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Heart Of England In Bloom Visit Ross

Mark Wiltshire, Roger Bache and David Franks visited Ross last week to assess the town in the Heart of England in Bloom Campaign. Herefordshire Amey had been out since early morning making sure the town was clean and tidy, as well as local traders and volunteers.

Starting at the Chase Hotel they drove to the Churchyard accompanied by Margaret Lucas, Chairman and Lyn Tomlinson, Vice Chairman. From the car very kindly loaned for the day by Charmaine Danter they were able to take in the efforts put in to make Ross look clean and tidy and the sunshine made the whole town glow. They were able to admire the Dressed Windows as well as the flags and baskets hanging from the fronts of the shops. Throughout their visit they met with many people who are involved in Ross-in-Bloom as well as residents and traders along the route. They were very impressed with the community spirit that abounds in the town on occasions such as this visit.

They were also delighted to be welcomed to Ross by the Carnival Princess in Wye Street and the Mayor who was fund raising for his charity SSAFA at the Market House. This charity market is an annual event and this year Ross-in-Bloom joined forces with the Royal British Legion to hold the event to raise money for Forces Charities and groups as well as local ones such as St Michael’s Hospice, the Majorettes and the Chestnuts. Members of the British Legion were on hand to welcome them to Ross and Margaret Jones was able to explain why they had joined with Ross-in-Bloom this year and how the colour scheme in the town was linked to the Flames of Remembrance for their 90th anniversary.

The judges spent some time admiring the work in both Pigs’ Alley and the Blake’s Memorial Gardens which are Ross-in-Bloom current community projects. The ladies of the John Kyrle Club were on hand to offer tea and cake as refreshments during a very warm afternoon which went down very well. In Blake’s Garden they helped to judge the overall winner of the Ross Gazette Shield in the Children’s Scarecrow Competition.

At the Phoenix Theatre they greatly admired the work of the John Kyrle High School students where a display of their work was being held this year. Anyone who wishes to see the work will be able to view it at the theatre for themselves during the next few weeks.

The judges also did walkabouts in the Garden of Remembrance, the Churchyard and the Prospect and as always admire the community work there as well as the superb beds planted by Herefordshire Amey and of course the magnificent view across the horseshoe bend. It was lovely to be able to tell them the Beacon would be part of the lighting up next year for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Conservation is always high on the agenda and this was particularly in evidence along the riverside walk in both Wye Street and at the rear of the swimming pool area.

The roundabouts planted by Ross Garden Store were also a particular favourite as well as the new tree planting and landscaping at Morrisons.

Ross-in-Bloom have to provide and itinerary for the day and to round off the visit the judges were surprised with an unexpected visit to the gardens at the Larruperz Centre and the Ryefield Centre. Some of the special needs people who plant the Ryefield garden were on hand to tell them all about how they rotate the crops as well as how the garden has been devised.

Following their return to the Chase Hotel, the manager Mr Colin Purcell escorted the judges around the grounds as part of the Britain in Bloom Best kept Hotel Gardens Campaign. They got top marks last year and hope to do the same again this year.

Ross-in-Bloom work all year round to prepare for the judges’ visit as it not only is an assessment of the day itself but also a judgement on what the town has done during the year. There are plenty of categories to cover as well as flowers, such as community involvement, conservation, weed control, recycling, litter picking and Ross-in-Bloom make up boards to display everything that has been done since their last visit as well as the places where they cannot go in the short time allowed. Anyone who wishes to see the displays can do so on the carnival field.

Ross-in-Bloom were delighted that the visit went so well and looking forward to finding out how well the town did in September when representatives will travel to Wolverhampton for the awards ceremony.

Giving her overall impression on the visit Margaret Lucas said she was delighted at how well it all went. “Despite the ups and downs, and a few last minute disasters a visit like this has during the previous weeks, I was very pleased to see so many people and so much colour around the town” she said. “Ross was spotless and I would like to thank everyone who did their bit to make the visit an enjoyable and light hearted occasion”. “Everyone knows who they are” she added “so to avoid embarrassment of leaving people out at times such as these please accept a blanket thank you on behalf of myself and my team who once again pulled out all the stops.”.

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[Page updated: Aug 21 2011 20:10:07]

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