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.

Local Gardening Competition Winners

At our AGM last night we also awarded prizes for the local gardening awards organised by our committee.

Gardens were judged in August and we’re delighted to announce the winners:

BEST FRONT GARDEN
1st Place – Steven Gooden of Cold Overton Road
2nd Place – Margaret Broughton of Braunston Road
3rd Place – Brian & Kath Hodgson of Brooke Road

BEST LARGE SECRET GARDEN 
1st Place – Rex & Erica Merchant of West Road
2nd Place – Jill Weigh of Northgate
3rd Place – Liz Sanders of Braunston Road

BEST SMALL SECRET GARDEN 
1st Place – Ann Gurney of Springfield Way
2nd Place – Adrian & Carol Arnold of Prince George Avenue
3rd Place – John Woods of Melton Road

BEST BUSINESS PREMISES 
1st Place – The Maltings, including Sweeney Todd, Dean St Photography, County Squire, Pure Beauty, Thomas Hairdressing, Oakham Rugs, Snapdragon and Partners
2nd Place – Land’s End Europe Ltd
3rd Place – The Wisteria Hotel

BEST LICENSED PREMISES
1st Place – The Wheatsheaf
2nd Place – The Lord Nelson
3rd Place – The Captain Noel Newton
Highly Commended – The Whipper-In

BEST FLORAL DISPLAY ON JUDGING ROUTE 
Pippy Woodley – Catmos Street

CHAIR’S AWARD
Craig Howat

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