Saturday, 19 June 2021

Basket sales booming

Basket sales booming

A TOTAL of 185 hanging baskets has been sold by Henley in Bloom as part of its annual campaign to decorate the town.

Businesses and residents have been placing their orders over the last four weeks to help the town get ready for summer.

The baskets will be filled with blue, white and lilac flowers, some with hairy leaves to help tackle the town’s air quality problem.

Chiltern House business centre, in Station Road, will have hanging baskets for the first time this year.

Emma Lawrenson, owner and manager of the centre, said it would help brighten up the area as construction work had been taking place at neighbouring Isis House.

She said: “We have admired the baskets in the past and I saw an article in the Henley Standard which prompted me to get involved this year.

“We’ve seen them around and they will be placed on the front of our building where we have five pillars and there will be one basket on each one.

“With the regatta and festival coming up we thought it would make improve the look of the area for the season.

“We have construction next door to us and it has been going on for a long time. We thought this would help brighten up our building and cheer everyone up.”

Neil Ainsworth, landlord of the Argyll pub in Market Place, will have five hanging baskets on the front of the premises.

He has been supporting Henley in Bloom since he took on the pub 13 years ago.

“Being in the town centre, the baskets are always a great display and help us to draw in customers,” he said. “We like to think we are working in partnership with the town council and with Henley in Bloom. The baskets are always great quality and really good value for money.”

Ancastle Green Residents’ Society have ordered eight hanging baskets, which will be placed on four posts around the area’s central green.

All residents of the street pay into a maintenance fund for the communal areas and the baskets are funded through this.

Marilyn Sturgeon, who lives in the street, said: “The baskets are incredibly good value and they are maintenance-free for us, which is part of the appeal.

“The baskets always look attractive and they help us to brighten up the area. The green always looks nice but we don’t have flowers so this gives us a way of providing colour.”

Anru Calitz, practice manager for Bunker Opticians, in Duke Street, said it was important all shops and business chipped in to help make the town look its best.

The opticians has ordered two hanging baskets for its frontage. Mr Calitz said: “We want to help support our community and enhance how our street looks. Everyone has to do their bit to pitch in, 100 per cent. We want to make sure the town looks its best at this time of year.”

Higgs Group, publishers of the Henley Standard which supports the basket campaign, will have six baskets on its premises in Station Road.

Nigel White, managing director, said: “We are always happy to do our best to support the community and the hanging basket scheme. The baskets always look fantastic and help make the town attractive for residents and visitors throughout summer.”

Two hanging baskets will go outside the office of Savills estate agents in Bell Street.

Helen Booker, office co-ordinator, said: “We’re really pleased to support the scheme and help contribute towards making the town look as nice as possible for visitors and existing residents. We like supporting the campaign every year.”

Carolyn Molyneux, who owns Delegate House in Hart Street, said the baskets helped brighten up the town. She said: “Although we are off the main street, the baskets help to make our building look as colourful as possible.

“Our clients appreciate seeing the very pretty summer baskets around the town — it helps brighten up the place.”

The baskets will be supplied and maintained by WindowFlowers, of Burnham.

Councillor Kellie Hinton, chairwoman of Henley in Bloom, said: “It’s a good number of baskets but we could improve the town even more if more people participate by buying a flourishing basket.

“They help get people into town and spending money in the shops, which is what everyone should want. This is a positive way to contribute to the attractiveness of the town.”

Each basket costs £62, including VAT. A new bracket to hang the basket will cost £26.40, including VAT. To order, pick up a form from the town hall or email Becky Walker at Henley Town Council on b.walker@henleytowncounc

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