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Town does blooming well to win silver in competition
Buy this photo » Watlington in Bloom committee member Terry Jackson, above, and, inset, Raymond Blanc, and Jeremy Irons with Sinead Cusack
CELEBRITIES lent their support to help a town win a silver medal in Britain in Bloom.
Chef Raymond Blanc donated some of his locally-grown fruit trees to create Watlington’s Community Orchard while actor Jeremy Irons and his wife Sinead Cusack, who live near the village, let the team use their barn to show flowers.
In its first entry, the Watlington in Bloom team made planters for their market place from old whisky barrels, scrubbed street signs and weeded pavements.
The hard work paid off as it was awarded a silver medal in the large village category of the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) awards in St Peter Port, Guernsey, last night.
About the village’s entry, an RHS judge said: “Watlington is nestled in the beautiful surroundings of the Chiltern countryside, its quiet old world charm is only broken by the calls of the red kites as they circle overhead.
“This is the first time Watlington has been entered into the national finals and it has built the entry around conservation and bio-diversity.
“The group has stuck to this ethos throughout and has delivered a focused campaign and a very credible first entry.”
The Watlington in Bloom team was led by a seven-strong committee, but involved hundreds of residents including local conservation groups and Watlington Primary School.
Committee member Terry Jackson said she was “over the moon”.
She said being part of the RHS Britain in Bloom National Finals campaign had made a tremendous difference to Watlington and the whole community had come out in support.
Mrs Jackson thanked Mr Blanc, Mr Irons and Miss Cusack and all the people and businesses who supported the campaign. She also thanked businesses who sponsored the 2014 Watlington In Bloom calendar, the marketplace planters and the group’s event programmes. Watlington was one of 77 finalists picked out of more than 1,000 entries.
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