Beer wows competition judges

RHS South West in Bloom judges - Aaron Cammin and Richard Budge with Ursula Makepeace of Beer in Blo

RHS South West in Bloom judges - Aaron Cammin and Richard Budge with Ursula Makepeace of Beer in Bloom inspecting one of this year's planters. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shb 7008-27-14AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders - Credit: Archant

The community turned out in force on Wednesday to beautify Beer and make it the village to beat in this year’s South West in Bloom competition.

Judges Robert Budge and Aaron Cammin couldn’t tear themselves away from all the residents along the route keen to sing the praises of their efforts.

They were blown away by the improvements on last year but had to keep quiet about Beer’s chances at winning the sought-after gold award.

Judge Richard said: “You have really pulled out all the stops.

“I know there was some disappointment last year but there have been significant improvements – I can tell my trip down wasn’t wasted.

“The community really pulled together – that’s the best part of the villages category.

“I wish you all the best for the results in Trowbridge this September.”

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It was his judgement that saw Beer take home the silver gilt for the second year running from last year’s award ceremony.

When Beer Horticultural Society chairman Ursula Makepeace threatened to pull out of the competition, Richard came to mentor her and her colleagues, and said they had clearly heeded his advice.

With Beer the first village in the category that the two judges visited, he said it is the benchmark against which the other entrants, Cunningham and Milborne Port, will be compared.

He singled out the Fine Foundation Centre, the primary school and the traditional way in which the fishermen work for particular praise.

Resident Alan Bailey, who joined the judges’ tour and has helped out the horticultural society ‘for donkeys’ years’, said Beer deserved to win.

“The village looks absolutely spot on,” he added. “There’s no litter anywhere.”

Ursula thanked the horticultural society, Beer Parish Council, East Devon District Council and everyone who volunteered along the route on the day and in getting the village ready for judging.