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Dalston in Bloom 2018


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Click here to view the latest Dalston in Bloom - Britain in Bloom News as it happens
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We will publish the SG minutes for 2018 here
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Dalston in Bloom Hosts Successful Celebration in Victory Hall

 On Wednesday 28th November, a very wet and blustery evening, Dalston in Bloom hosted a very successful event to celebrate Everything that is Good About Dalston. Dalston is now rightly famous for its In Bloom successes, the Dalston Festival, the Dalston Show and the outstanding work of its volunteers. The evening of pictures, a guest speaker and excellent food and drink was to celebrate them all.
Ronnie Auld began the proceedings by showing a short selection of pictures from Dalston's year, one in which it was awarded a Gold Medal by the RHS in the national Britain in Bloom competition, as well as Gold awards from the 2018 Cumbria in Bloom competition. Some of the slides shown are reproduced below.
Ronnie also described the trip to Belfast for the RHS Award Ceremony by himself, Liz Auld, Ann Byers, Bobby and Anne Nichol and some of the places visited, including the Titanic Museum, City Hall, Stormont Castle and the Peace Wall.
After a plentiful supper provided by those attending the evening the group heard a short talk by Maureen Flett from Carlisle. Among other things she talked about gardening on the space station and how plants performed under zero gravity. She suggested that we might have some fun looking up some information about these experiments in space food. You can do this by clicking here. Maureen is a passionate gardener with a plot near Carlisle about the size of a football pitch. She recently spoke to the Dalston Gardening Club about Winter Gardening.
During supper there was a display of pictures taken throughout the year and, in particular, during the highly successful 2018 Dalston Festival, many taken by Gill Martyn. It was great to be reminded of the Open Gardens, Doorstep Challenge, Scarecrows and the fabulous Flower Festival in St Michael's Church.
At the end of the evening, a vote of thanks was given by Ann Byers. She thanked all those involved in organising the event, as well as those volunteers who have consistently given of their time throughout the year to make Dalston the place it is.
Finally, we would like to thank Dougal Kyle for organising an excellent sponsored bar which provided a range of drinks during the evening. Dougal, dressed in a very appropriate green apron, made sure that all the guests had full glasses!


Britain in Bloom Award Ceremony - Belfast
Dalston Wins
GOLD Medal
2018 is the third year that Dalston has been entered by Cumbria in Bloom in the RHS Britain in Bloom national awards. For the second year in succession we were awarded a GOLD Medal, first winning a Silver Gilt in 2016. Dalston was represented at the Award Ceremony in the Waterfront Centre, Belfast, by Ronnie and Liz Auld, Ann Byers, Bobby and Anne Nichol. The award was collected on the stage by Ann Byers and Bobby Nichol. The event was hosted by James Alexander Sinclair and awards presented by Chris Bavin.
This award is reward for all the hard work carried out by Dalston volunteers throughout the 2018 season as well as the wonderful planting by Mike Capstick and his team. Dalston in Bloom has been strongly supported by the Parish Council and many Friends and Sponsors. Grateful thanks are due to them all.

The judges were particularly complimentary about the following areas:
Bowling Club, Forge Green Gardens, The Forge Mill area, new Co-op border, public toilets, the Dalston Medical Centre, Orchard Way (esp the Open Garden of Roger Holiday) and the church flower beds. They were particularly pleased that we were supporting the 'B' lines project and were amazed by the stunning festival activity in the village during judging. They particularly mentioned the great biodiversity at the church with the flower beds, slow worm colony, owl, hedgehog and bat boxes as well as the excellent grass cutting regime. They also mentioned the Mill Race and the Caldew as well as Kelsey's Meadow. They liked the bench replacement policy of the Parish Council and made special mention of the recycling of litter bins to form planters at Bridge End. They made special comment about how clean and litter free the village was. They were very impressed by the community participation specifically mentioning the scarecrows, Open Gardens and Doorstep Challenge.

Other Cumbrian Results:
Bothel - Silver Gilt
Stanwix, Silver Gilt
Ulverston, Silver
Penrith, Silver Gilt 

Dalston Cumbria in Bloom Award Ceremony Results
At the Award Ceremony, held this year in the Coronation Hall, Ulverston on 20th September 2018 there was Gold for Dalston in the Large Village Competition.  The Blue  Bell also won the pub award, the Bowling Club achieved a very competitive runner up in their group and  the 3 IYN, Jubilee Garden, Dalston Medical Centre Group and Dalston Station Group, all awarded outstanding.


Well done to everyone in Dalston. Can't wait until the Britain in Bloom Awards in October 

Our wonderful festival keeps on rolling
There was a moment when we thought it might not happen this year, but then it all started to get planned, and now it is happening. One of the best things about the Dalston Festival are the varied events and activities. As well as scarecrows, wheelbarrow and gates, this year we have the Doorstep Challenge. This gave householders the chance to decorate their front door in whatever floral way the chose. Below are pictures of the 9 entries in this category, all of which are excellent.

The Flower Festival in St Michael's reminds us about the sacrifice by Dalston servicemen in the two world wars. There are many displays which remind us and perhaps give focus to the commemoration of the the end of WW1, 100 years ago exactly. Don't miss the Thats TV interview with Pam Coke below.

Ever since the first Festival, scarecrows have been an import part of this popular event. This year there are 77, which must be close to a record.

Dalston Flower Festival - Pam Coke Interview

Doorstep Challenge 2018

Dalston in Bloom Portfolio
Each year we are asked to submit a portfolio to the RHS as part of our Britain in Bloom entry.

As this is a major task, this year I have had great help from members of our group, as follows:

* Aileen West and Stewart Hudson - content contribution
* Ann Byers - layout
* Liz Auld and Jenny Hudson - proof reading
* Dalston Parish Council Office - printing

I have uploaded a PDF version of the Portfolio, which you can download by clicking here.

Dalston Festival 2018 Doorstep Challenge

For more information about this exciting Festival event, please click here

Improvements to the front of the Co-op Building in Dalston
 On 12th June 2018 Dalston in Bloom funded and completed a long planned improvement to the area in front of Dalston Co-op. The muddy path which users of the shop had created by regular footfall has been eliminated with a rockery which reflects our Caldew heritage. There is plenty of area to walk across immediately opposite the Co-op entrance and to the right of the planted area.
This has been a major project for Dalston in Bloom. The funding has come from donations by Friends and Sponsors. It will form a centrepiece of our Cumbria in Bloom and Britain in Bloom competitions in 2018. Further funding will be required to complete the project (see a form in the Parish Paper).
We hope that you like it and that it will be appreciated by the people of Dalston. The project will feature prominently in our Dalston in Bloom portfolio which will be published soon.
We would like to thank our Steering Committee for its contribution to the plan and particularly to Jenny Hudson and Chris Scales for their ideas about the planting. I would also like to thank Bruce Walker for the generous planning work done by Westwood Landscapes at no cost. Thanks are also due to Peter Ebbatson and Dalston Aggregates who managed to obtain the right material to reflect the river Caldew. Kind permission was given by Lattimer Homes to do the work on their land. I would also thank Liz for keeping up the pressure on us all to get something done in this area and for carrying out the discussions with Dianne Lattimer earlier in the year.

More on Black Red Lupins
Ray Beckwith, the well regarded RHS judge and friend to Cumbria in Bloom and lupin and dafodill breeded, has been attemtping to breed a black red lupin which would be of great interest to Dalston's black red historical connections. Of course, these things take time, but progress so far in 2018 is good. Above left is Rae's best candidate so far, with top right coming out as his second favourite.  (Click images to enlarge)

Important Commissioning in the Wider Parish
On May 28th, a glorious Spring Bank Holiday, an important community event took place in the hamlet of Unthank. To celebrate the re positioning of the Unthank seat, which was given to Unthank in the millenium year, nearly everyone from the hamlet came out to see the ribbon cut by Richmond Mason, one of the Last of the Summer Wine walkers. This seat will now find regular use by this group when they meet most mornings for a parambulate around the highways and byways of Lower, Mid and Upper Unthank. The entertainment, including an excellent finger buffet, was hosted by Dougal and Kay Kyle.
 (Click group image to enlarge)

Black Red Lupins
The first of the lupins generously bred by Ray Beckwith is now in bloom. This is a red one. The black ones are somewhat slower.

We are still uncertain as to where they are going to be placed permanently in Dalston. The hoped for new flower bed in the centre of Dalston, with a repositioned flagpole, is currently delayed by planning.

What a lovely deep red this bloom turns out to be.

Picture: Pat Geddes
Weeping Window Poppies at Carlisle Castle
Display by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper at Carlisle Castle (runs from 23rd May to 8th July 2018). Part of the original 'Blood Swept Lands' and 'Seas of Red' originally at HM Tower of London in 2014. Throughout WW1, Carlisle Castle was headquarters for the Border Regiment, one of the oldest regiments in the British Army. For more information click here.
Dalston Medical Centre - the Work Continues
Our volunteers are very busy at the Dalston Medical Centre making a new bed. A variety of planting will go into this area including some poppies and appropriate wild flowers to commemorate the end of WW1. Hopefully, by improving and maintaining the flower beds around the entrance to the Medical Centre, both patients and staff will benefit from the feel good aspects of bloom and the bees which will be busy harvesting pollen and nectar
Dalston Gardening Club Plant Sale
The annual Plant Sale, organised by the Dalston & District Gardening Club was held on 19th May 2018. As always there was a huge tunrout of members, all looking to fill the gaps in their gardens after the ravages of winter.

Dalston Square Clean-Up Wednesday 16th May 2018
Click on the group picture above to enlarge  
We had a fantastic turnout of volunteers to begin the weeding and sweeping of Dalston Square. One of the problems which we have is the state of the road surface outside St Michael's Church. The top couple of inches of the surface has deteriorated to such an extent that it is accumulating in the gutter and washing down the drains.
Our volunteers arrived with wheelbarrows, hoes, weed hooks and brushes, and in the course of just over an hour had made a significant impact on the weed population around the gutters and walls.
Thank you to all concerned.
Date for your diary - the next scheduled evening clean-up is Wednesday 6th June, once again at 6.30-7.00pm

Open Gardens During August. This event has been a huge success in recent years and much enjoyed by all those walking round the gardens. Dalston Open Gardens, arranged by Dalston in Bloom, will take place on 7th and 8th August. If you have opened your garden before, then you might like to do so again, or if you feel that your garden is likely to give others, as well as yourself, lots of pleasure, then why not consider opening your garden for charity. Many of you will want to support a charity or local group, so a collection box somewhere in your garden would be very appropriate. You might like to consider supporting Dalston in Bloom or any charity of your choice. We hope that, this year, we will be blessed with fine weather and that people will really enjoy visiting your garden. To register your interest in including your garden you will find a form in the June Parish Paper. Please complete this and return the form by hand or by post, to Dalston in Bloom, c/o Dalston Parish Council Offices, Riverside, Dalston, CA5 7QG, marking your envelope as Dalston Open Gardens.  

Doorstep Challenge 2018 
This year, as part of the Festival Garden Gate and Wheelbarrow competition, we have added a Doorstep Challenge. This will give all those who do not have a Garden Gate to decorate the opportunity to dress their front door with baskets, planters and other floral displays. This event has been inspired by Croston in Lancashire who, in 2017, had around 70 entries to their Doorstep Challenge. This was part of their very successful In Bloom campaign in that year.

If you would like to see more examples from Croston, then click here

RHS Press Release announces 2018 Britain in Bloom entrants

Click here to view

Britain in Bloom 2017 - Large Village Category

Dalston wins GOLD Award

Dalston in Bloom

Dalston wins 7 trophies at the Cumbria in Bloom Award Ceremony in Silloth on 21st September 2017. A full list of all the awards is available here.

National Park Trophy Best Large Village (Gold) - Kimberly Clark Trophy Best Village Overall (Gold) - Cumbria County Council Carlisle Local Committee Trophy for Achievement in the District - Cavendish Trophy for Greening Grey Britain Grange Garden Group - Dalston Medical Centre - Lakeland Limited Trophy for Best Retail/Hospitality Bowling Club - Continental Landscapes Trophy Special Category The Forge, High Forge and Bishop's Mill - St Michael's School Schools Category Shield for Container Gardening (Outstanding) - Tidy Village (Large) Runner-Up

It's Your Neighbourhood Awards

Grange Garden Group - Dalston Medical Centre (Outstanding)
Dalston Jubilee Garden Group (Thriving)
Dalston Station Gardeners (Thriving)

Click image to enlarge.

Britain in Bloom Judge's Tour Pictures

This year we were fortunate to have Paul Mitchell following the Britain in Bloom judges as they toured Dalston. We have a wonderful set of pictures as a record of the day when, for once, the sun shone.

To view the report from the day - click here

To view the full album of pictures from the day - click here

To view a Channel 8 TV broadcast - click here

To view the Dalston in Bloom 2017 Portfolio - click here

Dalston Flower Festival

A fitting end to the Britain in Bloom Judge's Tour.

Click here to see the Flower Festival pictures

Dalston Wildflower Extravaganza
Click here for pictures of the naming of Kelsey's Meadow in Memory of the late Councillor John Kelsey by Donna Kelsey - 29th July 2017

St Michael's School visit Blackdish Wildflower Meadow

All pictures in this section are either by Alan Oakley or Ann Byers

Grange Open Gardens - Saturday and Sunday 17th and 18th June 2017

Click here to view a rolling display of pictures from this most successful event which was organised by Grange garden owners. The weather was perfect and Dalstonina turned out in force to see these small estate gardens.

Dalston Gardening Club Plant Sale Saturday 20th May 2017

This event was a great success with nearly all the plants sold. Refreshments were first class. £1100 was raised enabling a substantial donation to be made to Carlisle and Eden Age UK. Thanks to all who attended.

You can view a larger version of each picture by clicking on the image

Kingsway Sheep Fold seat now installed. Looking good.

With thanks to Dalston Aggregates for organising

Members of the Dalston Gardening Club planting meadow seeds in the semi-circular bed in the Jubilee Garden. these ought to be in flower from July onwards.

Click on the image to enlarge

Planning is everything
The Dalston Shuffle

March Campaign Launch Coffee Morning A very successful Coffee Morning was held in St Michael's Church on Saturday 18th March 2017. Despite there being two other events in Dalston that morning, around 70 residents attended and enjoyed free scones and refreshments. Short talks were given by Ronnie Auld, Liz Auld (Cumbria in Bloom Administrator) and Pat Geddes. Read or download a full report here.

Britain in Bloom is the nation’s biggest environmental campaign involving up to 300,000 volunteers (the London Olympics had 70,000 for comparison), but touching the lives of us all.

Started in 1964 by the then British Tourist Authority as a way of marketing the country through floral displays, today RHS Britain in Bloom is a campaign that brings communities together to keep our neighbourhoods and streets green, clean and thriving. RHS Britain in Bloom volunteers invest around 10 million hours a year greening up and cleaning up the UK’s villages, towns and cities – this time would cost more than £70 million if volunteers were paid for it.

Read more about it here .....

Christmas Trees in St Michael's

18 sponsored and decorated Christmas Trees in St Michael's Church. Lots of Dalstonians and visitors came into the Church to see the trees and listen to the Border Concert Band.

Click here for pictures.

Dalston Christmas Market 2016

The 2016 Christmas Market was bigger than ever before with huge crowds coming out to see and buy from the many stalls.

Click for pictures

Date Event

Dalston in Bloom Sponsors and Friends 2018
We are looking for both commercial Sponsors and Friends for 2018
Commercial Sponsors are businesses or other organisations, usually in Dalston Parish, who would like their name associated with Dalston in Bloom or one of it's projects
Friends of Dalston in Bloom are usually private individuals who would like to give a small contribution, usually anonomously, to Dalston in Bloom for the 2018 year

Friends Sponsorship Form

Dalston in Bloom 2016 and 2017

World Wide Web http://www.dalston.org.uk