Rutland Independence Anniversary Celebrated with Jeffery Hudson

Oakham In Bloom were delighted to celebrate 20 years of Rutland independence with a special project featuring Jeffery Hudson!

Several months ago, Michael Walton, son of the late owners of Hudson’s Cottage, kindly donated a statue of Jeffery Hudson to the town of Oakham.

The statue previously stood in the garden of the cottage on Melton Road, but it was decided to relocate it to the courtyard garden of Rutland County Museum.

Jeffery Hudson in the Rutland County Museum Garden

The statue was a little worse for wear after so many years exposed to all weathers, so Oakham In Bloom embarked on a project to restore it, with local sculptor Mo Gardner taking on the challenge.

A special unveiling ceremony was held on Saturday 1 April, where Oakham In Bloom volunteers were joined by over 100 guests, including town dignitaries, Museum staff, local school pupils and Michael Walton and his guests.

Chris Morten, Chair of Oakham In Bloom, and his wife Marilyn, also an Oakham In Bloom volunteer, revealed the new Jeffery Hudson!

Jeffery now stands proudly in the Museum garden, beneath him is a time capsule containing photographs of Joan and Roy Walton and memories of their lives, together with a letter to the future by the pupils of Brooke Hill Academy, some school badges and other Rutland artefacts, including a regimental cap badge in the shape of a Rutland horseshoe.

As part of the project, the garden’s planting has been refreshed for summer 2017 by Oakham In Bloom’s Craig Howat and his team of gardening volunteers.

Guests at the unveiling of the Jeffery Hudson statue

Guests enjoyed a reception and Italian-style buffet kindly provided by Michael Walton and Italian catering students who travelled to Rutland especially for the event.

The project was funded by Michael Walton and Oakham In Bloom.

Chris Morten   Craig Howat

Further photographs can be found on our Facebook page.

Oakham Awarded Silver Gilt

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.

East Midlands In Bloom’s Visit to Oakham

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.

Museum Garden


Our First President & New Committee

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.

Oakham’s Royal Visit

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.