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AFTER four ‘golden’ years in the South West in Bloom competition, the town will not be entering the prestigious event this year.
Volunteer group, Melksham Bloomers, who help transform the town in preparation for the town’s entry into the competition, has explained that due to a dwindling number of volunteers, they are struggling to maintain the areas in the town they are responsible for.
However, Melksham Town Council – whose amenities team works in partnership with the Bloomers to prepare the town, as well as paying for the town centre floral displays – has promised that the town will still put on a display to remember, in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
For the past four years, the town has won ‘Gold’ in the Portman Cup in the South West in Bloom which is run by the Royal Horticulture Society. Prior to their gold streak, the town won the Silver Gilt award for three years in a row.
Announcing their decision to not enter the town into this year’s South West in Bloom competition, Terri Welch from the Melksham Bloomers said, “It is with regret that the Bloomers will not be entering Melksham in the main competition this year. After many successful years in the competition and a huge amount of hard work, it has been agreed that our town would not be looking its best, and not up to the high standards required.
“It is not just a matter of planting a few flowers, but also general environmental standards. The overall look of the town is very important and working together, as a community, is essential.
“The Bloom team is much reduced this year and is struggling to maintain the areas that they look after. Perhaps if more people come forward to help next year, we might well be again able to enter RHS South West in Bloom as a town, and continue our winning streak.”
The town council’s head of operations, Hugh Davies, told Melksham News, “The town council’s amenities team is determined to deliver the best floral display possible this summer with something rather special to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
“The council has also invested in some new hanging baskets that hold a reservoir of water, so the plants will always be looking their best.”
Melksham Bloomers has said they still intend to enter smaller areas of the town into the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ competition – a category of the South West in Bloom competition for volunteer-led community gardening projects and groups, who are focused on improving their local environment through community gardening.
“So this means that Melksham will still maintain a presence overall,” said Bloomer member, Terri.