Friday, 23 July 2021

Henley in Bloom awarded fourth gold

HENLEY has been awarded its fourth gold gilt in a row in the Thames and Chiltern in Bloom awards

HENLEY has been awarded its fourth gold gilt in a row in the Thames and Chiltern in Bloom awards.

The town triumphed in the regional competition as it scooped the award for best town at an awards ceremony in Oxford on Wednesday.

Henley in Bloom is now looking forward to the national awards next month and the results of the Entente Florale European competition in Bristol today (Friday).

Goring won the small town category for the first time as it achieved only its second ever gold gilt. Henley also took the business involvement award.

Henley was praised by Ted Smith, chairman of the Thames and Chilterns in Bloom Association, who said: ?Once again Henley made a vibrant, visual impact on the judges.

?The stunning river frontage, the well managed meadows, the floral displays throughout the town? it is impossible to mention all the highlights.?

He commended the town for achieving a ?grand slam? of entries in the three competitions this year, adding: ?It's a real honour for us as a region and I hope they get a good result in all their entries.?

Mr Smith commended Henley in Bloom for its business links, mentioning the Blooming Marvellous beer made by Brakspear and the ?living wall? on Leichlingen Pavilion, which was funded by Stonehouse Property Care.

He also commended the work of the Gardening Buddies for their work at the sensory, twinning and Rotary beds in Mill Meadows.

Town councillor Kellie Hinton, who is vice-chairwoman of Henley in Bloom and led the judges for all three competition on tours of the town, said: ?It was lovely to win as we were concerned about the pressure of multiple competitions.

?We do the work for the residents of the town but competitions give us something to focus on.

?We have a very committed committee that does many things to help and we get lots of support across the town, from the Henley Standard to our partnership with Brakspear.?

Cllr Hinton thanked the town council?s parks services staff and recreation and amenities committee administrator Becky Walker.

Councillor David Eggleton, a member of the Henley in Bloom committee, said: ?I had a feeling we were going to get a gold award and said to Kellie that I thought we would do it. I felt we had done what was needed.?

Stephanie Bridle, who chairs Goring Gap in Bloom, said: ?We're delighted to get gold and win our category for the first time.

?We were not sure what to expect but we did our best and made quite a lot of improvements to the village.

?We're well known in the village for our work around the toilets. We have tidied and planted up around there.?

More than 20 cities, towns and villages entered the competition with awards given for specific projects such as business involvement and heritage.

Judges visited the entrants during July. Their criteria included environmental achievement, community involvement and horticultural achievement.

Henley was judged by Peter Thompson, from Peppard, and Anne Kempson, from Odney.

At the time Mr Thompson said: ?The town has a very clear commitment to community involvement, which the competition is about as much as flowers and horticulture.?

There were also more than 30 entries for the It?s Your Neighbourhood community group awards.

The Gainsborough Residents? Association in Henley was awarded ?thriving?, the second highest level, for the second year in a row.

The judges commented on the enthusiasm of the residents, the quality of the beds at the entrance to the estate and how the introduction of a clock on the estate was ?a great community event?.

Cllr Eggleton, chairman of the residents? association, said: ?We felt we hadn't done enough compared to last year when we had done a lot.?

He thanked housing association Soha, the town council and all the volunteers on the estate, adding: ?It's like the ingredients for the cake - you need it all to make it successful.?

Goring Primary School was highly commended in the Mark Mattock Schools Challenge Award.

• Cllr Hinton has been elected onto the Thames and Chiltern in Bloom committee. She said: ?I'm absolutely thrilled. It's an honour.?

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