It may not have been sunny and just once there were spots of rain but on Thursday 7th July it didn’t matter, it couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm shown by so many because the judges from Anglia in Bloom, George Dawson and Julia Smith, came to visit just a part of our town.
Things couldn’t have gone better. The knitters’ display outside the library as homage to Beaxtrix Potter may not have been exactly what they were expecting but they were impressed. Mr MacGregor’s allotment, Jemima Puddleduck and many more, as well as a plethora of butterflies and flowers. What creative people we have in our town!
Then on to the opening by the Mayor, of our Community Garden in Page’s Park and a chance to show the judges the spectacular and vibrantly coloured flowers achieved on what was just a piece of park grassland in 2014.
Children from Greenleas School, Kestrel Way, presented bouquets of flowers from the garden to the ladies and button holes to the men but more about this special event to come in another article.
Steve’s allotment at Weston Avenue showed just what can be done with a patch of land once used as a communal dumping ground and, of course, many hours of dedication and back breaking work.
Parson’s Close allowed the judges to see the range of facilities that make it so popular with young and old alike. They were fascinated by the new bins that not only compress the rubbish but actually send a message on a traffic light system to warn when they need emptying. As you put your rubbish in one of them did you know about the technology involved in helping make sure the park stays as clean and tidy as possible?
After a hectic trip around parts of Leighton Buzzard, a refreshment break at All Saints Church Coffee Shop was just what was needed with plenty of information about management of the ancient churchyard as an added bonus.
Delicious coffee cake and scones were consumed then it was off again past the Fly Past Monument and the planters on the river bridge to see the new benches reminding us of those lost in past conflicts in Mentmore Memorial Garden with the pretty flower bed created and maintained by volunteers from Friends of the Earth.
A circuit of Tiddenfoot Waterside Park allowed the judges to see all the hard work volunteers have put into hedge laying and planting over many years in an area used by so many to walk their dog or to fish. They were rightly impressed.
At the station, children from Southcott School read poems they had written and portrayed preparation, sowing seeds and growth of plants through dance. A round of applause rang out as they finished.
Why there at the station you might ask? Again volunteers have created the new Pocket Park next to the station to brighten up an unloved area, and, although the plants are small now, just wait and see how they grow which was the explanation for such a charming interpretation by the youngsters from Southcott. Did you know that all the planting in and around the station is done by volunteers?
The judges then walked though Linslade Recreation Ground where we hope to add a splash of colour in the future with another community garden and perhaps restore the fountain so steeped in history. Soon we were on our way again to the Cottage Garden on West Street to admire the recent efforts of our volunteers. Finally, to the High Street with its hanging baskets and on to Peacock Mews. This is a hidden gem. Why not visit the area and admire the flowers, have a drink or do some shopping?
I hope the judges were impressed with the dedication of so many volunteers caring for both town and countryside. I can only thank everyone that took part and gave up their time to meet the judges allowing them to understand the importance of community here.
I wish I didn’t have to have to write this final sentence but after all this positivity someone had tipped a mountain of cigarette butts at the entrance to the alley by Peacock Mews. Why? One thoughtless act so quickly spotted by the judges.
Thank you again to everyone who took part and now we await the judge’s deliberations which will not be known until September 6 as to the level of award for our town. Watch this space.