Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Posthumous award for ‘passionate’ former parks manager

Posthumous award for ‘passionate’ former parks manager

THE former manager of Henley’s parks has been given a posthumous award.

Gareth Bartle, who died in May, won the Thames and Chilterns in Bloom judges’ discretionary award for outstanding contribution.

Each year the judges choose a member of a community or the wider area for their exceptional contribution to “bloom”.

Mr Bartle, who was diagnosed with terminal lung and brain cancer in October last year, was a member of the regional group for about a decade, serving as a judge and member of the committee. He was also manager of Henley Town Council’s parks services team for 14 years and played a key role in supporting Henley in Bloom.

During his time in the role the town won six consecutive gold awards in the town category of the regional competition and in 2015 scooped its first Britain in Bloom gold at the third attempt and silver in the Entente Florale European competition.

Ted Smith, chairman of Thames and Chilterns in Bloom, said: “Gareth contributed in two ways. In Henley he was instrumental in driving bloom and worked on the parks.

“Parks was my background and he certainly lifted and moved the parks forward whenever I visited there. He was part of our judging team for about 10 years. We appreciated all he did for us, for the community and for bloom.”

Town councillor Kellie Hinton, vice-chairwoman of Henley in Bloom, said: “I can’t think of anyone who deserves the award more. We know Henley in Bloom was a massive part of Gareth’s life. It was his passion but a lot of people don’t know how much of his own time he spent on it.

“It wasn’t just his work in Henley but his time supporting other groups outside Henley. Once he had trained as a judge it was something he put his heart and soul into.

“He was one of the most passionate advocates for the cause.”

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