Cirencester Antiques Centre wins award for most festive window

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Winners of the Festive Window competition, Chloe Wiltshire and Mark O'Neill at the Antiques Centre Winners of the Festive Window competition, Chloe Wiltshire and Mark O'Neill at the Antiques Centre

CHRISTMAS came early for one Cirencester shop owner after his store window was awarded most festively decorated for 2013.

President of Cirencester Chamber of Commerce Anthony Flynn announced the winner of the 2013 Christmas Window competition at the chamber's winter social earlier this month.

Walking away with the crown was Cirencester Antiques Centre with its display of Christmas trees, wreaths and “quirky” antiques.

“We were so surprised to win,” said owner Mark O’Neill. “We do a Christmas window every year but have never won before. The window this year was a joint effort between me, my manager of 18 years Brian and my assistant Chloe.”

The antiques centre, based in the Market Place, has had its name engraved into the Peter Stringfellow Memorial Trophy, which Mark and his team can now keep for a year. Peter Stringfellow was a former Cirencester Chamber of Commerce president and also the founder of toy store Crocodile. The competition has been running annually since 1982.

“I just couldn’t get over it when I found out we’d won. I told everyone. Brian is over the moon,” continued Mark.

Special merits were presented to three other shops in town for their window displays. Owners at Octavia’s Bookshop, Swift Print and French Grey interiors described feeling “thrilled”, “delighted” and “so happy” to each be presented with the merit.

The secret panel of judges were also keen to recognise the creativity of the town's charity shops and awarded the star prize to the British Red Cross shop. Two Highly Commended awards were presented to Helen and Douglas House and the RSPCA.

Judges chose the winners by walking around town and studying each window's festive display.


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