JUDGES from the Britain in Bloom competition paid a visit to Oakham on Monday.
The Oakham in Bloom committee were delighted with how well the visit went but volunteers faced a last-minute rush to get the town ready in time, after vandals damaged five flower troughs attached to railings in Cutts Close, Oakham, on Friday night.
Despite this setback, the judges were impressed with the town.
Chairman of the committee Maureen Dodds said: “The judges don’t give anything away but they had lots of positive things to say. They said we had done a wonderful job.”
Four of the flower troughs were ruined but one was salvaged. Police have been informed.
Mrs Dodds said Rutland Garden Centre at Ashwell planted four new troughs quickly, which were installed on Sunday.
She said: “I was so angry when I found out what had happened on Saturday morning and for it to happen just before the judges came was really disappointing for everyone who works so hard.”
Each trough costs £100 to put together, for which the volunteers raise funds. Mrs Dodds said the committee would be looking at ways to securely attach the troughs to the railings.
The committee will find out in September if it has won a top award.
A week before on September 14, Oakham will find out how it has fared in this year’s East Midlands in Bloom competition, which Uppingham also entered.