It’s blooming marvellous!

Members of the successful Morpeth in Bloom team (left to right) Morpeth Mayor Mark Horton, Raymond Dixon, Les English, Morpeth Chamber of Trade, Nigel Lawton, Heighley Gate Garden Centre, and Gillian Turner, Morpeth Town Council Clerk.

Members of the successful Morpeth in Bloom team (left to right) Morpeth Mayor Mark Horton, Raymond Dixon, Les English, Morpeth Chamber of Trade, Nigel Lawton, Heighley Gate Garden Centre, and Gillian Turner, Morpeth Town Council Clerk.

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MORPETH’S brilliant bloom team have done it again – and this time they are the best in the North East.

The town has won the Northumbria in Bloom Best Town title for the seventh year in a row, along with another Gold award.

And it has gone one better in 2012 by winning the best overall entry award at the ceremony in Spennymoor.

Judges complimented the huge range of floral features, big community participation and the team’s dedication to perfection.

Representatives of the four main partners – Morpeth Town Council, Heighley Gate Nursery and Garden Centre, Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade and Northumberland County Council – are now hoping that Britain in Bloom success will follow. Its results are announced in the first week of October.

The Chamber and Sanderson Arcade received a Gold and won the Best Shopping Precinct Award and Terry Garnick, Northumberland County Council’s northern area manager for neighbourhood services, won the Best Salaried Employee accolade.

Morpeth Mayor Mark Horton said: “We achieved a score of 98 per cent, which is fantastic and a great credit to everyone who participated.

“We’ve sat there for a few years now and watched others pick up the overall award, so to be confirmed as the best in the North East felt unbelievable – it was a bit of an Andy Murray moment.

“The whole community has bought into the bloom effort and that was key to our success. The icing on the cake would be bringing back some silverware from Britain in Bloom.”

Chamber of Trade member Les English was meant to have retired from being in charge of its participation two years ago, but he helped out again this year in difficult circumstances and he is extremely pleased with the turnaround.

“My confidence was very low earlier this year with the combination of all the works going on in Morpeth, the worsening economic situation and the loss of Chamber funds, so I’m amazed that we have won the Gold award again and also the big trophy,” he said.

“It usually goes to pretty villages and I’ve asked the judges in the past what do we have to do to win the overall title? But this year we came up trumps.

“Many businesses still took part, even if they could only take one or two tubs or hanging baskets, and Northumbrian Water gave us a very generous £2,500 donation to fill in the gaps.

“There were a few still left after we put out all the flowers, but thankfully the Chamber found £250 to cover them.

“We had a little bit of luck this year because the flower heads were destroyed by the big storms on June 28, but there was enough time for them to recover before the judging.”

Gold medals were also awarded to Rutherfords of Morpeth, Waterford Lodge, Old Bakehouse Millennium Green, Morpeth Bus Station and Carlisle Park.

A certificate of recognition was given to the town council’s River Warden, Brian Parker, for his outstanding contribution to the competition.

Other impressive places in the town included the MS Research and Relief Fund garden in Stobhill and new planters in the Market Place featuring artwork from the town’s nine schools.

Mr Garnick said: “Morpeth is very successful in this competition because everyone works together so well. The town council is able to present a well-balanced portfolio as lots of organisations help out, from allotment holders to churches.

“I was nominated for my award by the Warkworth committee and it’s nice that all the locations in the north area are taking on board some of my suggestions.”