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Garden trophy up for grabs again after 30 years

By Dominic Robertson | Telford | Albrighton & Cosford | Published:

A gardening cup which has not been awarded for nearly 30 years will be up for grabs again after the competition was revived.

The Bradford Estates’ Garden Challenge Cup has sat on the shelves at the estate office since 1992, but following the resurgence in gardening efforts during the Coronavirus pandemic it has been decided to bring it back.

“With the lockdown, people have had more time to spend in their homes and we thought it would be a good idea to bring back this traditional competition and celebrate the lovely gardens all over the estate, from Blymhill to Weston-under-Lizard and Tong Norton,” said the estate's managing director, Viscount Alexander Newport.

The cup was originally awarded by Lord Newport's grandfather, the 6th Earl of Bradford, in 1952 to employees on the Estate. It was highly competitive with winners being invited to the Earl’s office and receiving a cheque for £50 or £25 for runner-up prizes.

Engraved on the 70-year-old cup are all the former winners.

The last winner in 1992, and overall five-time winner, was the late Richard Nott, the Earl’s chauffeur who lived within Weston Park.

Another five-time winner was Estate carpenter, Mr C R Seabury, who lived in Weston-under-Lizard. Gardening was his hobby and his passion was to live self-sufficiently growing his own fruit and vegetables.

Seven-time winner Mr W Hughston lived in Blymhill with an 'immaculate' garden.

“The cup is a rich part of the Estate’s history and we are opening it up this year for all residents to enter,” said Lord Newport.

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The first prize winner will be awarded the cup for 12 months and a cheque for £200, while second and third prize will receive a cheque for £100 and £50 respectively.

Any tenants wishing to enter should notify the estate office before the closing date of Thursday, June 25.

Gardens will be judged by the Estate Gardener, Matthew Kent, on Monday, June 29 with a presentation by Lord Newport on June 30.

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