Glorious gardening talents were a privilege to see

Coun David O'Neill, left, and Mrs Susan O'Neill with TIB stalwart Norman Overend, who received Bridgeholme Cricket Club's community garden award
Coun David O'Neill, left, and Mrs Susan O'Neill with TIB stalwart Norman Overend, who received Bridgeholme Cricket Club's community garden award

Some glorious gardens were celebrated when the award-winning Todmorden In Bloom volunteers made some awards of their own.

Following a glorious summer of judging, Todmorden In Bloom - which was recognised by Yorkshire In Bloom as the best town in its category last month - presented a string of certificates and prizes to those who had most impressed the judges through gardening efforts at their homes or in the community in the past year.

In contrast with 2012, this summer had some glorious growing weather and those who had entered the Todmorden in Bloom Gardens Competition had more than risen to the challenges.

In fact their efforts wowed judges Shura Price and Sheila Greenwood, as Shura told those attending the presentation ceremony at Central Methodist Church, Bramsche Square, Todmorden.

“The variety of plants we saw was amazing, particularly vegetables of a really high standard, including some difficult ones to grow such as celery and fennel bulbs. It all loooked good enough to eat!

“Also, the standard of the flower gardens was just superb. It was a fantastic response from you.

“Todmorden is a much richer place because of your dedication, and though they are private gardens, they are part of our community,” she said.

Shura said some residents had grown things in quite difficult spaces, proving no space was too small.

She added: “The gardens were a real delight and it was a real privilege to see them.”

Todmorden in Bloom chairperson Jean Butterworth said the awards were the culmination of the volunteer group’s year and she thanked Todmorden Town Council for its sponsorship of the competition.

She welcomed Coun David O’Neill and his wife, Susan. Coun O’Neill explained he was standing in for Mayor Coun Jayne Booth, who was running the Chester Marathon to raise money for Overgate Hospice, and Deputy Mayor Coun Michael Gill who at that moment was treading the boards as a cast member in Todmorden Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society’s production of John Godber’s comedy Teechers at the Hippodrome Theatre.

He was delighted to do so, he said, as the council believed the support it gave the volunteers was one of the best pots of money it spent, producing visually colourful results. “Rest assured that for Todmorden in Bloom every hand goes up because we realise how much more pleasant your efforts make the town for residents and visitors,” he said.

- The following awards were made in Todmorden In Bloom’s Garden Competition, sponsored by Todmorden Town Council.

Large gardens: bronze, Shirley Harris; bronze, Glenda Strong; silver, Dave and Sue; silver, Sheila Hallam; gold, Alison Walker.

Small back gardens: silver gilt, Jan Lloyd. Small and container gardens: silver, Jennifer Town; gold, Ann Magadier; highly commended, Agnes Hiam; silver, Sergio and Pauline Fachinello; silver, Doreen Thresher; silver gilt, Alison Walker.

Vegetable plot: bronze, Glenda Strong; silver, Judith Shaw; silver, Dave and Fi; silver gilt, Shirley Harris. Alternative garden: bronze, Anna and Bill Butler. Community garden: bronze, Bridgeholme Cricket Club.

- Todmorden In Bloom: The volunteer group have been clearing, planting and growing blooms which have improved the town’s appearance since 1999. They have represented Yorkshire in the Britain In Bloom competition previously and this year won Yorkshire In Bloom’s “Town” category.

They would welcome more volunteers or helpers as their achievements have been made with just a dozen volunteers - around one per 1,000 of Todmorden’s population.

You can find out more by going to website www.todmorden-in-bloom.btck.co.uk or by telephoning Norman on 01706 812205 or Jean on 01706 817492, and it also has a Facebook site.

Coun David O’Neill was delighted to see Bridgeholme Cricket Club win a community award - he and his wife Susan opened the pavilion in his Mayoral year and he was pleased to see this success.