A weekly newspaper’s moving tribite to an up-and-coming local band killed in an horrific car crash in Sweden has been voted the best Front Page of 2017 by HoldtheFrontPage readers.
The four members of Viola Beach together with their manager were killed when the car in which they were travelling plunged off a bridge in Stockholm in February 2016.
To mark last February’s anniversary of their deaths, the Warrington Guardian recreated a previous picture of the band in front of Warrington’s red phone boxes – substituting the musicians with five rainbow umbrellas, an image which was synonymous with them during their career.
Now the newspaper’s tribute has been voted the top Front Page of the past 12 months in our annual poll which closed this morning.
This year’s contest developed into a two-way battle between the Guardian and the Manchester Evening News for its front page marking the national vigil for victims of the Manchester bombing, headlined ‘There is a light that never goes out.’
But after being neck and neck for most of the race, the Guardian pulled away in the last 24 hours to win with 41pc of the vote to the MEN’s 31pc.
A total of 2,000 readers took part in the poll, which featured a selection of ten of the best front pages from local and regional newspapers published over the past 12 months.
The Warrington Guardian is the second weekly in a row to win the title, following on from the Fife Free Press last year. Other previous winners have included the Bournemouth Echo, the Luton News and the North West Evening Mail.
Readers were allowed to vote for up to three contenders on our shortlist, and a total of 2,065 votes were cast. The full results were as follows:
‘Remembering Viola Beach’ – Warrington Guardian (41%, 828 Votes)
‘There is a light that never goes out’ – Manchester Evening News (31%, 615 Votes)
‘Our Hearts Go Out To You’ – Bristol Post (13%, 259 Votes)
‘Sherlock Holmes’ – The News, Portsmouth (4%, 87 Votes)
‘Desperate’ – Worcester News (4%, 74 Votes)
‘Open Them Now’ – Bournemouth Daily Echo (3%, 55 Votes)
‘Farewell Saffie’ – Lancashire Post (3%, 53 Votes)
‘Terror at Westminster’ – Yorkshire Evening Post (2%, 36 Votes)
‘Wake Up and Smell Reality’ – Fife Free Press (2%, 31 Votes)
‘300 crashes a year’ – Sunderland Echo (1%, 27 Votes)
And the roll-call of previous winners……
2013: North West Evening Mail – ‘Hear our Voices’
2014: Luton News – ‘Fan-tastic!’
2015: Bournemouth Echo – ‘For You, Harry’