Competition judges see town in full bloom

Representatives of the Morpeth in Bloom team with the Northumbria in Bloom judges in Sanderson Arcade last Friday.
Representatives of the Morpeth in Bloom team with the Northumbria in Bloom judges in Sanderson Arcade last Friday.

The latest stage in Morpeth’s bid for double bloom glory took place last Friday.

The team of Morpeth Town Council, Northumberland County Council, Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade and Heighley Gate showcased the beautiful displays during Northumbria in Bloom summer judging.

As a result of the success in the regional competition last year, Morpeth is also taking part in the 2018 Royal Horticultural Society Britain in Bloom finals – judging for this will take place next month.

On Friday, the two judges were taken to see the Rotary Garden, Benmar House, Deuchar Park beds, Carlisle Park, Abbeyfields First School, Old Bakehouse Millennium Green, Morpeth Market Place and Sanderson Arcade, among other places.

The town is awash with red, white and blue to mark the centenary of the First World War ending and the Royal Air Force. The colours for some of the displays in Carlisle Park are green, white and violet to reflect 100 years since women were given the right to vote.

One of the judges, Tony Smith, said: “There’s so much to see in Morpeth and the displays are incredibly well-maintained.

“I’m highly impressed, particularly with the fact that there is a clear theme running through the town.

“There is also a strong heritage aspect and a great level of community involvement.”

He had high praise for the recently replanted floral clock, although he said that drivers can’t see the feature when driving past due to the hawthorn hedge and using a box instead will enable them to see the floral clock.

In addition, the town council is running a private garden competition and a pubs and hotels competition, as well as the Morpeth Heroes competition to replace the designs for the planters on the Market Place.

Artwork for the winning and other designs is currently on display in the Town Hall.

Coun Nic Best, previous Mayor of Morpeth, said: “We’ve received many positive comments about the floral displays from residents and visitors.

“We’ve had a strong theme to work with this year and everyone has pulled out all the stops to produce what I think is one of the best-ever set of displays in the town.

“It’s not just about the competitions, although I hope we will be successful, it’s also about attracting more visitors to Morpeth and that should then benefit shops and other businesses in the town.

“It’s great to see so many hanging baskets in the town, paid for by individual shops. The baskets process is co-ordinated by the Chamber of Trade and Heighley Gate provide them and look after the watering.

“As well as the core team, Sanderson Arcade, Greater Morpeth Development Trust, the Old Bakehouse Millennium Green trustees, Friends of Morpeth’s Floral Clock, other local organisations, groups and clubs and individuals have made a valuable contribution.

“And the litter picks that have been carried out have maintained the attractiveness of the town.”