The story behind the Moor Street island World War 1 tribute

Tuesday, 7th August 2018

IN celebrating this year’s Tamworth in Bloom theme of ‘Homecoming 2018’– Moor Street traffic island at the end of Lichfield Street was planted with a stunning World War 1 tribute with more than just flower beds – an interpretation visually showing the journey home of a WW1 veteran.

The trench feature, flower bed crest and footsteps leading to the soldier statue made entirely of flowers, forms a fabulous floral display for a fitting tribute to mark the anniversary of 100 years since the end of WW1.

Street Scene teams from Tamworth Borough Council have been out in force over the past few months, working hard on the town’s floral displays in a bid to help Tamworth achieve gold for the ninth year in a row in the Heart of England in Bloom competition.

This year the team have worked to impress the judges by using imaginative ideas to describe how a WW1 soldier left their trench and headed home-bound, to create a truly eye-catching display.

The representation on the island has been based on the idea of what it may look like 100-years on. The story begins at the trench where ladders have been placed and the soldier’s metal helmet can be seen hanging from the top. The trench features a selection of native wilds flowers, grasses and herbs – including chamomile, chives and parsley, which would have been grown and eaten by the soldiers.

The 'trenches' on Moor Street island made out of sleepers and sandbags

The ‘trenches’ on Moor Street island

The trench was created from recycled planters and by the end of the year when the display is removed; they will be recycled once more along with the herbs that will be re-planted in the Dementia sensory garden in the Castle Grounds.

 The two impressive flower beds are planted to show a rose in the union jack colours and a crest with a golden bell and the letter C to represent the centennial anniversary. Colours have been carefully chosen to portray not only the red, white and blue, but also gold for the bell along with white and pastel colours, representing hope and peace.

The old-English style cottage flowers, accompanied by the native grasses, have the footprints of a solidier outlined in white eco-friendly materials to show the final journey to the newly-refurbished soldier statue which over-looks a floral bed of white flowers – representing the white coastal Cliffs of Dover.

Adrian Barnes from Tamworth Borough Council’s Street Scene Team, said: “This has been an enjoyable challenge to create something different and eye-catching for this year’s Tamworth in Bloom theme.

“The Street Scene Team has worked hard to create a moving story and representation of what it would look like for a WW1 soldier returning home after the war. From the trench ladders, to the hat left hung and the walk from the battlefields to the coastal lines.

“Flowers and grasses have been carefully chosen and it has been an even bigger challenge this year to keep everything looking its best with the recent lack of rain. Ideas are formed a year in advance and the team are very happy that all the hard work has paid off to create a truly thought-provoking display.”

The floral 'C' on Moor Street island.

The floral ‘C’ on Moor Street island.

Judging for this year’s Tamworth in Bloom took place on July 17, but organisers will have to wait until September 20 to find out the result.

Wigginton Park has been next on the judges’ schedule, when they arrived on Thursday, August 2, and took a tour of the stunning park in the separate ‘Parks and Open Spaces’ category which has been entered by the Friends of Wiggington Park. Results will be announced at the end of September.

Cllr John Chesworth, Cabinet member for Culture and Operational Services, said: “The judges seemed to enjoy their visit to Tamworth and I know they were particularly impressed in our Moor Street island WW1 display and the hard work demonstrated by our Street Scene teams. The moving story illustrated with the trench display and flower beds has been complimented as being something that would be displayed at the Chelsea Flower Show.

“It was a really busy year for Tamworth in Bloom with three really important anniversaries being celebrated, so there was a lot to incorporate. The campaign is a real community effort which is ongoing throughout the year so we hope the judges were impressed with what they saw.

“Tamworth in Bloom is about creating community pride and encouraging people to get involved and do their bit in promoting the town as an attractive place to visit, and we hope we have done enough to secure that gold for a ninth year.”