Spalding wins Gold award

Gold Award celebrations at the Punchbowl in Spalding this afternoon
Gold Award celebrations at the Punchbowl in Spalding this afternoon

All of the hard work carried out by people across Spalding paid off yesterday when the results of East Midlands in Bloom 2014 competition were announced.

Spalding was awarded Gold in the Large Town category, which left Jan Whitbourn of Tulip Radio, Chairman of Spalding in Bloom Angela Newton and Councillor Christine Lawton “thrilled”.

Speaking before the ceremony, the team said that they were “apprehensive but quietly optimistic and hopeful” about the results.

By 1pm yesterday the winners had been announced and the Spalding in Bloom team were over the moon.

Jan said: “All of the hard work has finally paid off. We are all so excited and are jumping with joy because we didn’t expect it at all.

“On the day you have no idea what the judges are looking for because they’re all different and have different ideas.

“I think it would be great now if we could keep Spalding looking great all year round – we can do so much for the town now so we just need more people to join in and keep it this way so that we can keep getting results like this.

“I would love more people to get involved with keeping the town tidy.

“All it takes is for everyone to just do a little bit.

“Even if people are walking back to their car and spot a weed – just pull it out – or if you’re walking around town and see some rubbish – pick it up and put it in a bin.

“Little things like that make a huge difference.”

In the weeks and months running up to the judges’ visit, teams of people worked tirelessly to make sure the town was looking its best.

South Holland District Council, National Citizen Service volunteers, local district councillors, everyone atThe Punchbowl, the team at Ayscoughfee Hall and Gardens and traders around the town, amongst many others, weeded, swept, litter picked and tended to all of the plants in the town in order to get the town looking as beautiful as ever.

On the day of the judging, the sun shone over Spalding on one of the hottest days of the year, but the Spalding In Bloom committee had no idea if they had done enough to secure a gold award.

Hanging baskets hung in the Crescent, the narrow boat on the River Welland was adorned with flowers and the gardens at Ayscoughfee Hall were looking very lush and cared for.

This year was a record year for East Midland in Bloom, with 61 community groups entering.

Jeff Bates, Chair of East Midlands in Bloom said: “This year we saw record numbers enter the regional East Midlands in Bloom competition. The RHS Britain in Bloom competition is now 50 years old, and we continue to meet new groups in our region, who want to improve and maintain their locality.

“The awards are given in recognition for all the hard work, time, and dedication to enrich the environment where we all live.

“We are also very grateful for the support from business, which enables us to continue each year.”