Felixstowe tries to impress judges

IT was looking bloomin' good for Felixstowe as the floral judges set off to assess the resort – sunshine, colourful displays and everywhere spick and span.

By Richard Cornwell

IT was looking bloomin' good for Felixstowe as the floral judges set off to assess the resort – sunshine, colourful displays and everywhere spick and span.

After judging the town's rivals, Southend and Yarmouth in pouring rain, Anglia in Bloom judges Brian Clarke and Karen Kenny had glorious seaside sunshine in which to tour Suffolk's premier resort.

Guided by town clerk Susan Robinson and Suffolk Coastal gardens chief Eddie Peters, the judges were given a two-and-a-half hour tour of the town to see the flowers, beaches, nature reserve, and a host of community projects.

Felixstowe, winner many times of the award for the best town in the region and last year trophy winner in the premier class, is this year in the coastal resort class for the regional competition.

It is also being judged in the categories for best open space, best local authority display, schools, community project, conservation area, and drought garden.

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It is also being judged in the national Britain in Bloom finals next month.

Mr Clarke said wonderful flowers were only a part of the marks for the awards, and the judges would be looking at Felixstowe's role as a resort – its beaches, Blue Flag award, rescue services, amenities and so on – as well as community projects, schools involvement, cleanliness and care of the environment.

The judges were taken in a limo, provided by Messrs Gordon Rodwell and driven by Rod Mortlock, to see the three-D floral octopus, designed by Mr peters and constructed by Suffolk Coastal gardens staff, at the leisure centre.

There they also met tourist information centre manager Michelle Barr to discuss the resort facilities.

The tour then went on to the seafront gardens, Peewit Holiday Park, Landguard Nature Reserve, Langer School, the town centre gardens, and then business and private gardens, a local nursery, golf club and sports centre.

The afternoon ended with a tea party with guests including many people who had been involved in the entry.

The entry is a partnership between the town, county and district councils, and also local gardeners and businesses who spruce up their gardens and premises.

Felixstowe in Flower, run by the town council, has attracted more than 100 sponsors this year, ranging from large businesses to individuals, and including many clubs and organisations.

The scheme features 180 hanging baskets, tubs and saddle boxes, and a town floral trail, plus competitions for private gardeners and businesses, schools and allotment holders.

n Judges also visited Newbourne yesterday as the village entered the regional floral awards for the first time.

Villagers have made a fantastic effort to make gardens and business premises look attractive.

Other Suffolk towns and villages in the competition are Aldeburgh, Lowestoft, Saxmundham, Needham Market, Martlesham, Clare, Beccles, Sudbury, Newmarket, Woodbridge, Leiston, Bungay, Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds.

WEBLINK: www.angliainbloom.co.uk