South West in Bloom judges visit Sidmouth
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth’s hidden beauty spots and most impressive gems were shown off to South West in Bloom judges on Monday.
Christine Fraser and John Goulden spent the day touring the town - and were mightily impressed.
They were given a special introduction to the Air Force Eagle, Nessie and Mr Toad - of The Wind in the Willows - in Blackmore Gardens, as well as a peek into the town’s most impressive secluded gardens.
Despite vandalism of floral features at the weekend, the day passed without a hitch and the judges spoke highly of the amount of community involvement in Sidmouth.
On Friday, Mr Toad’s oar was snapped in half before vandals struck again on the Saturday and broke Ratty and his fishing hook into several pieces. Several flower beds were also trampled on. Volunteers in the community rallied together to fix things for the judges’ visit, but Ratty will need to be completely remade in the future.
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Following the judges’ visit, Mr Goulden told the Herald: “I have been impressed by all the hard work which has obviously gone into making Sidmouth a wonderful town.
“You have a community that is building and supporting eachother, which is what the competition is all about. It is improving communities through excellent agriculture and they are doing it in spades here.
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“I saw so many things that I loved. I wouldn’t want to say anything in particular, but I was impressed with the young children that designed a bed with a yacht, cliffs and the red arrows flying over the sea while in school. They then came out of the classroom and planted it up and were so pleasant and proud to show it off – it was lovely to see.”
Lynette Talbot, Sidmouth in Bloom chairman, thanked everyone who helped make the visit a success.
She extended her heartfelt sympathies to the parish church, which also succumbed to damage this week.
“Everyone needs to remain vigilant to keep Sidmouth’s wonderful high reputation as the best town by the sea in Britain,” said Lynette.
The judges’ visit for the RHS Britain in Bloom National Finals will take place on August 8.
Police Sergeant Andy Squires slammed the vandalism as ‘disrespectful’ to the hard-working volunteers and appealed to anyone with information to call 101 and quote crime reference CR/055768/17.