AFTER a year of hard work, planning and planting, Tamworth was in the spotlight on Tuesday with the visit of the Heart of England In Bloom judges.
Nicola Clarke and Roger Tait from Heart of England in Bloom were taken on a tour of the borough and shown some of the many fabulous floral displays, community projects and wildlife habitats which made up this year’s Tamworth In Bloom entry.
This year’s campaign – which has the theme Keep the Home Fires Burning – continues the commemoration of the First World War and sees Tamworth team up with the Women’s Institute (WI). The WI was founded in 1915 to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the war and this year’s Tamworth in Bloom campaign is working with the local WI to mark their centenary.
The day started with a short presentation at Tamworth Castle. The judges, along with the organisers of the Tamworth in Bloom campaign, were then driven in a council Street Scene truck onto Holloway, along Lichfield Street to the Moor Street island, where they got a close-up view of the raised bedding on the island and the statue of a First World War soldier made entirely of plants.
The tour then visited Broad Meadow, which has just been officially designated as Tamworth’s sixth Local Nature Reserve and where snake’s head fritillaries grow wild.
The judges walked around Broad Meadow before being picked up in a limo – kindly donated for the day by sponsors E F Edwards – and taken down Lichfield Street and up Coton Lane to Rawlett School, where they met pupils and heard about their planting projects.
The tour then took in Tamworth Railway Station, Bright Crescent sheltered housing scheme, Tamworth Community Fire Station in Marlborough Way, Ventura Park and Riverdrive, where the judges were dropped off at the gates to the Castle Grounds.
They walked through the Castle Grounds, taking in the wisteria garden, the Jubilee rose garden, bowling green, the award-winning Bandstand flower beds and the newly-refurbished Saxon Man and Torch Man
The final leg of the tour saw the judges walk along George Street to view the bustling market, through Middle Entry into St Editha’s Square, past the War Memorial and through the churchyard, past the library to the TIC, back through the churchyard and Little Church Lane, before ending up at the Almshouses, where lunch was served by young people from Care First and Skills Tank.
Cllr Michelle Thurgood, Cabinet member for Housing & Waste Management, said: “The many fine displays of works done not only by our Streetscene staff, but also by the many community and voluntary organisations and businesses, really did Tamworth proud.
“The judges were able to see for themselves the pride that we all take in our borough. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone for the fabulous effort they have put in to once again show the best of Tamworth.”
Tamworth is hoping to impress the judges to take gold in the Heart of England regional campaign for the sixth year running and will now have to wait until September 10 to find out the result.