Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Volunteers needed to help water 45 hanging baskets

ABOUT 45 floral baskets will be hung up around Goring over the summer.

ABOUT 45 floral baskets will be hung up around Goring over the summer.

Although the village is not entering this year’s Britain in Bloom competition, the Goring Gap in Bloom committee is planning to enhance the town’s appearance anyway.

Members have planted several dozen hanging baskets with red, white and blue flowers to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.

These will be ready to go up shortly and will be watered daily, along with a number of tubs and planters, by a team of volunteers.

The team will also continue to renovate a patch of previously overgrown land on Gardiner recreation ground, where many fixtures of this year’s biennial Gap Festival will take place.

They have planted it with a mix of perennial shrubs, grasses and flowering plants which should be in bloom by the time the festival launches on June 15. Last year they planted spring bulbs which are now blossoming.

The volunteers are also working with BT to create a small wildflower meadow next to the telephone exchange behind High Street, off the Wheel Orchard car park in Station Road.

There will be a range of plants to attract pollinating insects as well as three flowering cherry trees. BT is also considering repainting the building.

Meanwhile, the bloom group will once again plant sweet peas up the fence opposite the public lavatories.

Stephanie Bridle, who chairs the committee, said: “We’ve been planning a garden on Gardiner recreation ground for the past two years but a lot of rubbish clearance was needed before we could start it in earnest.

“This is our first full season of planting and we’ve made quite a lot of progress.

“The bulbs have proved to be a great investment and now we’re planting something a little more permanent.

“BT have been absolutely brilliant in helping us with the wildflowers and they’re also going to mend the fence, which has been a mess for some time. The exchange is one of the first things many visitors see when they park so it’s important to make a good first impression.”

The committee pulled out of Britain in Bloom this year because it claims Goring Parish Council took too long processing its request for a grant.

The council disputes this, claiming it needed more details before it could assess the bid.

Since Goring first entered the competition in 2012, the village has won two gold awards and two silver gilts in the small town category of the Thames and Chilterns region. 

Mrs Bridle, a former parish councillor, said: “We’re still very committed to making the village look beautiful, especially with the festival and the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations approaching.

“Our projects help the community and they’re also very social as people will stop to chat and ask more about what you’re doing.

“Lots of people, including children, have been commenting on how pretty it looks, which is a positive sign.” Mrs Bridle said watering the baskets and planters would be a challenge as the committee has fewer volunteers than previously.

At the moment only two or three people have agreed to do it, including Mrs Bridle’s husband Ron.

She said: “This has been on the cards for some time as our volunteers are getting older and that’s why we really need funding for it. This situation can’t go on forever as it just isn’t fair on the people who are left.

“It’s one evening a week for a couple of hours and it’s a very social affair as passers-by are always interested, especially visitors.”

Last month the committee raised £600 by holding a plant sale in Rectory Gardens, off High Street.

Members of the Goring village hall committee, which is raising money to refurbish the building’s clock tower, provided refreshments.

Mrs Bridle said: “We did very well. It was an enjoyable event and it helped to raise the profile of our group.”

If you can help water the baskets, call Ron Bridle on (01491) 875283 or email

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