The residents of Crawford Street in Eccles have officially been crowned the UK’s best neighbours.
The street, who have formed quite the friendship throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, beat thousands of other neighbours across the UK to the top spot.
Their standout entry into Greenall’s Great British Street Party Competition even included a heartwarming poem explaining how they have bonded over the past year.
The gin brand wanted to celebrate the new-found community spirit that has emerged as result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and set out to find and celebrate neighbours across the UK who had banded together to help support each other during these testing times.
As worthy winners of the competition, the residents of Crawford Street will receive a well-deserved street party courtesy of Greenall’s Gin, as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic is over and socialising with friends, family and neighbours is once again permitted.
The winning poem
2020 has not been the year any of us expected,
Cancelled holidays, Zoom calls and banana bread perfected
Back in March lockdown hit and it was quite the shock
But here’s a tale of Crawford Street and how they became my rock
Restaurants shutting, cases growing and feelings of isolation
Shockwaves began to ripple across the entire nation
Then one day I received a little letter,
About a street Facebook group and my days got better
Charlotte at number 38 had created the page
And by 6pm that day, all introductions were made
It was great to finally put names to familiar faces
As we talked about street parking and our fave local places
La Turka, Leo’s and The Monton Tap
Then friendships were strengthened with the NHS Clap
Giving thanks to those heroes gave us all a buzz
Especially when we discovered a hero among us
We have Dr Leanne who lives at number 36
And Broken bones are her job to fix
We’ve got our community heroes, Jo and Rick
Who organised our socially distanced litter pick
Then there’s Danielle and Mike, the resident personal shoppers
Making sure those that are shielding were still eating proper
At 31 we have the new kids on the block, AJ and Kate
Moving in a week before lockdown really wasn’t great
And let’s not forget our cute and furry friends
Our lockdown saviours; Toby, Scruffs and Benz
We moved from Facebook to our street WhatsApp group
Leave your phone for 10 minutes and you’re out of the loop!
And although we can’t go for a gin, hug and embrace
Moods are always lifted when you see a friendly face
It’s tough being confined to the small space of your home
But it’s a reassuring feeling knowing you’re never alone
We know these difficult times won’t last forever
And we look forward to when we can celebrate together
A time we can all go out drinking and dining
So a big thank you to Crawford Street, my silver lining
So together as a street we have crafted this rhyme
Some lockdown fun and a chance to unwind
It would mean so much to us if we did win
A street celebration with good friends and good gin
As in tough times we’ve kept each other sane and upbeat
And I’m forever grateful for the friendships formed on Crawford Street!
‘Our street WhatsApp Group has kept us all going’
“I decided to enter the Greenall’s Gin competition as I wanted to give the street something to look forward to, and writing the poem was also a good way of killing time in lockdown!” said Azra, the Crawford Street resident who entered the Greenall’s competition and who has been living on the street for four years.
“I never expected to win and couldn’t believe it when I received the email to say we had won – I was on a work Zoom call when I read it and actually screamed out loud, good job I was on mute at the time.
“Lockdown has been extremely tough for us all, not being able to see family and friends and feeling like there is no end in sight.
“The latest lockdown has been particularly hard as gone are the summer days and light nights, however our street WhatsApp Group has kept us all going and we’re always sharing memes to make each other laugh and brighten spirits, which is really nice.
“The bond we have built as neighbours throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has definitely been our silver lining.
“We are a mix of different ages and professions so this it’s a lovely mix of people and it’s just been nice to have someone to speak to and wave at in the street while we’ve all been stuck at home.
“When it came to the NHS clap it was really nice to see familiar faces and be able to join in together every Thursday.
“It’s great to now have the street party to look forward to, it’s given us all a boost and is our light at the end of the tunnel.”
‘All key workers should be proud’
Dr Leanne, Crawford Street’s NHS hero, says she was over the moon when she found out they had won the competition.
“I think anyone working for the NHS can vouch for how tough it’s been,” she said.
“I’m a surgeon and I don’t work on the COVID wards, so my hat goes off to all the doctors and nurses who are helping us fight this.
“I caught COVID quite early on and it completely wiped me out and made me feel so exhausted, that was quite scary at the time.
“In the early days no one knew my profession, so it was nice to see the appreciation the street had for all the key workers, it really did give everyone a boost and I know a lot of nurses and doctors who found great comfort in those Thursday evening claps.
“I think all key workers should be so proud of the hard work they have done and how they’ve kept the country moving in the most difficult of times.
“It’s so nice to have this new connection with people on the street who were strangers before. It makes it feel a lot less lonely.
“I’m also so excited for when this is all over – I cannot wait to see everyone having a good time with a gin in their hand and dancing in the street.”