Town bidding for hat-trick of In Bloom golds

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East Midlands in Bloom judges tour Boston to consider if town deserves its third, consecutive gold award in annual scheme

The East Midlands in Bloom judges were taken on the competition’s judging tour last Tuesday, with stops including Witham Way Country Park, the urban meadow near the Haven Bridge, and the new art deco-style garden in Central Park.

One of them was Richard Stephen, who judged the town in a previous year.

He said he enjoyed this year’s tour and that it was ‘nice coming back to see all the changes’.

“It was quite a delight,” he said, refusing to be drawn too much on what he thought.

But, he said the town’s previous two golds could give them a challenge when it came to judging this year and called it a ‘balancing act’.

“When you get up to gold you have the infrastructure, the support and the partnerships in place. What judges are looking for is getting more volunteers involved, more support, more partnerships.

“You have always got to be upping your game and can’t stay static.

“It’s in the interests of every town to keep planning, looking at new projects and new businesses.”

He said he had seen some new projects, adding: “Judges like to see a slightly different route, they want to see something every year.”

The town has yet to win a ‘category’ award such as Large Town of the Year – won by Market Harborough in 2016 – though last year Boston West Academy took the award for East Midlands Best School Garden 2016.

Chairman of the Boston in Bloom team Alison Fairman said she felt the day had gone ‘very well’.

She said: “You listen to their questions and they very much know what they’re talking about. They also really like talking to the people and we have some really good people chatting with the judges this year.

“It would be good to win Large Town but we’re up against a lot of big towns.”

Coun Claire Rylott, portfolio holder for parks and open spaces at Boston Borough Council, agreed but said there had been a lot of extra work put in this year – particularly in relation to Central Park.

The town will learn if it has won its third gold when it hosts this year’s East Midlands in Bloom awards presentations at Boston Stump in September.

Pictures courtesy of Boston Borough Council