PRIZES have been awarded for the best entries in the 2014 Malvern well dressing festival, which for the first time were selected by a public vote.

Topping the gold category was Holly Mount Church, which decorated the Rose Gully water feature at the Waitrose supermarket with an elaborate allegorical tableau - including a figure reading the Malvern Gazette.

Among the silver winners was the Court Road Spout, dressed by Josie and Holly Jarvis and Elin Day-Thompson.

Emma Chetwynd Jarvis. mother of Josie and Holly, said: "The girls were absolutely delighted to win a silver award for the second year running.

"Whet they were younger, we used to go round all the wells and springs to see the dressing, then last year the three of them decided to dress this little water feature which is right opposite our house. They design it all themselves, and get their friends in to help male the decoration."

As well as the gold, silver and bronze awards, Dr John Harcup, chairman of the Malvern Spa Association, awarded his chairman's cup jointly to the longest-serving well dresser, Barbara Meddows, who has dressed Earl Beauchamp's Spout every year since 2003, and to Lionel Shorstone who, for health reasons, is retiring this year after organising the last eight well dressing festivals.

Mr Shorstone said: "It's been a good eight years and I've enjoyed it immensely, but because of health problems, I'm steeping aside bow. I'm in the process of organising a committee to carry on

This year was the first year that the winning wells were selected by members of the public voting via email, instead of a panel of spa association judges visiting all the sites before making their decisions.

"It worked pretty well, but there were a few problem, and one or two of the more remote sites got very few visitors. Next year, we might consider asking all the participants to send us pictures, which we can put on a website and the public can vote there. We'll have to see what my successors decide on."

Prizes, in order of votes.

Gold: Rose Gully by Holly Mount United Reformed Church, Weaver's Trough by Susie and Ian Woodcock, Earl Beauchamp's Spout by Barbara Meddows, Lord Sandy' Spout by St Matthias Primary School, Temperance Drinking Fountain by Madresfield Primary School, Westminster Bank Spring by Malvern St James School preparatory department.

Silver: Enigma Fountain by Malvern School of Art, Barnard's Green Trough by Team Trough, Malvhina by Dan and Karen Smith, Stocks Drinking Fountain by Catherine Holmes with Austin and Zoe, Jubilee Fountain by Friends of Malvern Wells Primary School,

Clock Tower by Go with the Flow Home Education Group, St James Churchyard by St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Court Road Spout by Josie and Holly Jarvis and Elin Day-Thompson, Coach House Theatre Pump by Girlguiding Malvern.

Bronze: West Malvern Tap by Sara Bennett, RoseBank Garden Well by Julia Palmer-Price and Friends, Devil's Well by Meadow Road Crew, Eye Well by Jane Green and Rick Banbury, Lower Wyche Spout by Wyche Primary School, North Malvern Tap by 1st Malvern Link Brownies and Rainbows, Wyche Spring by Tara and Sheila Maund, Davenham House Wellhead by Willows Nursery.