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Driving Miss Daisy
CHELTENHAM IN BLOOM ENDS AFTER 35 YEARS
The Cheltenham in Bloom committee has come to an end after 35 years of dedicated service to the town. The committee wound up its affairs at its last AGM that took place in January of this year. First set up in the 1980's, the aim of the committee was to encourage commercial and private sectors of the community to decorate their premises and dwellings with attractive flowers and plants.
Together with the council's municipal plantings this culminated in the town winning numerous regional, national, and international awards, and put Cheltenham on the map as one of the best garden towns in the country.
The town stopped entering the ‘In Bloom’ competition a number of years ago as the committee turned its attention to permanent landscape enhancements in the town, including planting projects at Neptune’s Fountain, Sandford Park and the planting of over 100,000 spring bulbs.
The committee has passed through successive phases of chairmanship and membership, made up from representatives of the community and businesses. Each member has worked tirelessly, both in a hands on capacity and in raising thousands of pounds, to support the work of the committee. This included the organising of competitions for which it has become renowned, and which culminated every year in a celebratory award evening. The end of the committee brings to an end the running of these competitions.
The initiation of the committee came at a time when very few community organisations existed to champion the cause of parks and municipal planting, but ends at a time when there are now over a dozen such groups in existence; representing a healthy legacy of its work
The Cheltenham in Bloom Committee and the borough council wishes to thank everyone that has supported the campaign over the years.
Cllr Chris Ryder said "Now that the dust has settled on the winding up of Cheltenham in Bloom affairs, as the last chairman of the CIB committee, it is heartening to realise that we have played out our role, encouraging many community, bloom and friends groups to take pride in their area, whether it is litter picking, painting, railings, and benches, or planting shrubs and bulbs to make a difference in green open spaces.
“I would like to thank the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, Cheltenham Horticultural Society and Cheltenham Civic Society who have been long-time supporters with many of our projects, competitions and achievements throughout the 35 years.
“All their help was greatly received especially when dressing out parks, verges and the gateways in to our town with many thousands of bulbs in addition to securing grants to wards for the refurbishment of the Crimean War Memorial and a super mosaic in Hester’s Way to name but a few.
“I sincerely would like to thank the many volunteers who have joined us over the years with projects that came to fruition enhancing our wonderful town. We have certainly left our mark!”
Adam Reynolds, parks development manager, continues: “Whilst it is sad to see the committee come to an end, it was instrumental in bringing people together from all parts of the community with the shared aim of making the town a better place live and work.
“The ethos of the committee lives on in the many friends groups that have formed since its original beginnings and the works of green space volunteers in Cheltenham, which is now at an all-time high.”
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