IN PICTURES: The winners of the Harrogate Christmas shop window competition

The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones and The President of the Rotary Club of Harrogate Graham Saunders presented Eliza Mellor ond Robyn Cox of Bettys with The Best Large Shop Window Display Award. (1711162AM17)
The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones and The President of the Rotary Club of Harrogate Graham Saunders presented Eliza Mellor ond Robyn Cox of Bettys with The Best Large Shop Window Display Award. (1711162AM17)

A record-breaking number of businesses entered Harrogate’s Christmas shop window competition this year, and the beautiful displays will be a major focus of a Channel 5 documentary series airing next month about the town’s Christmas celebrations.

TV crews filmed the announcement of the winners on stage at the lights switch-on on Thursday.

Assistant manager of the Scope charity shop Helen Hall collects the  winning  Charity Shops Award from The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones and President of Harrogate Soroptimists Nicola Harding (1711162AM10).

Assistant manager of the Scope charity shop Helen Hall collects the winning Charity Shops Award from The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones and President of Harrogate Soroptimists Nicola Harding (1711162AM10).

Bijouled on Parliament Street was announced as the overall winner out of the 106 entries. Owner Georgina Collins said: “We put our heart, head and soul into the windows as we wanted to make them so special to celebrate ten years of trading as an independent in Harrogate.”

The winners in full: Overall winner, Bijouled; large shop, Bettys; highly commended, Richard Grafton Interiors and Cordings; medium shop winner, Jillian Welch; highly commended, Jespers and Furnish and Fettle; small shop, Bijouled; highly commended, The Cheese Board and Adage Dance; charity shops, Scope; highly commended, Fairtrade shop, Save the Children, and Oxfam.

History of the competition

More than 106 shops entered the shop window competition, and the Rotary Club of Harrogate organised and carried out the judging with the Harrogate Soroptimists and Harrogate College students.

The President of The Rotary Club of Harrogate Graham Saunders and The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones presented  Peter and Kate Jesper of Jespers and Eleanor Goddard and Adam Hickinbottom  of Furnish and Fettle with their Medium Shop Highly Commended Awards. (1711162AM14).

The President of The Rotary Club of Harrogate Graham Saunders and The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones presented Peter and Kate Jesper of Jespers and Eleanor Goddard and Adam Hickinbottom of Furnish and Fettle with their Medium Shop Highly Commended Awards. (1711162AM14).

This year the Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate, Coun Anne Jones, presented the overall winner of the shop window competition with a silver rose bowl trophy originally presented in a shop window competition in 1957, which made the occasion all the more special.

As the overall winner, Bijouled was prsented with a special award in memory of a national award-winning window dresser who worked in the town from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Val Thompson dressed windows for businesses on James Street including Binns, Jennifer Browning and Collinsons toy shop, where she won a national award for her Christmas displays.

Mrs Thompson was also a regular at the exhibition halls in Harrogate, working for toy firms, the Nursery Fair, the Lingerie and Bridal Show and more. She also travelled to London for the International Toy Fair and worked on stands for clients including Waddington’s.

The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones and The President of the Rotary Club of Harrogate Graham Saunders presented Michelle Frost and Richard Grafton of Richard Grafton Interiors and Lucy Praoka and Georgie  Eadington of Cordings with their Medium Shop Highly Commended Awards. (1711162AM16).

The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones and The President of the Rotary Club of Harrogate Graham Saunders presented Michelle Frost and Richard Grafton of Richard Grafton Interiors and Lucy Praoka and Georgie Eadington of Cordings with their Medium Shop Highly Commended Awards. (1711162AM16).

Following her death in 2016, Mrs Thompson’s daughter Ruth Sprowell contacted Harrogate at Christmas to suggest making a presentation in her late mother’s memory.

She said: “Her work was such an important part of our family so it’s wonderful to be able to recognise it.”

Visitors to the switch-on also marvelled at the incredible Christmas sculpture designed by Gabriel Spencer from Harrogate College.

The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones and The President of the Rotary Club of Harrogate Graham Saunders with medium shop winners Lucy Chandler and Jillian Welch  of Jillian Welch Design. (1711162AM15)

The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones and The President of the Rotary Club of Harrogate Graham Saunders with medium shop winners Lucy Chandler and Jillian Welch of Jillian Welch Design. (1711162AM15)

The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones and the president of the Rotary Club of Harrogate Graham Saunders presented Gemma Ackroyd of The Cheese Board and Rose McIntee, Anna McIntee and Sandi Sales of Adage Dance with their small shop Highly Commended Awards. (1711162AM11)

The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones and the president of the Rotary Club of Harrogate Graham Saunders presented Gemma Ackroyd of The Cheese Board and Rose McIntee, Anna McIntee and Sandi Sales of Adage Dance with their small shop Highly Commended Awards. (1711162AM11)

The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones, chairman of Harrogate at Christmas John Fox an  President of Rotary Club of Harrogate Graham Saunders with overall winners Geogina Collins and  Laura Livingstone of Bijouled with guests Mike Thompson, Ruth Sprowell and Carla Wise. (1711162AM18)

The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones, chairman of Harrogate at Christmas John Fox an President of Rotary Club of Harrogate Graham Saunders with overall winners Geogina Collins and Laura Livingstone of Bijouled with guests Mike Thompson, Ruth Sprowell and Carla Wise. (1711162AM18)

The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones and The President of the Rotary Club of Harrogate Graham Saunders presented Georgina Collins and Laura Livingstone of Bijouled with the small shop winners award (1711162AM12).

The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones and The President of the Rotary Club of Harrogate Graham Saunders presented Georgina Collins and Laura Livingstone of Bijouled with the small shop winners award (1711162AM12).

Sandi Sales proprieter of Adage Dance hands back the The Silver Rose Bowl  to The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones. Also in the picture are Nicola Harding (Harrogate Soroptimists), Val Hills (Harrogate Soroptimists), Elizabeth Robinson (Harrogate at Christmas), Graham Saunders (Harrogate Rotary), John Fox (Chairman of Harrogate at Christmas), Anna McIntee (Adage Dance) and Ray Osman (Harrogate at Christmas) (1711143AM1).

Sandi Sales proprieter of Adage Dance hands back the The Silver Rose Bowl to The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones. Also in the picture are Nicola Harding (Harrogate Soroptimists), Val Hills (Harrogate Soroptimists), Elizabeth Robinson (Harrogate at Christmas), Graham Saunders (Harrogate Rotary), John Fox (Chairman of Harrogate at Christmas), Anna McIntee (Adage Dance) and Ray Osman (Harrogate at Christmas) (1711143AM1).