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Judgement day in Bury St Edmunds as Anglia in Bloom judges take a tour of historic town's floral delights



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It was judgement day in Bury St Edmunds today as two regional judges went on a tour of the town to see its floral highlights.

Brian Thornton and Angela Barnes, from Anglia in Bloom, were taken on the two and a half hour tour this morning.

The tour, arranged by Bury in Bloom, began at The Athenaeum and ended at Green King's Beer Cafe, just after midday.

Anglia in Bloom judges visit Bury St Edmunds. Pictures: Jo Sweetman
Anglia in Bloom judges visit Bury St Edmunds. Pictures: Jo Sweetman

Anglia in Bloom forms part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s annual Britain in Bloom competition - a campaign to make the most of villages, towns or cities, both environmentally and florally.

Bury St Edmunds has won a Gold award ten times in the Large Town category of the regional competition and is bidding for an eleventh.

This year it is up against three other towns - and also has eight entries in the special awards categories.

David Irvine, Bury in Bloom co-ordinator, Angela Barnes, Anglia in Bloom judge, Bury St Edmunds Mayor, Peter Thompson, John van Rheeda Toas, landscape manager West Suffolk Council, and Robin Burnett, Bury in Bloom chairman
David Irvine, Bury in Bloom co-ordinator, Angela Barnes, Anglia in Bloom judge, Bury St Edmunds Mayor, Peter Thompson, John van Rheeda Toas, landscape manager West Suffolk Council, and Robin Burnett, Bury in Bloom chairman

David Irvine, Bury in Bloom co-ordinator, said: “People have made a very strong effort this year. We have a very strong submission, and our portfolio is very very good.

“We have suffered a little with the weather, especially in the past week but it all looks good, and West Suffolk Council have been spectacular with their help.

"We’ve been very successful so far with ten gold awards in the largest town category and hoping this year to make it eleven. We're also hoping to win as many prizes as possible in the categories, which are judged as gold, silver or bronze.

The judges at Parkway Corner
The judges at Parkway Corner

“I think we demonstrated many things, including our unique rain water harvesting system which will involve five 10,000 litre water tanks installed around town, the first at Greene King, our main sponsor.”

Special categories entered this year include:

  • Best community project - Bury in Plume (led by Crafty Foxes), Abbey Gardens
  • Best conservation or biodiversity project - Floral Laybyrinth, Abbey Gardens
  • Best floral display - The Smile Bed, junction of St Andrews Street South and Parkway South
  • Best garden for special needs - Guildhall Garden, Guildhall Street
  • Best Sheltered Housing/Care Home Garden - Britannia in Bloom, Britannia House, Ipswich Street
  • Best industrial/commercial area - Sealey Gardens, Kempson Way
  • Best local authority floral display - Central Beds, Abbey Gardens
  • Best young people's project aged under 12 - Grow and Cook your Own, Tollgate Primary School, Tollgate Lane

An overall winner is chosen for the categories and all are awarded certificates.

Robin Robin Burnett, Bury in Bloom chairman, thanked organisers, Bury in Bloom's 21 sponsors, West Suffolk Council, Bury St Edmunds Town Council and Suffolk County Council for their support.

Mr Burnett said: "The reason that Bury St Edmunds is looking in such good shape in that Bury in Bloom and the Bury Society have so much help from so many willing and enthusiastic people.

“With all this help and enthusiasm it is no wonder that we are so proud of our town and pleased to show it to our judges."

Anglia in Bloom judge Brian Thornton, said: "What a great community you have, with everyone working together.

"This makes a huge difference when you have such a strong team. It acts like a pebble in water, it just spreads - and that ‘s exactly what’s happening in Bury because your good work is spreading out and you can see by all the gardens."

Martyn Taylor, chair of the Bury society, which launched Bury in Bloom 35 years ago, said: "From what the judges said, it sounds very positive.

"We are just glad it happened today and not on Monday on Tuesday when the weather was so hot."

The results of the judging will be announced in September.