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RHS Britain in Bloom 2012

Wimborne wins National Small Town Title for the first time in the Britain in Bloom Competition

The long awaited results of the Britain Competition were announced at the glittering awards Ceremony held in Guernsey, Channel Islands at the weekend. Three members of Wimborne in Bloom attended the 'Oscars' like ceremony and waited patiently as the results of the various categories were announced. It was not until after dinner that it was the turn of the Small Town entries. In addition to Wimborne there were four other small towns, one in Northern Ireland, two in the North of England and one in Oxfordshire. The results were announced in alphabetical order the first Addingham being awarded a Silver Gilt, the next two Ahoghill and Sedgefield received Golds. It was then Wimborne's turn and yet another Gold was awarded followed by a Silver Gilt for Woodstock. With three Golds the three Small Towns waited to see which had gained the highest marks. It soon became clear from the description being given which town was to be the winner as the words fitted Wimborne to a tee and so it was that Wimborne was declared the National Small Town Winner for the first time in its 20 year history. This was at the fourth attempt having been a finalist in the Britain in Bloom Competition on three previous occasions. Both the Gold Medal and the Winning Trophy were received by Anthony Oliver, Chairman and Richard Nunn, Treasurer from TV Personality Matt Baker.

Richard Nunn and Anthony Oliver receive the Gold Medal Award from Matt Baker

"Its a fantastic achievement", said Anthony Oliver after the presentation. "It has been a particularly difficult year with the adverse weather conditions but many of our supporters have been out and about on almost a daily basis since April weeding pavements and litter picking and this ensured the Town looked its very best when the judges visited in August. The win is just reward for all the hard work which has taken place throughout the year and I am full of praise for all of those who have helped us"

Richard Nunn and Anthony Oliver receive the Small Town Trophy Award from Matt Baker

In addition to the main categories of village, town and city the Royal Horticultural Society, organisers of Britain in Bloom present a number of Discretionary Awards. These included the RHS Britain in Bloom Commercial Award presented to the finalist that demonstrated the best environmental and/or horticultural contribution from business/retail/corporate interests. There were three nominations all put forward by the different judges across the categories and they included the Green Man Public House, Victoria Road, Wimborne. Although unfortunately they did not win to have reached the final three from across the length and breadth of the British Isles was terrific. The judge's report stated that the Green Man Public House display was the best they had seen during their careers. Well done 'Green Man'

For the second time in a month there was a surprise in store for Chairman Anthony Oliver when he was presented with one of the RHS Britain in Bloom Community Champion Awards for his leadership and encouragement of all things 'In Bloom' over the last twenty years.

Anthony Oliver receives his Community Champion Award from Matt Baker

Attending the Judges Surgery on the morning after the Awards Ceremony the Wimborne in Bloom Representatives were told 'It was just perfect and asked that they conveyed to the Town their great pleasure at the involvement of so many different areas of the Community. Both Judges will certainly be coming back as visitors such was the impression created".

Special praise was given to the Priest's House Museum and Garden, the Model Town, the Jubilee Garden, the Partnership with Waitrose and Knoll Gardens with the planting of the Ornamental Grasses Bed, the Partnership with the National Trust and the new Town Square and the working Partnership with Barclays and Lloyds Banks and the BID. The involvement of the Town Crier added to the great heritage of Wimborne. The themed approach to floral features throughout the route created a "wow factor".

We can say 'no more' than 'Thank You' to all who have been involved this year and which has resulted in the splendid National recognition of the 'Small Town Title'

Anthony Oliver, MBE
Chairman, Wimborne in Bloom