Trevor Leese and David Bielawski, the North West in Bloom Judges who visited Congleton on Monday 22 July, had lots to think about after a whirlwind tour of the town followed by neighbourhood visits to Buglawton and Bromley Farm.
Congleton has been awarded RHS Gold Standard and has been runner up in the large town category (population 12,000 to 35,000) for the past two years. Competition is tough, but the In Bloom group hopes that the improved areas around the town will give Congleton the extra points it needs to take the title! The results of this year’s competition will not be known until the 23 October.
The judges spent time at the award winning Astbury Mere, the Community Orchard, the Jubilee Group Allotments at New Life Church, the children’s planted areas at Siemens, walked along the new River Dane walkway linking Eaton Industrial Estate to the park, viewed the wonderful wildflower meadow and formal planting in the park including the only plaque using carpet bedding in Cheshire East, inspected the Prince’s Trust newly planted area on the River Dane Walkway, talked to members of Congleton Food4Free at the replanted Capitol Walk area, met the volunteers who look after the Community Garden in Lawton Street, walked around the Town Centre and admired the hanging baskets and flower towers, saw the orchard, Peace Garden and ‘Once upon a Time’ garden at Daven School, the town cemetery and met members of the Hillary Avenue Allotment Association.
The In Bloom Judges were shown around by Cllr David Brown, Chairman of the In Bloom Committee, Cllr Glen William, Tidy Town Champion, Cllr Bob Edwards, Leader of the Town Council, Patti Pinto from Congleton Sustainability Group, Brian Hogan Town Clerk and Jackie MacArthur, Town Centre Manager. They also had a chance to speak and meet with numerous people involved in specific projects along the route.
David Brown, Chairman of the In Bloom committee said: “I believe the judges were very impressed with Congleton. A lot of people work hard all year round to make Congleton attractive. I would like to thank everyone who has helped to make Congleton look so attractive this summer – including Cheshire East Streetscape, the Town Council, Congleton Food4Free and the Congleton Partnership, Tim, Albert and Ian from the Community Garden, all the shops and businesses who supported the In Bloom initiative and bought hanging baskets and all the volunteer litter pickers.”
Cllr Brown continued: “It would be wonderful to retain RHS Gold and to do well in the North West in Bloom Competition for the kudos it brings to the town, but whatever the final result it is a useful competition to keep us focussed on continually trying to improve the appearance of the town for our residents, workers and visitors to enjoy on a daily basis.”
Once the judges had completed Congleton Town Tour they spent time with members of Buglawton community followed by the Bromley Farm community – both of which have entered the In Bloom Neighbourhood competition.