Bedford’s Best Sausage 2011

Yes, it’s a prestigious award and one that is highly coveted around Bedfordshire.

Although, I have to admit, it did make me smile when I saw the proud banner displayed on a prominent roundabout near Bedford:

Summerhill Farm Shop – Bedfordshire’s best sausage, 2011.

Brilliant.

But then I woke up, smelled the coffee and had a damn good word with myself.  Awards are terrific things and to win any award takes dedication, commitment and probably more than a little heartache.

A few years ago we won a National Training Award, which is a big deal in the training world.  We had to visit and open day and then I had to write an entry which took me flipping ages.  We then had a visit from a ‘judge’ who absolutely grilled us (much like the sausage, ha ha!) for more than 3 hours.  He then put a report in to a panel and they debated who would win.

We were over the moon when we received the nod that we were on the short list and we splashed out on a table for 10 at the awards ceremony.

And here’s where it went wrong.  It was the first year that the awards format changed.  There were to be Regional Training Award winners and National Training Award winners announced at the same ceremony and everyone was in both categories.

They didn’t tell us that and so we all thought there was just one set of awards.

The Regional winners were announced first.  We were up against 3 other finalists who, I have to say, weren’t really doing what we did at the time.  They were businesses with a training function which was doing good stuff… and we lost out to one of them.

Utter devastation; the atmosphere around out table of 10 was, shall we say, a little subdued!

But then, the National Training Awards were announced, along with an apology from the organisers saying that these were the important awards and that anyone who had won a regional award could not be entered into a national award.

Redemption!

This time we were up against major businesses, multi billion pound banks and insurance companies and… we lost.

No we didn’t, we won.

And what a euphoric feeling after all the ups and downs.  It was fantastic.  Champagne flowed and a wonderful night was had by all!

When I mentioned it to a mate a couple of weeks later he kind of grunted, laughed a little and said words to the effect of: ‘Is that a big thing then?’

So, actually, I’m very pleased for the winners of Bedford’s best sausage competition.  I takes a lot to win.

I wonder what they had for their meal at the award ceremony?

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