Todmorden is the prettiest town of its size in the whole of Yorkshire - official!
The results of this year’s Yorkshire in Bloom results were released late on Tuesday and revealed Todmorden had not only won a gold medal, it was the winner of its category.
It meant the town - due in large part to the efforts of the dozen members of Todmorden in Bloom - had beaten such notable names as Skipton, Ilkley, Otley and Pocklington.
Chairperson of Todmorden in Bloom Jean Butterworth was delighted with the news, a second major success following Todmorden in Bloom being chosen by Yorkshire in Bloom to represent it in the 2007 Britain in Bloom Awards.
“It’s absolutely brilliant and our town deserves it.
“We have worked hard.
“We know our townspeople appreciate what we do and we always try to do better, we’re always looking for that little spot that can be improved, and also looking for funding. Todmorden Town Council have been very, very supportive with the Gardens Competition,” she said.
Awarding Todmorden its “Town” category winning status, the judges’ report said: “We were met by a very enthusiastic group who were passionate about their town and how it looked for residents and visitors. The tour and portfolio was well thought out to provide examples of their projects and how it fitted into the judging criteria.”
They described their tour as “alive with colour” from barrier baskets and 60 business-sponsored hanging baskets which were colour co-ordinated and themed throughout the town.
Judges praised Todmorden in Bloom’s quality and successful sourcing of plants and selected for praise the Garden Competition, which had been supported by numerous entries (with winners due to be announced on October 2), and the Peace Garden in the town centre.
Areas of achievement which impressed the judges included the group’s knowledge of the town’s heritage - demonstrated when the tour reached Centre Vale Park - and its desire to be involved with local initiatives and support prjects such as the Green Route devised by Incredible Edible Todmorden.
Numerous planting schemes for wildlife and bees, litter picks and clean-up days were also highlighted.
“This committment by volunteers should be recorded so that the value of work can be used as match funding for any external grant applications.
“The town was litter free during our visit and the group were vigilant in tackling problem areas around the town centre,” said the judges.
Community participation was very good, especially the way the group interacted with a wide range of other voluntary groups in the town for the common good. Fundraising and support was excellent, they added.
The judges also offered advice on areas where improvements could be made.
Jean said she hoped Todmorden In Bloom’s success in winning the award for the town would result in more people joining the volunteers - with only 12 group members, that was one per 1,000 or so of the town’s population, she said.
The support of businesses and young people had been crucial too in helping achieve the success. Barrier baskets and Calderdale Council’s contribution also added to the picture, she said.