Actress Emma Samms and BBC newsreader Simon McCoy were joint judges for the 2020 Nailsworth Christmas window competition – and they have declared Pulp in George Street the outright winner.

Pulp – with its eclectic range of stationery – stole the show with an innovative Santa’s sleigh display that extended outside the shop windows.

Runner-up was Joya, the fashion accessory store in Market Street, with a ‘delightful and inviting’ montage of stock, lighting and window art.

Nailsworth being Nailsworth, there had (of course) to be a special prize for quirkiness and humour - which went to The Village Inn on the Bath Road for a Nativity scene using toys belonging to staff.

“These days, shop windows are more important than ever – and, for most of us, shop windows are all we’ve had,’ Emma and Simon said.

“The shops of Nailsworth (always a favourite of ours) have brought a sense of joy when we all needed it. It was a bit of a ‘busman’s holiday’ to have to study and evaluate the windows of Nailsworth’s shops, and we wished we could have given everyone due acknowledgements for their efforts.”

Nailsworth Mayor Jonathan Duckworth, who runs the competition alongside Nailsworth Chamber of Trade, is an ex-retailer himself. He and his wife Caroline (also formerly in retail and one of Gloucestershire’s Deputy Lord Lieutenants) drew up the shortlist.

“We’re so grateful to Emma and Simon for lending their support,” he said. “The town council has looked at how we can help recovery after lockdown ends. Certainly, initiatives such as the Christmas windows are a showpiece, brightening the town up and inviting customers in. The town council also organised a very popular Christmas Pudding Hunt competition for the festive season.”

Nailsworth is lucky to have more than 100 shop- and restaurant- fronts in the centre, he said, and many organisations have been working hard to support them. The Chamber of Trade has a new office in Fountain Street, and is continuing with its Mortimer Gardens outdoor market on the fourth Saturday morning of each month.

“Despite very difficult trading conditions, we are confident that people will be back shopping in Nailsworth as soon as they can. It’s a fantastic destination for buying everything from staple goods to the unusual and individual, with plenty of restaurants and cafes to enjoy too.”

Nailsworth Town Council is funding the Christmas window prizes (generously paid for in the past by Nailsworth Chamber of Trade): Pulp will receive the winner’s cup, plus £50 cash for first place; Joya, £25 for second; and The Village Inn, £25 for the judges’ special prize.