Thieves target Nelson in Bloom plants

Cllr Yvonne Tennant
Cllr Yvonne Tennant

A green-fingered thief is believed to have stolen 100 plants to order from displays for Nelson in Bloom.

Volunteers were dismayed to discover red and white flowers had been carefully dug out from flower beds, leaving gaping holes in planting schemes. As judging day loomed for the regional competition the thief’s attention turned to difficult-to-replace blue blooms.

We think they were stolen to order, for somebody who doesn’t like yellow. Not a single yellow flower went

Bloom secretary Yvonne Tennant

“If it had been vandalism the plants would have just been chucked away,” said Bloom secretary Yvonne Tennant. “We think they were stolen to order, for somebody who doesn’t like yellow. Not a single yellow flower went. They took red and white begonias, and then lots of blue; they were nearly all perennials.”

One of the most calcuated thefts was on the night before judging, at the war memorial in Holme Street which last year won the “Best in North West” title. The volunteers had created a scenic display to illustrate the Tour of Britain cycle race route through Nelson but were so concerned about the thefts they decided to place a bike made from willow in a roadway of flowers only at the very last minute. “Half the road was missing when we went to put the bike there,” said Mrs Tennant. “There was not much we could do. We just had to tell the judges about the thefts. Even a rose bush had gone. It is very frustrating, especially when it is right under the nose of CCTV.”

The Nelson team are resign to the fact that they will probably not repeat their success of last year, but have been thrilled by the community support they have had.

Groups of Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Scouts helped, as did he reception class at Walderden Primary. Police Cadets cleared weeds from Broadway, teenagers from Pendle Vale High School cleared overgrown land on Leeds Road and children at Castercliff School made their own ideal garden, now on display in Nelson Library.

“Community involvement and making new friends is a big part of Nelson in Bloom”, said Mrs Tennant.