Delighted town leaders today paid tribute to the army of volunteers who helped Shrewsbury scoop further prestigious awards for its colourful blooms.
Shrewsbury was named as the winner at the RHS Britain in Bloom awards, with the town scooping the “best small city” and “public park” awards for its 365-days-a-year Dingle show gardens.
The town was also awarded gold in the national contest, as well as being nominated to go forward to compete for the title of Champion of Champions – the ultimate Bloom title – next year.
The town’s MP today said it was a proud moment for Shrewsbury and said the success was down to all the volunteers and town council workers who work throughout the year with almost military-like precision to make the floral scene a reality.
Dozens of greenhouses at the town council’s Weeping Cross Depot produce more than 300,000 plants which are then tended to by the grounds maintenance team throughout the year.
Shrewsbury & Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski said: “I met with the judges on two occasions to talk to them about the importance of this competition for the town and I am delighted to hear all the hard work has been recognised.
“It is a very proud moment for Shrewsbury and the beauty of our floral displays is such a huge attraction for our town.
“Everybody has played their part and I pay tribute to all of the volunteers and the town clerk Helen Ball who have contributed to this success.”
Shrewsbury beat off competition from this year’s UK City of Culture, Derry City, as well as five others to win the small city gong.
Councillor Jon Tandy, Shrewsbury’s mayor, said: “I was actually quite surprised we won because we were up against Londonderry, in Ireland, which is this year’s UK City of Culture.
“Everyone in the town has contributed to this and we’re all very proud.
“We have such a wonderful town, which was also judged on its cleanliness and tidiness,” he added.
Jackie Brennand, chairman of Shrewsbury in Bloom, said: “We always said that we were happy just to be able to participate in Britain in Bloom, but these results are just the icing on the cake for use.
“The Bloom campaign has brought out the very best in our local community.”