There were celebrations all round at the East Midlands in Bloom awards on Wednesday as three towns clinched prizes.
The team from Uppingham were delighted to win gold award and small town category winner, as well as pick up judges awards for the Best New Permanent Landscape at Tod’s Piece and the It’s Your Neighbourhood Award, for Limes, Firs and Spurs Residents ‘Association.
The Crown Hotel also received a silver gilt award for its garden entry - and it was the hotel’s first time entering the competition.
The committee will now have the chance to battle it out in next year’s Britain in Bloom competition - and although this year was particularly hard work for the small committee, chairman Pam Dalby said she feels the committee will take up the chance after narrowly missing out on gold last time.
She said: “We were surprised to win because we have had some challenges this year.”
Her committee colleague Miranda Jones paid tribute to the efforts of Uppingham Town Council at Tod’s Piece.
Oakham in Bloom picked up a silver gilt award in the town category.
Chairman Chris Morten said he was pleased the hard work of the town’s volunteers had been recognised.
He said: “I was pleased with our performance. We got silver gilt in 2015 too, but this year our points score was higher and we weren’t far off gold, so we are heading in the right direction and are full of confidence for next year.
“We have a team of 18 ‘Bloomers’ who give up their spare time throughout the year to keep the town looking great. It’s a big job, and planning for 2017 will start now.”
Mayor of Oakham Adam Lowe was a guest at Wednesday’s ceremony, which took place in Mansfield, Notts.
He said: “Brilliant work by both towns and recognition to all the volunteers who help make and keep Rutland a lovely place to live and work.”
In Bourne, there was some disappointment after the team dropped from last year’s silver gilt to a silver award in the small town category - but there was success for Brenda and Jim Jones, who won a judges award for their work at Baldock’s Mill.
Bourne town clerk Ian Sismey said that neighbouring towns - like Uppingham which competes in the same category - have much bigger committees. He said that was something the Bourne team needed to work on and hopes more people will get involved in the town’s efforts in future.