Power of the flower could reap rewards

BUSINESS is blooming in Morpeth and the town’s traders are confident their flower power will reap rewards.

The Northumbria In Bloom awards will be presented in a ceremony in Saltburn next month, but already local businesses have their fingers crossed for success in the commercial section.

The Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade, which has invested more than £2,000 in the bid to supplement the cost to individual outlets, has received numerous comments from the public about the high standard of the town’s floral displays.

And chamber members are also impressed.

Les English, who helps to co-ordinate the bloom entry, said: “There has been some excellent comments on the standard of the flowers this year, not only for the chamber’s bits, but also from what Heighley Gate garden centre has done for the town council.

“Everywhere you look, the beds and baskets are top quality. I have had lots of phone calls from people saying how good they are this year.

“I think we will be quite unlucky if we don’t get anything in the commercial section awards this year. We really do deserve to do well.”

Fellow member Les Sage agreed.

“We have got friends in Lichfield, which ten to 15 years ago was absolutely gorgeous. Now they say they wish they were just 50 per cent behind Morpeth.

“They said they have never visited a town in Britain that they were so impressed with as Morpeth, for the shops, what there is here and the flowers,” he said.

“The silverware is an extra. If we never win anything, we live in this town and work in this town and walk around this town and it is great.

“The Rotary Garden alone is a mass of flowers. It looks fantastic.”

Mr English said around 2,500 plants are in the Rotary Garden, and 700 to 800 are in Mafeking Park, with thousands more spread across the town.

Local businessman Charles Sellers suggested that the chamber records a film to upload to its More in Morpeth website to provide a permanent record of the quality of the displays, as well as to show the other attractions of the area.

“It seems to me that the flowers are giving us an opportunity and it would be nice to see if we can make a short video of the town,” he said.

“Summer comes and goes and the flowers are gone, but if we could make a recording of them it would be quite nice to promote the town and could be used on the website.”

Members were told that Northumberland Tourism is making a short film to show what is going on in Morpeth, which could be used as a starting point.

They agreed to find out if they will be able to use the footage and if not to investigate the cost of hiring professionals to record a film of their own.