Groups dedicated to brightening up their communities have been rewarded for their efforts at the 50th Northumbria in Bloom competition.
In north Northumberland a wealth of major awards were won with Warkworth taking the best large village and the village’s church, St Lawrence’s, jointly winning the best religious premises award alongside Alnwick Garden winning for best commercial premises.
And Lesbury’s Tom Pattinson, the Gazette’s gardening correspondent and Alnwick Garden volunteer was given a special contribution award for his voluntary efforts in the community over a number of years.
The awards were presented today at the prestigious Northumbria in Bloom ceremony, held at Brandling House in Gosforth Park, Newcastle. The renowned plantsman, Lord Howick, owner of the famous Howick Gardens in Northumberland, was the guest presenter.
In total 60 villages, towns and cities were visited by Northumbria in Bloom judges in the spring and summer. Of those 26 villages, towns and cities achieved gold certificates, and over 100 special award entrants were awarded the gold standard.
Chairman of Northumbria in Bloom, Eileen Burn, said: “This has been a very successful Bloom year for communities throughout the North East of England. In a year when the start of the Great War is being commemorated, judges have seen thoughtful displays of poppies, red and white carpet beds and restored war memorials, at the same time enjoying celebrations for our Golden Anniversary with burgeoning golden floral displays, 50th birthday cakes on their visits, and even a 50th anniversary peel of church bells.
“Budget restrictions at local authority level has meant that new ways have had to be found to keep villages, towns and cities looking as good as possible. The volunteer bloom groups and individuals who have brought their strengths to play are due a very large thank-you not only from residents of these places but also from local authorities who appreciate the impact they make on community development.”
Mrs Burn reminded the volunteers and guests that the Northumbria in Bloom campaign isn’t about achievements in any one year.
She added: “The efforts that you are making now are the groundwork for peoples’ enjoyment of where you live. Reclamation of overgrown riverbanks and wild life areas, planting of sustainable beds, friends groups established to restore public parks, imaginative artwork in public places and much more – they all go towards building a great community legacy for future generations to enjoy.”
Best small village – Great Whittington (Northumberland)
Best village – Moorsholm (Redcar and Cleveland)
Best large village – Warkworth (Northumberland)
Best small town – Sedgefield (Co Durham)
Best town – Morpeth (Northumberland)
Best large town – Durham
Best small city – Washington (Sunderland)
Best large city – Sunderland
Best urban community – Eston (Redcar and Cleveland)
Best coastal resort – Saltburn by the Sea (Redcar and Cleveland)
Most improved entry – Middleton-St-George (Co Durham)
Best overall entry – Moorsholm (Percy Boydell Trophy)
Outstanding contribution (salaried)
Ray Richardson (Saltburn)
Paul Turnbull (Corbridge)
Gillian Turner (Morpeth)
Pauline Walker (Durham)
Kevin Wilson (Lingdale)
Outstanding Contribution (voluntary)
Barbara Cartwright (Moorsholm)
Mike Jefferson (Lingdale)
Ted Johnston (South Bank)
Tom Pattinson (Alnwick)
Erland Poldon (Washington Village)
Don and Sheila Renton (Whickham)
Isabel Roberts (Horden)
Business Park – Doxford Business Park (Sunderland)
Care/Residential/Day Centre/ Convalescent homes and Hospices – Middleton Hall Retirement Village (Middleton-St-George)
Religious Establishment – Eston Congregational Church, St Lawrence Church Warkworth
Commercial Premises – The Alnwick Garden
Pub or Hotel – The Roker Hotel, Sunderland
Conservation – Holywell Pond, Holywell
Bus/Metro/Railway Station – Nunthorpe Railway Station
Park – Mowbray Park, Sunderland/Ridley Park, Blyth
Shopping Precinct/Arcade/BIDs – Durham Business Improvement District/ Sanderson Arcade, Morpeth
Private Garden – Alan White, East Rainton, Hetton-le-Hole
Grounds of Hospital/University – Hexham Hospital
Sports Ground – Middlesborough Golf Club, Marton West
Northumbria in Bloom 2014 Discretionary Award – Bishopwearmouth Nursery, Sunderland
Northumbria in Bloom 2014 Outstanding Contributions – Liz Lazenby, David Goodchild
Northumbria in Bloom 2014 Lifetime Achievement – Mrs Kenneth Clark