Sunday, 23 September 2018

Henley blooms in sunshine for judging

HENLEY was judged in the regional finals of this year’s Britain in Bloom competition yesterday (Thursday).

Two Thames and Chilterns region judges visited the town and were shown around by members of Henley in Bloom.

Anne Kempson and Mike Gass were met in Mill Meadows by parks manager Gareth Bartle, who drove them to one of the oldest buildings in the town, the Chantry House, adjacent to St Mary’s Church.

Members of the group gave a presentation with examples of their work, including the Hit Litter clean-up, plant sale, garden competitions and community planting, as well as their future plans for the town.

The judges then began the two-hour tour by boarding a boat, provided by Hobbs of Henley, to view landmarks from the river, including the Henley Royal Regatta headquarters and the regatta course, Leander Club, Singers Park and Henley Bridge.

They disembarked at Marsh Meadows and toured the area by car, where they viewed Mill and Marsh Meadows, wildlife areas, the River and Rowing Museum, the bandstand and floral displays in Station Park.

The tour followed a route along Station Road, Reading Road, the Gainsborough estate, Greys Road and Greys Road car park, the Over-60s Club and Makins recreation ground.

Judges headed to the town hall in Market Place before moving on past the Old Fire Station Gallery in Gravel Hill, the fire station and edible garden in West Street, and Kings Road. At the Fair Mile, they viewed the Fair Mile Vineyard and Freemans Meadow.

They also stopped by the Kenton Theatre in New Street before visiting Thames Side North, Matson Drive, the Greencroft Allotments and Hart Street.

The tour was followed with a lunch at Hotel du Vin.

Speaking before the tour, Kellie Hinton, who chairs the Henley in Bloom committee, said: “We always look forward to when the judges come and recognise the work that’s been done and advise us on how we can improve.

“This year the regional awards are being hosted by Henley so we want to do well and show off our beautiful town to bloom groups from all over the Thames and Chilterns area.”

The judges’ criteria includes horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and community participation.

Henley will be judged in the national Britain in Bloom finals on Tuesday, July 29. The results will be announced in September.

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