Friday, 19 October 2018

Village aims to repeat gold in bloom contest

ORGANISERS of Goring’s successful Britain in Bloom bid have vowed not to rest on their laurels.

ORGANISERS of Goring’s successful Britain in Bloom bid have vowed not to rest on their laurels.

Stephanie Bridle, who chairs the Goring Gap in Bloom committee, said she wanted to build on the village’s success for next year.

Goring won gold in the small town category for the Thames and Chiltern region in this year’s competition with only its second entry and either it or Stony Stratford, near Milton Keynes, could go on to next year’s national final.

Mrs Bridle said: “I’m not sure what the judges’ intentions are but we aren’t too fussed about it. It would be wonderful to get through but even if we don’t we will continue doing our best to get another gold in the regionals next year.”

Goring was also joint winner of the overall clean and tidy category while Goring Primary School was highly commended in the Mark Mattock Schools Challenge Cup.

Mrs Bridle and her team of about 50 volunteers planted a record 48 hanging baskets around the town and a further six in Streatley.

They were helped by members of the Goring Greenfingers gardening club and sponsored by 16 businesses in the village. The committee hopes to recruit more volunteers for next year so that more baskets can be put up. It also wants to place a decorative horse trough in the centre of Goring and another in Streatley.

It will ask businesses to help cover the cost and will apply for extra funding from Goring and Streatley parish councils.

Mrs Bridle said: “We have done very well considering it was only our second entry but we are hoping to go from strength to strength. We want to get more people involved because the competition is meant to inspire people to look after their communities.

“Even in attractive villages like our own, there are still places where they can be improved. Businesses in The Arcade always throw themselves into it and there’s always competition between them to have the best basket. But there aren’t as many on High Street because it isn’t as easy to put them up due to space.”

Mrs Bridle said there was room for improvement at the station, which currently has three hanging baskets.Her committee will be asking First Great Western for permission to plant wildflowers on the gravel area between platforms 2 and 3. She said: “It would make it look like the meadows at the Olympic Park.”

The committee also hopes to work with the Goring Gap Business Network to encourage shops to clear litter from outside their premises. A similar scheme was launched in Henley last month by the town’s Mayor Stefan Gawrysiak.

The Britain in Bloom judges recommended that more residents opened their gardens on the day of their inspection and, for the second year running, said that Rectory Gardens in High Street looked rundown.

The committee drew up plans for a restoration earlier this year but Goring Parish Council turned them down.

The council, which owns the land, said they were too elaborate and not in line with the original landowner’s intentions. It has drawn up its own plans for a more modest makeover.

Mrs Bridle said: “I will be interested to see what happens as the gardens are completely shaded in the summer and not particularly inviting.”

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