Sidmouth’s best-ever Bloom glory

Floral features net Sidmouth in Bloom its greatest achievement in 40th year

SIDMOUTH is celebrating its best-ever South West in Bloom awards success.

Driving forces behind the town’s floral features this week hailed double trophy and gold award hauls as their greatest achievement in the year Sidmouth in Bloom celebrates its 40th anniversary.

There were tears of joy for hard-working committee members who defied cash cuts and vandals to bring home a bumper crop of accolades.

Sidmouth was named the region’s top small town, landing the Preece cup and a gold award at a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) ceremony in Newquay last Thursday.

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The town also bagged the Plantscape Coastal Trophy - a discretionary seaside town accolade - for its Seaworld display at the Three Cornered Plot, which also garnered a gold award.

The town’s croquet club and five-year-old schoolgirl Flora Hadfield were also winners of neighbourhood and painting awards ,respectively.

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Trophies and certificates have gone on display in Fields in Market Place. Sidmouth in Bloom president Joy Seward, the last remaining original member on a committee she joined in 1971, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled. This is our greatest achievement, which I think is quite important for our 40th year celebrations. I was in tears. I was so excited, people had to help me up to the stage. I’ve got so many memories but this tops them all.”

Joy, 78, who suffers from arthritis, worked around the clock to ensure the town was in tip top shape for a judges visit in July. Vandals targeted floral features just days before.

Joy praised her hard-grafting committee colleagues and thanked the district council for helping with repairs.

Sidmouth in Bloom chairman, Jane Sutherland-Earl, expected the town to win and said: “I’d have been bitterly disappointed if we hadn’t. This is Sidmouth!”.

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