Saturday, 19 June 2021

Town not to enter contest after all

WATLINGTON will not enter this year’s Thames and Chilterns in Bloom competition after all.

The announcement comes less than six months after the Henley Standard reported that the town hoped to enter the horticultural contest after a two-year hiatus.

Instead, Watlington in Bloom wants to concentrate on maintaining the town this year and to enter the competition next year and then every two years after that.

Terry Jackson, who chairs the group, said she and her husband Keith had moved house in January and were renovating the property.

“To do all of the extra stuff of tours and presentations would have been a lot more work on top of renovating the house,” she said.

“We were very torn. We had a meeting in March to decide whether we were going to enter or not and only one person turned up so that was kind of the decider.

“I think doing it biennially takes the strain off a bit.”

Mrs Jackson also wants to revive the town’s open gardens event and horticultural show, both of which last took place in 2015. The group took a break from both last year due to the amount of work for the committee.

The open gardens event, where residents open their gardens to create a trail for visitors, raises money for Watlington in Bloom’s plants and equipment but won’t take place again this year.

The show, which features classes for fruit, vegetables and flowers, may still be held. It has previously been held at the Watlington Club and the Hill Road home of actors Jeremy Irons and his wife Sinead Cusack.

l When Watlington entered the regional competition in 2014 it won a silver gilt in the large village category.

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