Midnight markets and new street signs amongst winning Bright Idea entries

Midnight markets and new street signs amongst winning Bright Idea entries

Francis Batt

Midnight markets and new street signs amongst winning Bright Idea entries

Town crier Chris Brown had something to shout about on Tuesday.

Chris had the job of shouting out the names of the winners of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead's Bright Ideas competition outside Windsor's historic Guildhall.

He was joined Sir Michael Parkinson who had helped judge the winners and leader of the Royal Borough Cllr David Burbage.

An appreciative crowd gathered as Chris rang his bell and made his announcement.

The competition, which is backed by the Advertiser and Express, attracted 80 entrants and Sir Michael handed over the trophies to the winner and two runners-up.

He said: "We received some incredibly imaginative but whimsical entries."

But it was 46-year-old Jeff Lloyd's idea was the one that took the fancy of judges.

Father of two Jeff, a financial advisor who lives of Laggan Road, Maidenhead, was inspired by a holiday in Barcelona where he visited La Rambla - the famous street full of kiosks, stalls and artists.

Jeff is also well known in the borough as a DJ and a commentator at such local events as the Christmas lights switch on. He said: "I always wanted to try and recreate the flavour of that street, the human statues, the food, the stalls down the middle.

"I had this idea of the whole of Maidenhead High Street transformed into one big restaurant after all the shops had closed and it seemed to come together."

This would all happen at night, bringing the Royal Borough's main streets to life at night after the shops and businesses had closed.

Jeff scooped the £800 prize. The £400 second prize went to Rachel Cook, 37, who also lives in Maidenhead. The full time mother of three came up with the idea of a community campaign to encourage people to plant wild flowers in the borough's parks.

Third prize of £250 went to Karen Appleton, 52, of Clewer Avenue, Windsor for her 'wise walk' idea of smart  signs that would encourage people to walk by providing exact information about the mileage to landmarks, pubs, or other attractions - even revealing the number of calories burned by doing it.

The mother of two teenage girls who works as manager of Slough MP Fiona Mactaggart's constituency  office, said: "I have two dogs who motivate me to walk. Hopefully these signs will do the same for others."

Other suggestions included encouragin people to take the healthy option - by providing musical staircases to walk up instead of escalators.

Another provided the answer for lost children - a helium balloon they could release into the air as a 'distress symbol' if they lost their folks.

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