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Awards show Norwich is a blooming fine city

PUBLISHED: 23:08 13 October 2013 | UPDATED: 17:00 14 October 2013

Floral displays by Friends of Norwich in Bloom, part of the city's entry for the Anglia in Bloom competition. Picture: Denise Bradley

Floral displays by Friends of Norwich in Bloom, part of the city's entry for the Anglia in Bloom competition. Picture: Denise Bradley

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Norwich is not only a fine city, it's a blooming fine city if the judges at Britain in Bloom are anything to go by after the city brought home more silverware from the national finals.

Norwich in Bloom representatives at the Britain in Bloom Awards. Pic Submitted.Norwich in Bloom representatives at the Britain in Bloom Awards. Pic Submitted.

Communities across Norwich and Norfolk scooped four awards in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom National Awards, with Norwich winning a silver gilt and Mancroft, The Lanes in the city picking up a silver in the urban community category.

Terry Bane, Friends of Norwich in Bloom chairman, said anyone who even got to the Britain in Bloom finals was a “winner” before they had even started and was therefore delighted with Norwich’s silver gilt and the silver Mancroft, The Lanes picked up in the urban community category.

He said: “Anyone getting over silver is doing well, so to get a silver gilt we’re doing exceptionally well. It’s hard to get a gold, we’ve not achieved it yet at Britain in Bloom, but we’re that close to touching it.”

He said the awards the city received at the ceremony held in Cleethorpes, near Grimsby, on Saturday, were testament to all the hard work done by so many people across Norwich. He said: “I think it really is about all the people who get involved and it’s about the sheer numbers of people that get involved. It’s not just a few flowerbeds here and there that are looking nice, it’s about hundreds of flowerbeds across the city and all the individuals, groups and organisations who help keep this going. It’s also about the landscape really and the cleanliness of the city.”

Floral displays by Friends of Norwich in Bloom, part of the city's entry for the Anglia in Bloom competition. Picture: Denise BradleyFloral displays by Friends of Norwich in Bloom, part of the city's entry for the Anglia in Bloom competition. Picture: Denise Bradley

The sentiment was echoed by Julie Brociek-Coulton, secretary of Friends of Norwich in Bloom. She said: “Many, many thanks to all the different community organisations that get involved. Without them we would be nothing.”

Elsewhere, people in Filby were celebrating after it was awarded gold in the village category, while Great Yarmouth won silver in the group for a coastal town with a population of more than 12,000.

Flying the flag for East Anglia were Wisbech, which received a silver gilt in the large town category, silver gilt winner Colchester and Halstead, which won gold.

Filby made it into the final six in its group, but was pipped to the title of best kept village in Britain by fellow gold-winning village Pembridge, in Herefordshire.

Adrian Thompson, chairman of the Filby in Bloom team, said an RHS gold medal was “brilliant” but he was disappointed the village missed out on the top spot.

“An RHS gold medal is first class,” he said. “They are not given away. Not many places get a gold and that is something to be proud of.

“You don’t go in it just to win, but it gives you that drive to go out in the bad weather and say ‘let’s go for it’.”

Filby won its category in 2002 and since then has received three gold medals. Last year it was awarded silver.

Great Yarmouth was praised by RHS judges for “adding that little extra to the visitors’ seaside experience” during difficult financial times.

An RHS Judge said: “This historic coastal town has a long-standing and committed In Bloom group who gave the judges a warm welcome and showed them some hidden delights. It has a strong partnership with the local authority and has recently taken on the responsibility for providing hanging baskets in the centre of the town, as well as a number of floral features. In difficult financial times the bloom group are adding that little extra to the visitors’ seaside experience and making this gem of a coastal resort one to remember.”

A team of 14 volunteer judges, led by chairman of the judging panel Roger Burnett, toured the UK in July and August to visit all 77 finalists picked from more than 1,000.

Awards were presented by BBC gardening broadcaster Bob Flowerdew during a ceremony in Cleethorpes on Saturday.

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