Moulin and Fleur Couture.
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Havering’s community empowerment boss Cllr Robert Benham said: “I have been really impressed with how many shops took part.
“It was amazing to see the sea of flags and British colours – especially as the Olympic Torch passed through. I am really pleased with the response from the public too.
“The amount of votes we have had for each shop has shown that there have been a lot of visitors to Hornchurch.”
Family-run business Hamiltons of Hornchurch is owned by Lavinia, Carley and Vanessa.
Lavinia Hamilton said: “We’re really thrilled to have won. We put in a lot of hard work to decorate the shop – everyone really put their hearts into it.
“The decorations have really brightened up the town centre.
“Customers have been really upbeat. There’s been a really good atmosphere and community spirit.
“Hamiltons is also a finalist in the Havering Business Awards and this is just the icing on the cake for us.”
The competition was devised to promote shopping in Hornchurch and show commitment to helping local businesses.