BARNSTAPLE S brightest and best have been recognised in the town council s Best Festive Decorated House competition.

BARNSTAPLE'S brightest and best have been recognised in the town council's Best Festive Decorated House competition.

Graham and Sue O'Brien of 1 Hawley Manor scooped the top prize for the second year in a row.

"We've always decorated our house at Christmas time - it's just one of those traditions really," said Graham, who spent a whole day putting up the lights.

"We used to live in Canada where they tend to decorate their houses in a big way," added wife, Sue.

"We got the bug and that's where it started."

Mayor Cllr Sue Haywood and a team of local councillors from the Community Development Committee spent three hours walking around the town to try and take in the very best of this year's season festive displays.

"It was a real pleasure," Cllr Haywood told the Gazette.

"The standard of displays was excellent although I have to say, there were not as many as in previous years."

Second place in the competition, sponsored by the North Devon Gazette, went to Ivor Woodger of 48 Willshere Road, while third went to Kelly Allingham of 23 Oliver Road.

Boutport Street florists B J Ridds won the Best Christmas Shop Window competition for the fourth year in a row.

Winners picked up their awards and champagne at a special presentation evening held in the Mayor's Parlour at the Guildhall.