Colne scoops silver gilt medal in Britain in Bloom contest

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AFTER years of hard work and months of anticipation Colne’s floral efforts were rewarded as the town scooped a silver gilt medal in the Britain in Bloom competition.

The Colne in Bloom team attended a star studded award ceremony in Scotland on Sunday to receive the award for the large town category.

Colne in Bloom leader Michael Osborn said that the award was “most unexpected” since it is the first time Colne has taken part in the competition.

He said: “The judges said we were very close to getting gold which is wonderful to hear and gives us something to aim for next time.”

The award ceremony was a particularly special occasion for Colne in Bloom chairman Dorothy Lord, who received a top honour, being named one of Britain in Bloom’s Community Champions.

Dorothy was one of only nine people in the country to receive the discretionary award after being nominated by Britain in Bloom judges Andrew Jackson and Jim Knight.

Jim said: “Dorothy is passionate, committed and above all else, all about the community. The work she does is to benefit every resident and visitor to the town, not to serve her own end, and for that reason she is a very worthy recipient of the Community Champion Award.”

Dorothy has, however, played down her achievement, saying Colne in Bloom is very much a team effort.

“It’s a real honour and when they read my name out I couldn’t quite believe it, but I couldn’t do what I do without the support of the team and the rest of the community.”

TV gardener Rachel De Thame hosted the prestigious award ceremony which was attended by a record breaking 470 community and gardening champions.

The judges’ report praised Colne for its community effort and the way the volunteers had incorporated the town’s history into their floral displays, with a Titanic-themed flower bed and British Rhythm and Blues Festival arrangement.

Dorothy said: “We were told we had scored very highly and were at the top end of the silver gilt band. We are absolutely thrilled. We thought if we were lucky we might get silver but never expected to do so well.”

The team will find out whether they have made the grade for a nomination into next year’s Britain in Bloom competition when they attend the North West in Bloom award ceremony on October 20th.

If they once again achieve gold at the regional competition they should be in with a chance of taking part next year.

Michael said: “On the train ride home from the competition we already started coming up with ideas for what we would like to do next year. It’s an exciting year not only for Colne, which will see the 100th anniversary of the Titanic, but also nationally with the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics. We hope to incorporate some of these themes into our displays next year.”