Last-minute preparations are being made for the arrival of the national Britain in Bloom judges this Friday (August 1).
Tamworth is representing the Heart of England region in the Small City category of Britain in Bloom, after last year being named category winner in the regional campaign.
Two judges from the national campaign will spend Friday morning casting their eyes over Tamworth’s fabulous floral displays, community projects and wildlife habitats.
This year’s entry is a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, and titled Tamworth in Bloom – Lest We Forget.
The judging route is the same as that on which the regional judges were taken just two weeks ago – staring at the Alms Houses, where there will be a short presentation. The judges will then walk through Little Church Lane and up to the War Memorial through the churchyard, through to the Assembly Rooms car park, where the ambitious plans for Tamworth Assembly Rooms and the wider Creative Quarter will be outlined.
They will then walk to the Philip Dix Centre, through the old Drill Hall entrance and through to the Tamworth Information Centre.
They will be picked up from the TIC car park in a limo – kindly donated for the day by sponsor E F Edwards – and driven along Lichfield Street to the Moor Street roundabout, where the three raised beds will be planted with displays commemorating WW1, as well as a figure of a First World War soldier made entirely from plants.
The tour will then take in Ventura Park, Bright Crescent sheltered housing scheme, Tamworth Community Fire Station and community garden, Hodge Lane Nature Reserve, Amington Green, Amington Cemetery and the War Memorial, which is currently undergoing restoration.
The judges will then be taken along Amington Road and back along River Drive, where they will be dropped off at the black gates to the Castle Grounds.
The judging party will then walk up through the Castle Grounds, taking in the wisteria garden, Jubilee rose garden, the award-winning Bandstand flower beds and the newly-refurbished Saxon Man and Torch Man. They will then cross The Dig to the historic Town Hall before returning to the Castle.
Tamworth has won gold in the Heart of England regional campaign for the past five years, but this is the borough’s first-ever appearance in the national competition. It will be judged alongside entries from Bath, Bracknell, Chorley, Crawley, Derry City, Harrogate and Loughborough.
Tamworth in Bloom chairman, John Garner, said: “When the Heart of England judges came to visit two weeks ago, they were very impressed with what they saw. We are hoping that the national Britain In Bloom judges will be just as impressed and are very much looking forward to showing Tamworth off to them.
“We would encourage people throughout the borough – especially those along the judging route – to put the last-minute touches to their gardens to help make Tamworth look its very best.
“Tamworth In Bloom is not just about the judging day – it is the culmination of a year of hard work. This year, we have been given two chances to show off all the work which is being done in Tamworth, by the many community and voluntary organisations, businesses and our own staff.”