D-day for bid to be crowned top of the pots

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MORPETH flower power could be crowned the best in Britain this weekend.

The area is going for glory in the Best Town category in the finals of the Britain In Bloom competition in Guernsey on Saturday.

The town achieved Silver Gilt status in the national contest in 2007, 2008 and 2009, but this year, after being named Champion of Champions and taking a Gold award in the Northumbria competition, it is hoping to do even better.

And partners Morpeth Town Council, the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade, Heighley Gate Nursery and Garden Centre and Northumberland County Council are keeping their fingers crossed for a trophy.

Morpeth Mayor Mark Horton said: “After last week’s flooding that would be the perfect boost for the town.”

Chamber member Les English has been involved in the town’s entry for 20 years and despite previously announcing his retirement from the role, he is still at the forefront of the traders’ efforts.

The group works with local businesses to put out around 400 hanging baskets and tubs.

Mr English said: “It is costly and businesses dip into their own pockets to buy the floral displays.

“It also takes a great deal of time and effort to organise, but it is well worthwhile because of the pride Morpethians take in their town, as well as the number of visitors and shoppers who come to see the flowers and thereby boost the local economy.”

At a recent chamber meeting, members thanked Mr English for his work and praised florist Raymond Dixon for making up the stunning displays.

There was also appreciation for the New Life Christian Centre and volunteers from Norway, who spruced up the former Benfield Motors premises with artwork, which was noted by Bloom judges Nigel Bishop and Sue Wood.

When the pair visited Morpeth in August they spoke of the ‘fantastic’ horticultural, community and environmental elements of the entry, particularly highlighting the partnership work.

Greater Morpeth Development Trust Chief Executive David Lodge, who also leads the newly-formed Town Team, said: “Everyone is keeping their fingers crossed for the sort of Britain In Bloom result that we can use to help further promote and market the town. Morpeth has possibly never looked better than it does right now so we think we have a great chance this weekend.”

l Visit our website – morpethherald.co.uk – for the result.