KILWINNING War Memorial has received the coveted Champion of Champions title in this year’s Best Kept War Memorial Awards.

Judged by a panel of experts, the landmark Kilwinning monument was highly commended as judges praised its meticulous maintenance and immaculate grounds.

A well-deserved winner, the Streetscene team at North Ayrshire council were commended for their efforts to preserve the pristine exterior of the Kilwinning monument and maintain easily accessible grounds free from moss and weeds.

Provost Ian Clarkson, North Ayrshire Council’s Veterans’ Champion said: “War memorials provide an important place for reflection and remembrance of those who have sacrificed their own freedom for ours, so to have two local landmark locations being recognised during a year where we have all had to reflect upon our own freedom, really is a privilege to be celebrating.

“The winning titles are a fantastic accolade for our local war memorials to receive and we are delighted that the hard work of our Streetscene staff in North Ayrshire area has been recognised by Legion Scotland.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Royal British Legion’s 44th annual Best Kept War Memorial campaign was put on hold but as restrictions were lifted, a regional judging approach kickstarted early last month.

After visiting a host of nominated locations across Scotland, Archie Dryburgh MBE Area Secretary for Legion Scotland said: “The annual Best Kept War Memorial competition was really missed last year by the branches, this year we were glad it all got back on track.

“We are once again blown away by the care, respect and attention to detail of local Council workers and the extended community in maintaining war memorials across the region.

“The war memorials and surrounding landscaping of Kilwinning and Saltcoats war memorials really stood out to myself and the judging panel this year and this is why we have chosen to both thank and recognise the sterling efforts of those in North Ayrshire who have been involved in maintaining these important remembrance locations for our members and the extended community.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank judges Robert Lowther of Dumfries & Galloway Council and Steven Arnott, Strategy Officer at North Ayrshire Council for their knowledge and experience, as without their heritage and horticultural know-how the judging would have been far more challenging this year.”