Sidmouth in Bloom grasps unique opportunity
PUBLISHED: 11:40 25 June 2016
Sidmouth in Bloom's (SiB) efforts earned them a silver gilt award after their unprecedented invitation to the Gardeners' World expo at the weekend.
Committee members, councillors and volunteers made the long trip to Birmingham’s NEC arena for the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ chance to represent the town.
They designed an underwater-themed garden and took with them pebbles and 3D planters – each of which weighs half-a-tonne – that were this week being planted back in place in the Three Cornered Plot.
SiB chairman Lynette Talbot said: “It was a fantastic plug for Sidmouth – we had a very positive response and everyone said we should have won gold!
“A lot of people said they would make Sidmouth a stopping point.”
SiB was invited to the floral marquee after winning a gold award and cup at last year’s South West in Bloom awards – and attracting the attention of organisers River Street.
“The organisers have never invited a town before,” added Lynette.
“We decided to promote not just Sidmouth but East Devon, so people come and visit the other beautiful towns and villages in the area.”
The volunteers handed out 2,000 information packs, spoke to some 5,000 more, and many others took photographs or read the display boards.
Among the information packs was a leaflet produced by SiB to take visitors on a tour Sidmouth’s floral heritage.
Town councillors Jeff Turner, Ian Barlow and Ian McKenzie-Edwards all attended to sing Sidmouth’s praises.
Cllr Turner, the council chairman, said: “It was a great occasion and there were a lot of people passing by. Lynette and [treasurer] Peter Endersby did a fantastic job.
“I think an awful lot of people will be attracted to the town. I was very pleased with the exposure. The display was quite captivating.”
Lynette thanked Sign Vision for creating the displays, all her volunteers, the eight students who helped them set up, and Sidmouth Museum for permitting the replication of the famous ‘Long Picture’.
SiB will be talking about the event at the Methodist Church Hall, from 10am until noon, tomorrow (Saturday) and all are invited to attend.