Octopus successor sought

OLLIE the octopus has been a real star on Felixstowe seafront this summer – but the time has come to find his successor.The three-D floral sea creature, nicknamed Ollie by local children, helped the resort scoop national and regional awards for its flowers.

By Richard Cornwell

OLLIE the octopus has been a real star on Felixstowe seafront this summer – but the time has come to find his successor.

The three-D floral sea creature, nicknamed Ollie by local children, helped the resort scoop national and regional awards for its flowers.

Now residents are being challenged to come up with an idea for next year so it can be designed and its structure built during the winter months.

In recent years the bed outside the leisure centre, centrepiece of the resort's displays, has been home to three-D dolphins, a water-spitting sea serpent, Bertie Bassatt on a trip to the seaside, and a donkey and cart spilling its beer barrels.

The displays have been designed by Eddie Peters, of Suffolk Coastal's planning and leisure department, using a metal or wire frame structure in the shape of the animals and then packing them with flowers.

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Doreen Savage, chairman of the resort regeneration committee, is appealing to residents across the district to help inspire Eddie and come up with an idea to top award-winning Ollie's success.

"This summer's success was a wonderful achievement and well-deserved for our staff who have worked so hard in the district and Felixstowe in particular," said Mrs Savage.

"Planning has already begun on what design to have in place of the octopus. It is hard to imagine anything that could top this year's success but we would like to receive suggestions.

"The only condition is that it should be something to do with the sea. I look forward to lots of good ideas coming forward."

Felixstowe won the Silver Gilt award in the Britain in Bloom coastal resort category this summer and also Anglia in Bloom's (AiB) silver award for best large coastal town, and the County Mulch trophy for best local authority display – the octopus.

Judges assessed public gardens but also the Felixstowe in Flower scheme of hanging baskets and tubs run by the town council, and the efforts of businesses and residents, as well as schools and community projects.

The efforts of Suffolk Coastal staff also helped Woodbridge gain the AiB silver award for best small town, with Elmhurst Park winning best public open space, while Newbourne picked up the trophy for best new entry and silver award for best village, while Saxmundham gained the award for least litter.

n Anyone with an idea for a suitable design should write to Eddie Peters at Melton Hill, Woodbridge, IP12 1AU, email eddie.peters@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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