Bloom judges impressed by Sidmouth displays

Diversity of Sidmouth bloom projects sets benchmark for South West in Bloom judges

JUDGES from South West in Bloom have been impressed by the 40th anniversary floral displays around Sidmouth.

Last week’s vandalism had been repaired, although judges Martin Abrahams and Shaun Cregan were told of the problems the group had overcome.

They toured the best projects offered by Sidmouth in Bloom, led by president Joy Seward, the only founding member still on the committee.

Judging five towns for the Preece Cup, Sidmouth was their first stop.

“It will set the benchmark, we are very impressed with the wonderful displays,” said Mr Cregan.

Not only blooms dazzled the judges as they visited entrances to the town, Connaught Gardens, the Three Cornered Plot, War Memorial, town centre and Fred the Peacock.

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They also saw vegetable gardens at St Nicholas Primary, Woolbrook, the bio-diversity garden share scheme at Fortescue and how businesses had backed the effort.

At a coffee break at the Kingswood and Devoran Hotel, sponsors were able to celebrate the group’s ruby anniversary with coffee, cake and bubbly.

Sidmouth Town Council chairman, Councillor Stuart Hughes, said he remembered being impressed by the displays when holidaying in Sidmouth as a youngster.

“It doesn’t matter where you are in the UK, mention Sidmouth and people think of FolkWeek and blooms,” he said.

He praised Joy’s hard work, proposing a toast to her and Sidmouth in Bloom in its 40th year.

Mr Abrahams said there was a “good community effort and strong feeling” over the contest and said youngsters should be encouraged to join Sidmouth in Bloom as junior members.

A cheque for �730, proceeds from a recent Nigel Ogden organ recital, was presented to Joy and the group’s chairman, Jane Sutherland-Earl, by Janet Bell and Ron Harbour from Sidmouth Methodist Church.

Joy said: “I hope it went well, we will have to wait until September 15 when the winners are announced.

“We put our all in it, I don’t think we could have done any more.”