Belfast Telegraph

The secret of Broughshane's success? It’s the people

By Claire Williamson

When people ask me where I'm from, I respond, Broughshane.

And barely taking a breath, I follow it up by telling them it is the award-winning garden village of Ulster. That's because the accolades and acclaim are synonymous with it - and being from there is something to be proud of.

Broughshane's success is well documented with countless awards and winning critical acclaim from far and wide.

With titles including Ulster in Bloom, Britain in Bloom Champion of Champions and the European Entente Florale, it's no secret that Broughshane is a force to be reckoned with - and we even had the Royal seal of approval from Prince Charles.

But what is it about this village - known as the Gateway to the Glens - which makes it so unique?

Growing up, the feeling of being a part of something special was apparent. From planting trees along the river path while I was at primary school to being part of huge events like the Entente Florale and the street party for the Queen's Golden Jubilee - I admit I probably didn't quite realise the scale of what was going on around me - but I knew it was something great.

Part of the charm is that young and old take pride in the village, for example, a colourful mosaic in the heart of the village was decorated by local pupils.

There are also simple things that give it that added warmth. One is that people always say hello to you in the street.

Or when you go to the shops they know your name - and when they ask how you are, they listen for the response.

Broughshane has transformed over the years and is thriving thanks to the people who have brought the community together to make it a welcoming place for all.

In 2012, Britain in Bloom judge John Woodward described it as a "shining example".

He said: "Years of solid hard work and vision under the motto 'Plants, people and pride growing together' have turned Broughshane into an area of beauty, warmth and charm that has a future as bright as its flowers."

Because behind the stunning displays there is a rare community spirit which is what really sets it apart. A village is made by its people, and it's the people in Broughshane who are the real winners.

The pride I have for home goes far beyond how it looks - it's an admiration for the people who, year after year, have made it what it is and will continue to be.

Belfast Telegraph

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