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Stamford, Oakham, Bourne and Uppingham win accolades in East Midlands in Bloom competition

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Everything came up roses for our towns in one of the country's leading garden and flower competitions.

Stamford took a 'Silver Gilt' in this year's East Midlands in Bloom, the same as Oakham.

Uppingham took a Gold, whilst Bourne also took a 'Silver Gilt' on the competition results announced yesterday.

However, many other golds and silvers were awarded in smaller categories.

The Crown Inn at All Saint's Place delighted judges with its vast array of hanging baskets and other plants at the front, back and in the courtyard of the popular venue.

It was awarded a Gold in the Best Pub Category.

The Crown Inn won Gold for this fine display
The Crown Inn won Gold for this fine display

The Frank Constable Award went to Hilary Axelson of Mallard Court for the best residential garden.

The Judges Award went to St John's Church for their 'quiet garden'.

Stamford Flowers in Chapel Yard won a bronze for Best Retail.

St Gilbert's School won a silver for their garden.

Ann Ellis, co-ordinator of Stamford In Bloom said the group has received much support from residents, especially litter pickers "who made a real difference."

Ann continued: "Everyone in the business has really helped this year. It takes lots of people taking part. We were only a few points off getting Gold. Next year, we will have to weed even more."

Chris Morten, chairman of Oakham in Bloom, said the town did better than last year, getting a Silver Gilt, after missing out on Gold by only two points.

"We are very optimistic for next year because the judges always highlight the weaknesses so we can build on this and go forward."

What let Oakham down, it appears, were the roundabouts around Burley Park, whose flowers had not come out in time for the judges to enjoy them.

But Chris says the flowers there now look 'absolutely gorgeous.'

Oakham Town council, he continued, helped with all the hanging baskets in town.

"They look really beautiful and they have done a good job."

In other awards for Oakham, Lands End Europe Ltd won a Gold Award, with the company's gardener Les Darby also winning a Judges Award for the professional standard of his work at the Lands End Outlet Site.

A Gold Award also went to Liz Alison of 1 Trent Road for Best Residential Garden. She also won the Frank Constable Award.

Chris said: "It was a stunning garden. It was amazing."

Uppingham won a Gold in the Small Town Category.

The Falcon Hotel took Gold for Best Hotel Garden and Crown Passage won a Silver gilt for Best retail Premises.

A Special Judges Award went to Steve Buzzard for the Delville Wood Commemorative Oak Trees, which were grown from acorns collected at the site of the Battle of the Somme.

They were then planted as part of Uppingham Amistice's commemorations at Uppingham School's arboretum and Uppingham Community College.

Uppingham in Bloom chairman Miranda Jones said a highlight of this year's festival was a new installation on the A47 roundabout celebrating Uppingham's status as the only market town still to hold a fatstock sale show in temporary pens in a Market Place.

Uppingham won gold in the small town category
Uppingham won gold in the small town category

The figures were designed, manufactured and installed by Steve Park of Uppingham company Overwrought and funded by Smither's Purslow.

New projects this year included a Children's Tree Trail and Quiz to complement the original Tree Trail and the Mary Lloyd Tree Trail and funded by the Windmill Trust.

Coun Jones also wanted to thank all sponsors and volunteers, especially Finnemore Stonemasons for the new stone at the Tod's Piece sensory garden.

Uppingham won Gold in the small town category
Uppingham won Gold in the small town category

Bourne was pleased to receive a Silver Gilt and was also only a few points off taking Gold.

Town Clerk Ian Sismey said: "Obviously, we are very pleased with our result and we look foprward to trying to win gold next year.

He added that the town was expected to do well in the 'Best Cemetery Awards' next week.

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