DISPLAYS: Bring back the local input

I am writing to thank and support the group who have got together to highlight the serious issues relating to the sad decline of one of Morpeth’s much-loved and appreciated features, the floral clock in Carlisle Park, (Morpeth Herald, October 5).

Well done them.

As a past chairman of Stobhillgate Townswomen Guild, which sadly is no more, I clearly remember when local groups within the town were encouraged to put forward to the borough council’s garden department requests for floral displays each year.

How delighted we were when our special Townswomen’s anniversary was selected. The whole process was carefully managed, with an appropriate time-span for the gardeners to design the carpet bedding around the clock, etc.

The collaboration between the groups and the now defunct borough council I am sure played a vital role in the upkeep and pride we had in the town back then.

Perhaps we should reflect what has happened since the demise of the borough council and local groups, especially women’s groups in the town, for example the Townswomen and the Soroptimists, whose valuable expertise in local lobbying is so badly missed.

It is vital that we support the group fighting to maintain the existence and repair of the floral clock.

We should also question if the need for cost-cutting in County Hall, now that we have a unitary authority, has resulted in someone in the garden section choosing to stop the vital connections between the townspeople and the process of selection for the floral clock design each year. If so, it was without local residents realising what had happened.

If the suggested designs from local groups has been deliberately discouraged it is extremely sad and very disappointing.

May I suggest an urgent re-think on communication between the gardens department and the local townspeople.

Do any members of the local groups have photographs of their special floral clock displays? I suggest that we get them digitised and passed onto the group who are trying to save the floral clock, before they are lost and forgotten.

Maureen Howes

The Kylins

Morpeth