Judges scrutinise resort blooms

BATHED in sunshine and with its flowers at their peak, judges of the Britain in Bloom competition were able to see Felixstowe at its very best.

BATHED in sunshine and with its flowers at their peak, judges of the Britain in Bloom competition were able to see Felixstowe at its very best.

It is the first time for several years the resort has taken part in the national competition - and it is up against seaside towns large and small from around the country.

Judges Jeff Bates and Jim Knight were given a three-hour guided tour of the resort to see civic displays in the town centre and on the seafront, green-fingered residents' treasured gardens, woodland, a nature reserve, schools, and industrial landscaping.

At the end of the afternoon, mayor Mike Deacon hosted a special tea and reception for the judging team.

The town - along with its rivals Southport, South Shields, Exmouth, Southsea and Scarborough - now faces a wait until September 24 to see who wins the coastal resort category.

Town clerk Susan Robinson thanked everyone who had made such an effort to make the town look its best, especially the children from Old Felixstowe Nursery, led by Sarah Gorski, and Colneis Junior School, who had given up time from their summer holidays to be a part of the day.

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Mrs Robinson said: “It went really well and we had fantastic support from so many people.

“We were the first town to be judged so the judges had not seen any of our competitors but it was a nice day and I think we showed them Felixstowe at its best.

“They never give much away but were very surprised and impressed with Landguard nature reserve, which was looking particularly nice, and also enjoyed the visit to the Abbey Grove woodland. Whatever the outcome, it was an enjoyable day for the town.”

The judges also saw the 3D floral aircraft outside the leisure centre to mark 90 years of the RAF and 50th anniversary of the force being given the Freedom of Felixstowe, and beds in the Spa Gardens featuring the RAF insignia.

Felixstowe in Flower, sponsored by the Port of Felixstowe, is the lynchpin of the resort's entry and provides a floral trail through the seaside town with 120 sponsored hanging baskets, plus tubs and troughs, making the town really colourful.

As well as being judged for the national competition, Felixstowe has also been judged this summer for Anglia in Bloom.

What do you think of Felixstowe's floral displays - is this the best year ever? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk