Oakham has been awarded Silver Gilt by East Midlands In Bloom at today’s awards ceremony.
Oakham In Bloom Chairman, Chris Morten, said: “We are thrilled to receive a Silver Gilt Award. It is wonderful to receive such recognition of all the effort and achievements of volunteers, residents and businesses to make Oakham look so good all year round.”
The Oakham In Bloom volunteers were also recognised for their sustained contribution with a special award from the judges.
“I was so proud to accept the special award on behalf of all our dedicated volunteers who work so hard on so many projects,” Chris added.
This year’s East Midlands In Bloom ceremony was hosted by Uppingham In Bloom and held at Rutland Water Golf Course.
Oakham In Bloom were delighted to welcome the East Midlands In Bloom judges, with a presentation and a tour of the town’s highlights, followed by afternoon tea at the Museum.
Judges Doug Stacey and Simon Lucas were welcomed at Oakham Castle by Oakham In Bloom and Rutland County Council before being taken on a tour of the town with Oakham In Bloom’s Chairman Chris Morten and Gardening Co-ordinator Craig Howat. The tour included the town centre for our major floral displays, residential areas, Brooke Hill Academy, The Woodland Trust’s Gorse Field Wood, the bypass and much more.
The judges met gardening volunteers at the Library, where they also gave a short interview to Rutland Radio, before ending the tour at Rutland County Museum with an afternoon tea with the committee and guests.
Many thanks to all volunteers and supporters who made the day a great success – the judges were very complimentary of the level of community involvement in Oakham – and also to Oakham Castle and Rutland County Museum for hosting the opening and closing events.
We now wait patiently until September to hear the results, which will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held in Rutland this year at Rutland Water Golf Club. Also in the Town category this year are Bourne, Clowne in Bloom, Earl Shilton in Bloom and Immingham in Bloom.
At their AGM last week Oakham In Bloom announced the appointment of their very first President.
Stepping down as Chair this year, Maureen Dodds was invited by the new committee members to become President of Oakham In Bloom in recognition of her outstanding commitment to the organisation since it was founded in 1997.
The new Chair, Chris Morten, who began as a gardening volunteer before joining the committee, said: “Maureen has been a driving force for Oakham In Bloom’s projects since its beginning – we didn’t want to lose Maureen from the committee and we wanted to recognise her years of dedication – we’re delighted that she has accepted the post of President.”
As President, Maureen will continue to support Oakham In Bloom’s projects and advise the committee.
The committee for 2014/2015 are:
Chair: Chris Morten
Vice-Chair: Dave Blanksby
Secretary: Jackie Sellwood
Treasurer: Joy Cant
Gardening Co-ordinator: Craig Howat
Fundraising Co-ordinator: Pippy Woodley
Lottery Co-ordinator: Angie Humphreys
Press Officer: Lisa Batty
Oakham In Bloom are also looking for an Auditor of accounts as our current auditor has become Treasurer – please contact Chris Morten on 01572 759108 for further details.
Yesterday Oakham was visited by HRH Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. A horseshoe was presented to the Castle by Camilla to commemorate the visit.
Oakham In Bloom were delighted to be asked to hold a display in the Castle grounds. A gazebo was erected over a table displaying trophies and certificates won over the years.
Our representatives were Maureen Dodds, Chris Morten, Jackie Sellwood and Angie Humphreys – they had the great pleasure of meeting and talking to the Royal couple.
Today, Oakham In Bloom held a short ceremony and afternoon tea at The Whipper-In to thank the sponsors of the Peacock project – a newly installed feature in the gardens at the back of Oakham Library.
The metal peacock frame was salvaged from Ashwell Prison last year and was kindly stored over winter by Paint It or Plant It, who also installed it in March ready for Oakham In Bloom’s volunteers to plant it up for the summer.
Without the generous donations and support of the sponsors, we would never have been able to complete the installation and maintenance of this unique floral feature.
As permanent recognition of this generosity, a sign has also been erected next to the peacock and it was this that was unveiled today by Frank Hinch from The Rutland Trust.
Oakham In Bloom would like to thank all their hard-working gardening and fundraising volunteers, all local residents and businesses, and especially the sponsors of the peacock itself:
Barnsdale Lodge Hotel
Kitchens by Nathaniel Oliver
Ministry of Justice
Oakham Memorial Institute
Oakham Town Council
Oakham Town Partnership
The Lions Club of Rutland
The Rutland Trust
Paint It or Plant It
Friends of Oakham In Bloom
The above sponsors and supporters were represented at the event by Frank Hinch (The Rutland Trust); Alf and Della Dewis (Mayor and Mayoress – Oakham Town Council); Adam Lowe (Oakham Town Council); Ed Burrows and Dee Spurling (Barnsdale Lodge Hotel); Mike Cropper, Bob Lucas, Joyce Lucas and Nigel Campion (The Lions Club of Rutland); Dave Johnson (Oakham Memorial Institute); Oliver Hemsley and his men! (Paint It or Plant It); Annika Hedrich-Wiggans (Oakham School); Mark Taylor (Bradshaw Taylor / Cavells); Victoria Brambini (Rutland County Council); Derek Bilby (Oakham Town Partnership and Oakham In Bloom); Maureen Dodds, Teresa Thompson, Chris Morten and volunteers (Oakham In Bloom).