Britain in Bloom
On Friday 28th October at the Britain in Bloom Award Ceremony we were finally made aware of how much the Royal Horticultural Society were prepared to recognise the dedication, inspiration and sheer hard graft shown by our hardworking volunteers and supporters.
Eight of us traveled to Southport to learn our fate. After coffee we took our places at the lunch table whilst winners of specific competitions were announced – including Best Newcomer, Civic Pride Rawtenstall!
That was it for us for the morning session although our hands were burning from clapping the worthy winners of so many other awards.
A pleasant three course was followed by the announcement that we had won Silver Gilt in the Urban Community sector. No mean feat with 13 gardens to create, maintain and show off to their best. Well done and thank you all.
Our Chair, Chris Blomeley said ‘The prestigious Royal Horticultural Society have acknowledged Civic Pride Rossendale’s volunteers with two separate awards? Well, dead right! Out of well over 100 entries, only 3 other groups managed 2 awards. CP’s “Best Newcomer” award, together with the Silver Gilt medal for the overall standard across the town, is a marvellous achievement, especially considering that the majority of competitors were either wholly professional outfits or had at least some paid staff. Civic Pride Rossendale is entirely run by volunteers, local folk in their own time making our town a lovely place to be in. It’s a real privilege to be associated with such a dedicated and determined community organisation and I wish publicly to thank every single one of ’em! These awards are mainly for the many gardens which CP has resurrected and now maintains. But let’s not forget Civic Pride’s litter-picking crews, out there 365 days a year, who contribute massively to the area’s appearance.’
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Three weeks after writing this we learnt that we’ve also won an award in the It’s Your Neighbourhood competition. We entered The Old Fold Garden (the one opposite Mr Fitzpatrick’s) and won a Level 4 Award – THRIVING – one point short of OUTSTANDING! ‘It was great to see how this area has been transformed … from a foreboding, litter strewn, overgrown forgotten corner … into a superb blast of colour which will lift the spirits of all who sit and enjoy the results of their hard work.’ RHS Judge Stephen Lowe.
July 21st 2016
The day finally arrived and so did the judge to assess what our team of amazing volunteers had achieved. Several of them accompanied him as he toured the 13 (yes, thirteen) gardens we’ve regenerated or created. This is no mean achievement for an organisation comprised totally of volunteers – not a paid member among them. This doesn’t make us unique but it does make us unusual as many entries are either wholly or at least partly the work of the local council!
The visit seemed to go well and we were told the outbound layby on the A682 was the best layby in Lancashire (pity there’s not a category for that)!
So now it’s a case of sit back and wait. If we’re invited to the Awards Ceremony in October we know we’ll have won something. The question will then be – what?