TAMWORTH was in the spotlight on Tuesday July 18 with the visit of the Heart of England in Bloom judges.
Judges Nicola Clarke and Roger Tait 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.
Unlike last year’s wet and grey judging day, this year the judges were greeted by the glorious sun as they toured Tamworth to take in the stunning displays.
This year’s campaign – which has the theme ‘Mercian 10 – the Heart of England’s Infantry’- celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Mercian Regiment, marking a decade since the regiment was first formed in Tamworth Castle Grounds by its Colonel-in-Chief The Prince of Wales.
The day started with a short presentation at the Town Hall, followed by a walk through the town passing though the street market to the War Memorial and St Editha’s churchyard.
The judges, along with the organisers of the Tamworth in Bloom campaign and the Mayor of Tamworth, Cllr John Chesworth and the Mayoress, his wife, Mrs Thereasa Chesworth, were then driven in a council Street Scene vehicle to Moor Street island. They were able to view the impressive Mercian Regiment Crest as well as the statue of a First World War soldier made entirely of plants.
The tour then visited the Broad Meadow Nature Reserve to meet volunteers and representatives from Wild about Tamworth and Tame Valley Wetlands, before being picked up in a limo, kindly donated for the day by sponsors E F Edwards.
The party then arrived at Cheatle Court sheltered accommodation – joint winners of last year’s sheltered accommodation gardening competition. There they received a warm welcome from the residents and Local Nature Reserve (LNR) volunteers and stayed for refreshments.
The limo then drove past Wilnecote Cemetery, before arriving at Marlborough Way Community Fire Station where judges were met by teachers and pupils of Rawlett School, representatives from the probation services and volunteers from the community allotments.
The tour then headed to the Castle Grounds where they enjoyed a lovely walk through the Castle Grounds, taking in the wild flowers, rose garden, the stunning raised flower beds beneath the bandstand and the newly-refurbished Saxon Man and Torch Man.
The final stop was at the bottom of Tamworth Castle slope where the tour party were greeted by Private Steven Roche and Corporal Phillip Thornton from The Mercian Regiment, before heading into the castle for refreshments.
Tamworth is hoping to impress the judges to take gold in the Heart of England regional campaign for the eighth year running. Organisers will have to wait until September 14 to find out the result.
Cllr Joy Goodall, Tamworth in Bloom Champion, said: “The fabulous 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 the pride that we all take in our borough. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone for their hard work and effort, demonstrating once again the best of Tamworth.”
Wigginton Park will next be on the judges’ schedule, when they arrive on Wednesday July 26 to take a tour of the blooming sights in the separate ‘Parks and Open Spaces’ category which has been entered by the Friends of Wiggington Park.
This year’s bake-off in honour of the ‘in bloom’ campaign, will be held on Friday October 27 with a Halloween theme. First prize will be the exciting privilege of turning on the Christmas town centre lights.