You know it already. Shepperton is officially the most courteous town in the UK.

We attended a very polite award presentation at The Anchor hotel recently with the Mayor of Spelthorne, Vivienne Leighton, borough and county councillors, local dignitaries and MP Kwasi Kwarteng.

Shepperton’s Diana Moran is one of the patrons of the Campaign for Courtesy, alongside the likes of Joanna Lumley, June Whitfield and Esther Rantzen. Knowing what we see of these ladies, their position as patrons makes sense. They are all elegant, courteous and well mannered.

The National Campaign for Courtesy is committed to:

  • Good manners
  • Respect for self and others
  • Courtesy for all
  • Rejection of anti-social behaviour

These strike us now as ‘old fashioned values’, when we routinely bid each other “good morning”, held the door open for ladies and when youngsters had respect for their elders. Nothing wrong with that! Whilst we realise society is unlikely to go back to “how things used to be” we can however encourage a better society.

Spreading goodwill is free and brings so much back. I loved some of the lines which members of the campaign gave us “If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours”. So true. Don’t let the rude, hurried and thoughtless leave their mark on our day. Spread some goodwill and we will all feel better. “A smile is an international language”.

We can all do our bit to make our community a more pleasant place to live. But we still get impatient and thoughtless with each other. Let’s all do our bit to make things better. 
Sadly the instances of antisocial behaviour are on the increase so let’s see how we can educate the younger generation. The committee of the Campaign for Courtesy thought that youngsters might want a strapline they could cling to, so they came up with ‘Courtesy is Cool’.

Courtesy used to be a value you were taught by your parents and teachers. It is not too late to get the message across. It is empowering to be courteous and kind – much more so than being rude and destructive. A smile, a kind word and deed go so far in making the world a 
better place.

So when you are out and about in Shepperton High Street, think with pride that you are a part of this most courteous place. Share a smile with someone who needs one and maybe they will pass it on.