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THE local community has heaped praise on the South West in Bloom Melksham team for their work transforming the town centre.
In a bid to win ‘gold’ for the town for the third year in a row, volunteers and the town council team have spent countless hours smartening up buildings in the town centre, planting flowers and plants, and picking up litter.
Highlights this year include medieval flags in the Market Place, floral artwork on the former Tavern pub, a wildflower meadow with bug hotel on Bath Road, a new community garden behind the former spiritualist church on King Street, and a three-dimensional floral bee sculpture on the Market Place roundabout.
Melksham News took to the streets last week to hear what the community is saying about the ‘Bloomers’ efforts. “It’s lovely! They always do a good show – all the colours are wonderful, and the flags are great,” said Melksham local, Lorraine Hardman.
Bowerhill couple, Chris and Sally Carr said, “It’s very good! The Market Place is very pretty and they have done a fantastic job with the empty buildings that used to be the Tavern and NatWest. The flags are also very clever. It just shows what you can do when you work together.”
Brother and sister, June Romain and Roland Treby, said, “It’s fantastic. The flowers are lovely. It’s commendable what they have done – the town centre was going downhill with lots of shops closing, but the place has suddenly been brightened up by them.”
One local person added, “They have done a great job. The Market Place roundabout is spectacular, and they’ve done a great job with the Tavern and NatWest buildings.”
Wendy and Mervyn Hiscox commented, “It’s beautiful. We are very proud of Melksham and our volunteers.”
Judges from the South West in Bloom competition visited the town on Friday 7th July to view the volunteers’ work – the results will be announced at a ceremony in October.
Chair of the Melksham team, Kathy Iles, told Melksham News, “We have had some wonderful judging days in the past, but this visit felt different – everything ran so smoothly and went to plan – it was a really lovely day. The judges seemed to love everything they saw.
“One particular highlight for the judges was the former Tavern building. We never intended for it to be a feature, we wanted to make it invisible to the judges as it was a major eyesore – but the judges loved it, and took loads of photos of the artwork by Jo Gruenegan.
“Whilst showing the judges around we were stopped so many times by people wanting to say thank you for our work. One gentleman stopped us to tell us that they had never been to Melksham before and that they thought it looked lovely. Feedback like this really is worth its weight in gold, that’s what it is all about.
“I am so thankful for the team, they have all worked so hard this year. I really think that the Market Place is beautiful – it makes me emotional that so many people care for the town and want to make it look its best. I love what we do, I couldn’t think of anything better to do!”