MORE than 100 summer hanging baskets have been sold in the four weeks since the launch of the Henley Standard’sGoing for Gold campaign.
Another 30 have been bought over the past week, bringing the running total to 102 baskets — almost two-thirds of the way towards our target of 170.
We are asking town centre shops, businesses and residents to buy baskets to brighten up the town before the Britain in Bloom competition judges visit in July.
We aim to beat last year’s record-breaking total of 163 baskets and each week will print the order form as well as feature some of the people who have bought baskets. Windowflowers, based in Burnham, provides the baskets, which will be installed at the end of this month and maintained until October.
Caroline Langler, one of the Henley in Bloom members who is co-ordinating the sale of the hanging baskets, said: “I am delighted we are over halfway. The numbers are steadily growing and I’m sure there will be more orders coming in.
“I have been visiting people who ordered last year but haven’t yet ordered this year and have had a really friendly response.
“There are some parts of town where there are lots of hanging baskets and then areas down the road that look empty so I really want to try to fill in the gaps.”
Among the latest buyers are Richard Way Books in Friday Street and Aura Creative in Bell Street, both of which have ordered three baskets.
Diana Cook, of Richard Way Books, said: “These baskets are certainly eye-catching and as we trade from possibly the most obscure location in the town, I am hoping they will help to draw attention to this interesting, traditional old bookshop.
“Also, a high standard of floral displays can only benefit the town. I am also looking forward to giving up the daily chore of teetering at the top of a stepladder in order to water them!”
Andy Jarvis, director of Aura Creative, said: “Aura Creative had to support Henley in Bloom for a second year as the co-ordination of the displays really is the icing on the cake for our fantastic town over the summer. A number of people last year remarked that it was good to see the flora extending to our end of town, plus our baskets drew positive comments from a number of our clients.”
The Bird in Hand pub in Greys Road has also ordered three baskets.
Landlord Graham Steward said: “The baskets make the front of the building look particularly good. We always get comments from people saying how nice they look.
“Last year, there were baskets along the lampposts in Greys Road for the first time and that looked great.”
The Regal Picturehouse in Borama Way has ordered two baskets, as has Robert Dyas in Bell Street.
Craig Weaver, manager at Robert Dyas, said: “We want to make sure Henley looks nice. We ordered some baskets last year and think it is a really good scheme to get involved in.” The Head Partnership in Bell Street and Screaming Frog in Market Place have both ordered a basket each.
Jason Lock, director at Screaming Frog, said: “We think it’s important for the property to look nice and to support the town. We are a fairly new business in the town and we intend to support Henley in Bloom.”
Cargo in Market Place took part last year and has ordered another two baskets this year. Manager Jen Richards said: “We were happy with the baskets last year so we wanted to continue with the scheme this year.”
Legion Trade Finance in Bell Street has ordered two baskets. Chairman Robin Smith said: “We are very proud to be based in Henley and to support the community where we can.”
Jonkers Rare Books in Hart Street has bought one basket as usual. Administrator Trevor March said: “We like to make the shop look attractive and add a personal touch and I think the baskets brighten the town up.”
Rive Gauche in Hart Street will have two baskets as usual. Owner Jean Miller said: “I think the baskets brighten the place up. It’s good to get the town looking nice with the regatta coming up.”
Another eight residents have ordered hanging baskets for their homes.
Carole Tretheway and three of her neighbours clubbed together to buy a basket for their shared car park in Queen Street.
Mrs Tretheway said: “It gives us great pleasure to drive out of the house and be able to look at beautiful flowers.”
Sue and Tony Vivian-Wright, of Greys Road, have bought two baskets.
Mrs Vivian-Wright said: “We live more or less in the town centre and the baskets look so pretty. We took part last year. The baskets looked lovely, the service was very good and we got lots of lovely comments so we thought we would do it again.”
Henley is bidding to win the national competition, which is run by the Royal Horticultural Society, for only the second year. Last year, the town scored 168 points out of a possible 200 and won silver gilt, falling just two points short of gold.
The baskets cost £60 each or £116.40 for two, including VAT. To place an order, complete the form here and return it as soon as possible.