Awards haul helps borough to bloom

Anglia in Bloom 2016. Awards ceremony at the Ocean Room in Gorleston.Winner and Gold Award: Village

Anglia in Bloom 2016. Awards ceremony at the Ocean Room in Gorleston.Winner and Gold Award: Village (0-2500 residents) Filby.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Garden projects were savouring the sweet smell of success as the borough hosted the prestigious 20th anniversary Anglia in Bloom Awards.

Anglia in Bloom 2016. Awards ceremony at the Ocean Room in Gorleston.Picture: James Bass

Anglia in Bloom 2016. Awards ceremony at the Ocean Room in Gorleston.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Some 300 people including civic dignitaries and volunteers attended the ceremony at the Ocean Room in Gorleston where the results were announced on Tuesday.

Filby proved unbeatable again bagging the village category (301 to 2,500 residents) - a title it has carried off every year since 1999 bar two.

Adrian Thompson, chairman of Filby in Bloom, said he was chuffed with the result, although volunteers always had their eye on the best overall entry trophy which this year went to Halstead.

Having won the title six times the village was keen to redouble its efforts to bring it back to Filby with 5000 bulbs waiting to go in as flower planners phased in colour for all seasons, he said.

There were always new ways of gaining points taking root in the minds of In Bloom volunteers, Mr Thompson said, the big tulip plant aiming to bring early colour.

Overall the borough picked up four gold awards, two silver, two silver gilts and four nominations in the special awards category.

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Entrants came for across six counties with organisers hailing ever higher standards and awarding 36 golds, Yarmouth picking up one in the coastal town category, another going to Filby, one to St Nicholas cemetery and one to Bure Park.

Organisers of the anniversary event hailed the achievements of all the entrants and stressed that In Bloom was about much more than flowers with hundreds of volunteers from all walks of life and ages rolling up their sleeves to grow colour and community spirit.

Bob Ollier, chairman of Anglia in Bloom, said: “The Anglia in Bloom communities across the six counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk should be justifiably proud of this year’s achievements. Standards have continued on from last year with excellent awards achieved. The outstanding community work, many resourceful projects and superb colourful displays have all added to these standards.

“The key to success has again been community involvement where everyone pulls together and then delivers great projects.”

Sue Hacon, co-ordinator of Great Yarmouth and Gorleston in Bloom, said it was a fabulous day and the second time the Ocean Room had hosted the awards.

She said the town was more than happy with its haul, adding: “When you are up against so many different entries it is a pleasure and joy to win something. And it is nice to be able to talk Yarmouth up rather than down.”

In October, five Anglia in Bloom entries including Great Yarmouth will vie for national success at the RHS Britain in Bloom Finals in Birmingham.