Tewkesbury in Bloom

Local businesses save the railing planters

November 2, 2017



We feared that the self watering railing planters located along the riverside walk at Back of Avon would have to be taken down after a spate of vandalism this summer resulted in every display being damaged over a period of under two months.  Despite using the manufacturer’s recommended fixings and tightening the railings to reduce play, we have been unable  to prevent the planters from being a target for the vandals.

Sponsorship secretary Shelby Powell commented “Some members of the committee thought we might have to remove the railing planters, but a number of people commented that if we could add additional brackets to the bottom of each planter this could prevent the planters from being moved”.

The vast majority of the project is funded by individuals and local businesses through sponsorship monies and volunteers faced the difficulty of raising enough funds to pay for replacement parts damaged as a result of the vandalism as well as additional funding for the design and installation of additional brackets.

Two town centre businesses came forward and donated £150 towards replacement parts including the internal trays in which the plants are secured within the planter.  The donations came from Nickie Philipson-Stow of the Orange Pig and Jackie Dean of Bluebell Wood florist shop.

Local precision sheet metal fabricators, Precision Engineering Pieces, based at Ashchurch Business Centre came forward to design, manufacture and fit the additional brackets required to provide more security for the planters at no cost to the volunteers.

Senior programmer Nick Lyons who has worked for the company for over thirty years has been responsible for fitting the prototype brackets at the riverside location.  Volunteers at Tewkesbury in Bloom have been suitably impressed by the design and finish and have asked Nick to produce enough brackets for all eight planters.

Chris Grant general manager at PEP comments “Precision Engineering Pieces are only too happy to help the community and assist in deterring vandalism in our local beauty spot”.

The winter plants are currently being grown at Cornerways Ways nursery at Twyning, and will be installed inside the planters as soon as the work has been completed by the team at PEP. 

 

A National Invitation

October 29, 2017
As you will all know, in the summer we secured the "best in category" award for towns of our size throughout the whole of the Midlands in the Regional competition. One of the larger towns Oswestry was chosen to go through to the National In Bloom competition. Tewkesbury represented the Region in 2015 and had found this quite challenging: given our rather limited resources. However, the decision belatedly has just be made to invite us, one of the smaller towns to represent the Region. To be invited to do this twice in three years is a remarkable honour. 



The 2015 team 


John Badham Chair comments "Now that Cheltenham has withdrawn from the competition, we will be the only Gloucestershire representative. Bear in mind 2015 was the first occasion that the Town had competed in the Britain in Bloom competition. This now gives us a real chance of being judged the very best smaller blooming town in the whole UK. Imagine what such a prospect could mean for the town's profile - all immensely helpful to both the morale and economy of our little town. We have accepted this invitation with some trepidation. We learnt in 2015 that we needed more help and coordination to really achieve an exceptional result. This means that success will require all of us, including the various Councils, to work together- more businesses will need to put up hanging baskets, the whole town will need to be properly weeded and street furniture will need sprucing up. In short we will need to demonstrate to the national judges a real pride in our town. This cannot just be the task of a dozen largely older volunteers! Our new chairman Karen Brennan and the committee have taken up this challenge. We appeal to whole community to make sure that we achieve something that will make a real difference to this town's future. If you feel you can help please let us know",

 

Its a hat trick for Tewkesbury

September 17, 2017


It's a hat trick for Tewkesbury in the 2017 Heart of England in Bloom awards.  The town has been awarded a Gold Medal as well as 'Best in Category'  (Town) and one of our longer serving volunteers, Pete Aldridge has received a 'merit' award for his years of service to the In Bloom competition. 

The above image shows Karen, Rosemary, Marion, Dawn, Martin, Brian, Marilyn, John, Joanne, Kitty, Larry and Colin celebrating the town's success at Victoria Gardens.



Brian, John and Dawn pick up the town's awards at the Heart of England Awards Evening on 14 Sept at Warwick Castle

 

Judging Day success

July 27, 2017
After months of preparation and hard work, the Heart of England judges Roger Bache and David Pritchard visited us this week for a two hour tour.  We were assessed on our horticultural achievements which make up 50% of the award as well as environmental and community participation (both 25%).  The results of our efforts will not be known until September when we have been invited to an awards ceremony at Warwick Castle. 



This year we were also followed by a camera crew who are making a BBC2 fly on the wall documentary about gardening groups entering the Britain in Bloom competition, and the cameras have focused on the progress of our project from May to July. 

There were a number of highlights on the tour for the judges to enjoy including a performance by the Town Band and a helicopter ride giving a bird's eye view of Tewkesbury Nature Reserve and the Ham. 



This year's tour went like clockwork from a timing perspective, to having the right people in the right place and for our displays to be at their very best.  We are all looking forward to hearing details of our award.


 

Summer plants are now arriving

June 1, 2017


The town centre will shortly be transformed into a colourful display of flowers and medieval banners!  Between 4 and 11 June you will see the town full of volunteers working on re-planting the high street floral displays and erecting the medieval banners just in time for our summer visitors & tourists. 
 

Victoria Gardens is ready for the summer season

May 21, 2017

Around 30 volunteers spent the morning filling the flowerbeds at Victoria Gardens with annual summer bedding plants, geraniums were added to barrels and the two new urns now take pride of place at the edge of the river.

Don't forget the Gardens are a public park and are open every day for everyone to enjoy.  The Open afternoon is on Sunday 2nd July when there will be music and tea on the lawns.
 

Underneath the arches

May 9, 2017


We'd like to give local painter and decorator, Mark Thompson of Thompson Decorators, a big shout out.  He spent the afternoon this week re-painting the gold lettering on the stunning arches leading to Victoria Gardens in his own time.  The lettering now stands out perfectly ready for the summer. 
 

The TV cameras roll into town

May 4, 2017


We are pleased to announce that we have been chosen out of the hundreds of In Bloom groups across the country to feature in a BBC2 documentary series to be presented by Chris Bavin (Eat Well for Less).

We spent a very pleasant afternoon with Helen White (left) and Rosie Saunders (right) from the Electric Ray TV company showing them around the town and introducing them to our band of hardworking volunteers.  The following week we received the green light and now we are springing into action ready for the first day of filming on Monday 8 May.

The programme will feature the efforts of the volunteers who work at Victoria Gardens park. After the major flood in 2007 and on hearing the news of the Council's ever shrinking budget would mean the flower beds would be grassed over, a handful of volunteers decided to form Friends of Victoria Gardens and volunteer their services to bring back the park to its former glory.   We recommend you take a stroll through the beautifully tranquil park and don't forget to stop and say hello to those digging and weeding.  You may meet Rosemary, Dawn, Kitty, Colin, Marilyn or Martin.  The busiest time of the year for the volunteers is when the floods hit the park, which may mean the area is under water for a few days or even a few weeks at a time.  What is left behind after the flood water dries away is basically mud and the top soil essential for successful flowerbeds is washed away. 

We will keep you updated as filming progresses so please do visit our news paper for our regular updates.
   


 

Provisional judging date

March 9, 2017
We've just received a provisional judging date which is Tuesday 25 July when our Heart of England judges, Roger and Mark, will be visiting us to assess our 2017 efforts.



We've got a planning meeting on 30 March and will be revealing some of the fantastic projects we will be working on.  But we are always on the look out for an extra pair of hands with the practical stuff so if you'd like to volunteer please do get in touch. 
 

Hanover Court gardening group are rewarded

September 20, 2016
We are very pleased to hear that gardeners at Hanover Court have been rewarded for their hard work with a Level 3 award from the RHS judges.  

This year was the very first time residents have set up a gardening group and entered a competition!  This particular competition (Its Your Neighbourhood) is organised by the RHS and encourages the community to take responsibility for a particular local area and improve it.