Colourful Sidmouth and phenomenal volunteers impress national judges

Lynette Talbot of Sidmouth In Bloom with judges and supporters. shs 31 18TI 9412. Picture: Terry Ife

Lynette Talbot of Sidmouth In Bloom with judges and supporters. shs 31 18TI 9412. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

‘Phenomenal’ volunteers have impressed national judges as the towns in bloom group made their bid for Sidmouth to be named the best in the whole of the UK.

Jon Wheatley and Jim Goodwin, from Britain in Bloom, enjoyed a tour around the town last Friday, on their penultimate stop of the national champion of champion contenders tour.

Sidmouth is competing against Market Bosworth, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Didsbury, Usk and Truro for the highest honour in the horticultural competition.

The judges were full of compliments as they inspected the town and were treated to performances from the Sidmouth Ukele Band, Sidmouth Steppers and general festivities of the town’s FolkWeek.

Mr Goodwin, who judged Sidmouth nearly five years ago, said: “There have been lots of changes since I came here last time; the sensory garden wasn’t there when I came before and there have been lots of changes in Connaught Gardens. There have been new innovations and its much more colourful.

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“This is the best of the best, we are looking for new innovations and look for that attention to detail which is vital at this level. Sidmouth is one of the six best in the country.

“We have seen lots of volunteers and individuals who are doing remarkable work and in Sidmouth its very effective, they are a great team they work together and give a great community feel.”

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Mr Wheatley, who is chairman of South West in Bloom, was also marking the town for the regional champion of champions category. He said it was an honour to have two representatives from the area in the national final.

He said: “The South West has never had two national finalists in the champion of champions, its phenomenal credit to Sidmouth and Truro. It is going to be quite tough.

“The commitment of the volunteers is phenomenal and so is the working partnership with EDDC.”

Lynette Talbot, chairman of Sidmouth in Bloom, thanked everyone for their involvement prior to the day and making sure the judges tour was a success.

She said she hoped the town would take pride and maintain the street weeding carried out by volunteers.

The results will be revealed at a ceremony in Belfast in October.

Thank you Sidmouth! See Opinions on page 14.

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