In the stunning ecclesiastical surroundings of St Botolph’s Church, Boston – better known as The Stump – both Spalding and Holbeach celebrated golden success this week.
Both towns – plus Long Sutton and Bourne – were finalists in this year’s East Midlands in Bloom competition.
Spalding retained its Gold standard in the large town category, while Holbeach took Gold in the small town competition, in which Long Sutton claimed a Silver-gilt – the second-highest award, after Gold.
Organiser of Spalding in Bloom, Coun Angela Newton, said: “ We are really pleased to get Gold, of course.
“But we really need more people to take part to maintain the standard.”
Holbeach in Bloom’s Graham Rudkin was delighted that the town retained the Gold award it first won last year.
“We are overjoyed because we have increased our points by four and we have been working hard to make it better.”
Special mention was made of the High Street, the football club and nature reserve.
The group also won a Judges’ Special Award for their work at All Saints’ Church.
While not to be outdone, Spalding scooped a special award for the beautiful floral displays at Spalding railway station.
“The hard work really paid off,” said Coun Newton.
Ceremony host and East Midlands in Bloom chairman, Jeff Bates, said: “On a beautiful day, we were taken to Springfields and met by members of the local authority. Vice chairman Coun Harry Drury accompanied us for most of the tour. We started in the festival gardens, then Ayscoughfee Gardens and The Crescent before the railway station, which receives a judges’ award.”
Springfields shopping centre and festival gardens also won a Gold award in the commercial and retail category.
But the first award of the morning also went in Spalding’s direction – to the pupils and teachers of St John the Baptist CoE School in Hawthorn Bank, who were judged to have the best school vegetable garden in the region.
Other individual awards went to Gosberton House School, who collected a Gold award for their school garden; Mandy and Steven Clarke, of Ambleside Drive – winners of the Spalding Guardian/Lincs Free Press best front garden competition – who won a Silver Gilt for their efforts, while Ayscoughee Gardens was nominated for the Horticultural Excellence within Parks award. The Punchbowl pub in Spalding won best pub or hotel
In his closing comments, Mr Bates encouraged more people to get involved.
“We all benefit fom In Bloom – that’s the point of it. Knowing the nature of our communities . Tell people to get involved – come on!”
Mr Bates and his wife Irene, who is secretary of East Midlands in Bloom, were thanked by region president, Doug Stacey, who informed the large audience that the couple would be stepping down from their positions at the organisation’s AGM. Mrs Bates was presented with a large bouquet of flowers as a token of the committee’s thanks.
Next year’s East Midlands in Bloom final will be held at Newark showground on September 19.