UTTOXETER has once again triumphed by winning gold in a top flower competition.
The town scooped the accolade in the Heart of England in Bloom in the ‘town’ category, after winning the same award last year and in previous years.
Judges visited Uttoxeter, which faced strong competition from Bridgnorth, Newport, Ledbury, Leominster, Ludlow, Ross-on-Wye, Stroud and Tewksbury, back in July.
As the judges took their tour of the town, they said: “A starting point (and subsequently finish) at the Strawberry Garden Centre, a great supporter and sponsor of Uttoxeter in Bloom saw the tour off in style.
“Many very good residential front gardens, some sustainable roundabout beds, quite stunning public art and some of the best floral baskets thus far this year.
“Difficult economic times see the Bloom still striving ahead and really supporting their town. A country of volunteers working at the railway station exemplifies what can be achieved.
“We visited probably the most polite school children ever at St Mary’s First School and had lunch at You in Mind. A fabulous tour, thank you”.
Councillor Andrew Riley, chairman of the Uttoxeter in Bloom working group, said the win was down to the work of the team and its supporters.
He said: “It is all down to the hard work and dedication of the whole In Bloom team along with the support of the other councillors.
“I am absolutely chuffed to bits as this is the second time we have won gold since I have been in charge and we have won it a number of times in the years before.
“It gets harder to win as we go along but I thoroughly enjoy it and I know the team behind us does as well. Tina from the town hall put a lot of hard work in again this year.” The working group said it would like to express sincere thanks to all those who have participated and provided sponsorship and support throughout the past year.
It was also a great day for East Staffordshire Borough Council’s Charlotte Killick who was handed a certificate of merit in the Discretionary Awards category.
Heart of England in Bloom is the regional element of the Royal Horticultural Society-organised Britain in Bloom campaign, which encourages communities to work together to improve their environment.
Judges not only look for evidence of horticultural achievement, they take into consideration responsibility for the environment and community participation.
Chairman of the competition Mike Garwood said: “Everyone is proud to be involved with ‘In Bloom’ which is one of the largest horticultural campaigns in Europe and even more so when they receive their prestigious awards.”
This year’s gold, silver gilt, silver and bronze medals were awarded at All Saints Church, in Kings Heath, Birmingham.
Areas of achievement highlighted by the judges:
SOME excellent hanging baskets notably the town hall, Maltings and the Three Tuns public house.
Despite the weather conditions, many residential front gardens were quite stunning.
Millfield Victory Allotments, some clearly spent 25 hours a day to achieve perfection here. There must be an outdoor vacuum cleaner socket somewhere on this site.
Davies Drive Community Park, a real asset to that part of the town.
Sustainable planting at the community fire station.
Beautifully tended grounds of St. Mary’s Parish Church.
New planting at the railway station.
Enhancement of some public art on the roundabouts, with the addition of under planted grasses really made things come alive.
Very clean town centre streets.
Redfern’s Cottage and its quite special containerised planted ‘yard’.
New public art, the Diamond to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Anniversary and the wonderful mural at the railway station.
Excellent recycling figures, education and general understanding by all.
The obvious clear support of Bloom by the town council does make a huge difference and it shows.
Despite difficult economic times Bloom managed to have sponsored the same number of floral displays as last year.
The volunteers at the railway station have made great inroads into making the station a clean, fresh and welcoming place. Even taxi drivers waiting in the rank can be seen with pruners and dustpan and brush, must be unique.
Excellent working partnership with Strawberry Garden Centre.