THE Henley Standard’s Going for Gold campaign got off to a flying start with 17 hanging baskets ordered in the first week, writes Helen Patchett.
We are supporting Henley’s bid to win this year’s Britain in Bloom competition. Last year, the town scored 168 points out of a possible 200 and won the silver gilt award, falling just two points short of gold.
The Standard and Henley in Bloom are asking shops, businesses and residents to buy summer hanging baskets to beat last year’s record-breaking total of 163.
Marisa Francini, a member of Henley in Bloom who is co-ordinating sales of the hanging baskets, said: “We are delighted that we have already had 17 baskets ordered, especially considering the long Easter weekend. We have emailed all the businesses that ordered baskets last year to see if they want to take part again.
“We really need the town to fully support this initiative in order to give the Britain in Bloom judges the ‘wow effect’ when they visit in June and July.” Ann Manning, managing director of insurance broker A Manning UK in Reading Road, has bought hanging baskets in previous years and has ordered two this year.
She said: “I think that everybody should participate as it makes the town look nice and makes a difference to people visiting.”
Stonehouse Property Care in Station Road will have two baskets having ordered them for the first time last year.
Office manager Jane Loader said: “We are located near the station and wanted to try and brighten up the area.
“The baskets made the town look really beautiful last year and we were really pleased with the ones we bought so we wanted to do it again.”
Patisserie Franco Belge in Duke Street will have three hanging baskets.
Manager Christine Harris said: “We have hanging baskets outside every year because I think it makes the town look nice.
“It encourages visitors and shows we are making an effort and I think everybody should make an effort because it’s good for the town.”
Towergate Insurance in Duke Street has ordered one basket as usual.
Manaing director Mark Evans said: “We are always very keen to support town initiatives, particularly those that help to improve the look and feel of the place.
“Henley is a pretty town and we want to enhance it as much as we can.”
Royal House Dental Centre in Station Road will also have one basket.
Sharon Clements, referral co-ordinator, said: “We like to support Henley in Bloom every year because the baskets make the town look beautiful.”
Higgs Group, which publishes the Henley Standard, will have six baskets on its offices on the corner of Reading Road and Station Road.
The form to order the baskets is printed in this week’s Standard and will be published again over the next few weeks when we will be featuring some of the people who have bought them.
Windowflowers, based in Burnham, will provide and maintain the baskets, which will be installed from June to October, at a cost of £60 for one or £116.40 for two (including VAT).
The baskets will feature brightly-coloured flowers including pansies, primula obconica and senetti, among other flowers.
Britain in Bloom is run by the Royal Horticultural Society.
The 76 finalists will receive either a bronze, silver, silver gilt or gold award and an overall winner will be chosen in each of the 12 categories.
Henley will be competing against Bridgnorth, Dalton with Newton, Immingham, Linlithgow, Shevington and district, Thornbury and Halstead in the best town category.
The town has won gold in the town category for the Thames Valley and Chilterns region of the competition for the last two years.