Friday, 12 August 2022

Bridges brightened up with hanging baskets despite vandal attack

Bridges brightened up with hanging baskets despite vandal attack

COLOURFUL hanging baskets have been installed on Caversham Bridge as part of Reading’s entry into Britain in Bloom, writes Hilary Scott.

They were paid for by the Crowne Plaza Hotel in nearby Richfield Avenue. 

David Willmott, general manager of the hotel, said: “We thought it was a lovely idea to sponsor the Caversham Bridge baskets as the hotel is so close by.

“It’s lovely for guests to see and also for the community, too — the hotel likes to take an active part in local activities.”

Meanwhile, six baskets on Reading Bridge have been replaced after they vanished in a suspected vandal attack. Reading in Bloom organisers believe they were thrown into the Thames. The baskets were sponsored by funeral directors A B Walker, who have offices in Caversham and Henley. They were replaced at the expense of Cherubs Floral Design in Ardler Road, Caversham, which had supplied them.

Marc Allridge, who runs the business and is a member of the Reading in Bloom committee, said: “We were shocked to discover what had happened and immediately set to work to get the baskets replaced. It is such a shame but it won’t deter us.”

Sue Owen, chairwoman of Reading in Bloom, said: “You can imagine how devastating it was when six of the baskets on Reading Bridge were thrown off the bridge for no reason other than mindless vandalism. This is a community project and finding the money to replace baskets is not easy.

“We are really delighted to have A B Walker and the Crowne Plaza Reading supporting our work this year. Thanks to them we are proud to have beautiful floral installations on both of our Thames bridges.”

Julian Walker, director of AB Walker, said: “We heard about the vandalism that took place — it is so sad that anyone would want to destroy displays of flowers that are meant to cheer up the town.

“The impact these lovely displays have on the surrounding area is for the whole town to enjoy.”

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