Bloom competition wilts away

Oxford Mail: Former winner Barry Staite Former winner Barry Staite

ABINGDON’S annual floral contest has been called off, with organisers blaming the hosepipe ban for wilting entries.

Abingdon Town Council had only received nine entries for this year’s Abingdon in Bloom.

Jan Morter, a former member of the Abingdon in Bloom committee, said it was a disappointment.

She added: “The contest raises the profile of Abingdon. It’s a miserable summer and some flora and fauna is something people appreciate.

“People didn’t bother planting, because they thought they may not be able to water them.”

But she said enthusiasm in town had waned, adding: “You can’t really force something if the public don’t really want it.

“If there were more people on the committee, it might have made a difference. Only two people volunteered to be on the committee, which shows it doesn’t have the backing of the council.”

But Eleanor Dangerfield, chairman of the Tythe Farm and Ladygrove Residents’ Association, said: “I don’t know if it’s the weather. I visited an open garden and it looked great, despite the weather.

“If they had publicised it more, they could have got more entries.”

Former winner Barry Staite, 72, of Galley Field, said the council had been trying hard but it was restricted by finances.

The council has also decided not to enter the national Britain in Bloom competition for the second year running.

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:28pm Wed 18 Jul 12

davidofabingdon says...

This is a crying shame, especially coming hard on the heels of not entering Britain in Bloom (again). I do not think this can be simply put down to the weather. After all, many other towns in the UK are managing to hold an "in bloom" competition despite the downpours.

Nor am i sure that this is a matter of public enthusiasm. I cannot see how this would have simply switched off overnight. Three years ago this was a really flourishing event.

I think a lot may come down to Town council enthusiasm. In the past a lot of Town council money and (especially) Town Councillor time and energy went in to making this event a success. Perhaps in this Diamond Jubilee year there were other demands on both money and time?
This is a crying shame, especially coming hard on the heels of not entering Britain in Bloom (again). I do not think this can be simply put down to the weather. After all, many other towns in the UK are managing to hold an "in bloom" competition despite the downpours. Nor am i sure that this is a matter of public enthusiasm. I cannot see how this would have simply switched off overnight. Three years ago this was a really flourishing event. I think a lot may come down to Town council enthusiasm. In the past a lot of Town council money and (especially) Town Councillor time and energy went in to making this event a success. Perhaps in this Diamond Jubilee year there were other demands on both money and time? davidofabingdon
  • Score: 2

3:29pm Wed 18 Jul 12

Feelingsmatter says...

I don't think for a moment the hosepipe ban affected it as there have been bans before.It's far more likely that people are fed up with the Town Council's attitude toward the event as last year it was cancelled at short notice because the council couldn't cope with it so soon after the elections. The shame is that most of the work was carried out by volunteers, and by entering the national competition, which we have won silver in before, we're raising the profile of our town.
I don't think for a moment the hosepipe ban affected it as there have been bans before.It's far more likely that people are fed up with the Town Council's attitude toward the event as last year it was cancelled at short notice because the council couldn't cope with it so soon after the elections. The shame is that most of the work was carried out by volunteers, and by entering the national competition, which we have won silver in before, we're raising the profile of our town. Feelingsmatter
  • Score: 2

3:45pm Wed 18 Jul 12

davidofabingdon says...

This is annecdotal evidence, I know, but I know of one couple who plan their holidays around visiting towns and villages that have done well in Britain in Bloom. Given that the Town Council will even change the name of our town to boost tourism, entering Britain in Bloom, let alone supporting wholeheartedly a local "in bloom" contest, would seem to be a no-brainer, given the resulting publicity.
This is annecdotal evidence, I know, but I know of one couple who plan their holidays around visiting towns and villages that have done well in Britain in Bloom. Given that the Town Council will even change the name of our town to boost tourism, entering Britain in Bloom, let alone supporting wholeheartedly a local "in bloom" contest, would seem to be a no-brainer, given the resulting publicity. davidofabingdon
  • Score: 2

4:38pm Wed 18 Jul 12

abingdonian says...

Does this have to be organised by the Town Council? As Feelingsmatter says most of the work was already done by volunteers: we have a lot of keen gardeners in Abingdon and many active clubs and societies. If enough people think its important, why don't a few people - hopefully including some/all of those previously involved get together to discuss what would be needed and put a plan together? They could either set up a specific group for it or do it under the auspices of one of the existing group. I wouldn't mind betting that some Town Council or JET funding would be available if a proper case was made.
Does this have to be organised by the Town Council? As Feelingsmatter says most of the work was already done by volunteers: we have a lot of keen gardeners in Abingdon and many active clubs and societies. If enough people think its important, why don't a few people - hopefully including some/all of those previously involved get together to discuss what would be needed and put a plan together? They could either set up a specific group for it or do it under the auspices of one of the existing group. I wouldn't mind betting that some Town Council or JET funding would be available if a proper case was made. abingdonian
  • Score: 2

4:46pm Wed 18 Jul 12

Abingdon Neil says...

Abingdon in Bloom doesn't have to be organised by the Town Council, but it is very helpful if they support it and publicise it properly.

If the current Town Council don't want to run it they should idnetify a group of people or another organisation who will run it, not just leave it hanging.

I see lots of very nice gardens round the town at the moment so i don't think there is any shortage of potential competitors.
Abingdon in Bloom doesn't have to be organised by the Town Council, but it is very helpful if they support it and publicise it properly. If the current Town Council don't want to run it they should idnetify a group of people or another organisation who will run it, not just leave it hanging. I see lots of very nice gardens round the town at the moment so i don't think there is any shortage of potential competitors. Abingdon Neil
  • Score: 2

5:11pm Wed 18 Jul 12

Feelingsmatter says...

I think that's a really good idea.
I think that's a really good idea. Feelingsmatter
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree