Oakham in Bloom team pushes on despite sabotage

East Midlands in Bloom judges with Oakham in Bloom volunteers, July 2015. EMN-150907-094327001
East Midlands in Bloom judges with Oakham in Bloom volunteers, July 2015. EMN-150907-094327001
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The Oakham in Bloom team overcame an attempt to sabotage their hard word to give judges a treat during their tour of the town.

Volunteers who spent months making Oakham look beautiful were devastated to find someone had dumped some sort of chemical, slugs and cigarette butts on a flower bed outside Oakham Library on Monday night.

Damage caused to one of the Oakham in Bloom flowerbeds. EMN-150907-151737001

Damage caused to one of the Oakham in Bloom flowerbeds. EMN-150907-151737001

With judges due to visit the following day the good mood around the team was ruined.

But the sun shone on Oakham on Tuesday helping brighten spirits and making the town look its best when the judges finally turned up.

Oakham in Bloom chairman Chris Morton said: “It caused a lot of worry for us. We were going to get together the night before just to brainstorm, and heard about the damage and that was the evening taken care of.

“But we had to overcome it. We explained to the judges what had happened. We can only assume that common sense prevails and they take it into account.”

The judges enjoyed a tour of the 10-mile route around Oakham in a Jaguar kindly lent by one of the volunteers, or “bloomers”, as they are known. They saw the town centre floral displays, residential areas, Brooke Hill Academy, The Woodland Trust’s Gorse Field Wood, the bypass and much more.

Judges also visited Uppingham yesterday, and will be in Bourne on Monday. The results will be announced in September.

Chris said: “It’s now in the hands of the gods, because we don’t know the standard of other towns. But Oakham looked very good.”

A Leicestershire Police spokesman said a person had been spotted getting out of a black vehicle and pouring something on the flowers. Call 101 with information.