GUEST COLUMN: Smashing day at the East Midlands in Bloom 2014 awards ceremony

Guest columnist Mike Backler writes about the 'blooming fantastic' awards ceremony for the Matlock Mercury.
Guest columnist Mike Backler writes about the 'blooming fantastic' awards ceremony for the Matlock Mercury.

What a smashing day the East Midlands in Bloom 2014 awards ceremony turned out to be.

Four members of the Darley Dale committee traveled to Lark Hill Village, Clifton, Nottingham for the awards ceremony.

It was always going to be difficult to match the achievements of last year when four distinct awards were given but to consolidate our position with another Silver Gilt award was no mean feat!

The points awarded this year were a significant increase over 2013 and put us just 6 points away from our aspirational target of a Gold Award in the Small Town category, for automatic entry into the national competition.

Furthermore, Yolanta and her team at the RBS were presented with the Judges Award for the much-improved gardens at the bank, right at the crossroads of our town.

The judges stated that this “creates a real village green ambience to a previously bland area”.

They were extremely complimentary about the tour of Darley Dale on 9th July, declaring it “a well-planned, considered and interesting tour”.

They stated that “this year’s highlight and treat for the judges was undoubtedly the horse and carriage tour of Whitworth Park, driven by Caroline”.

The Judges Report particularly stated that “the enthusiasm and passion from the group and community continues to blossom throughout the town” and “the schools, church, Peak Rail and Red House Carriage Museum and Stables, to name but a few, are clearly key players in the community”.

Specific mention was given in the report to both our local schools - Darley Primary for their bird box project and Churchtown for their medals identifying points of interest on the tour “a great idea and concept, really helping to unify WW1 commemoration with the In Bloom campaign”.

With the judges identification of areas for further development, our own increasing number of projects planned for the 2015 competition, in addition to continued consolidation of the 2014 achievements there is a great deal of work to be done. The Darley Dale In Bloom committee would really welcome additional volunteers.

By Mike Backler