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Dalston in Bloom Judges Tour



Dalston in Bloom 2017 - Going for Gold in Britain in Bloom


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Judges Tour for both Cumbria in Bloom and Britain in Bloom
The Judges
Rae Beckwith (Head Judge)
James Cordingley

Bowling Club Reception - Our two judges, Rae Beckwith and James Cordingley, arrived at the Bowling Club just before 10 o'clock ready to meet members of the Bowling Club and a few volunteers who came to hear the presentation by Ronnie Auld, Chairman of Dalston in Bloom. The floral displays at the club were even better than previous years and we hope the judges were impressed. The new wildlife garden, developed in 2017, was particularly impressive.

Recreation Ground and Dalston Pre-School - the next stop on the tour was Dalston Recreation Building to meet Alan Dinning and Anne McKerrell, viewing the herbaceaous beds and the pre-school children's planted boots. Jo Short brought a couple of pre-school children to do some essential watering. The judges were interested in the children's play area, tennis club and football pitch, all beautifully kept.
Bishops Mill and Forge areas - around Bishops Mill and The Forge are some lovely gardens which to judges enjoyed looking at. They met Bobby and Anne Nichol, who are key members of the steering committee.
Forge Green Gardens - Forge Green Gardens, which are divided into 4 kitchen gardens, are an example of how public areas can be used effectively for the benefit of the community. The sheltered aspect ensure early and bountiful cropping. Forge Green, the old Dalston Workhouse, is the current headquarters of Dalston Parish Council.
Kelsey's Wildflower Meadow - part of Caldew School Community activities. This is a brand new project which will be used by local children to learn about wild flowers, bees and insects of all kinds. In 2018 Caldew school children will begin surveys of flora and fauna. It is a multi-year project and will eventually have wild flower and insect interpretation boards. Vivian Russell, a well known bee and insect specialist, has been helping Caldew children with bee hotels as part of their appreciation of the lifestyle of these vital insects. Work has already begun on producing an illustrated catalogue of the planted species in May 2007. In July 2007 a botanical survey was carried out. This listed 57 species (see pages 28-29 in the Dalston in Bloom 2017 Portfolio).
To view the Dalston in Bloom 2017 Portfolio - click here
Dalston Medical Centre - a great example of community work by volunteers. Improvements in the outside environment on the approaches to the surgery will give patients visiting the medical centre a feeling of well being, which is something strongly promoted by the RHS. It is recognised that there are interactions between nature and people, and how gardens and gardening contribute to improved human health. The judges met Pat Geddes, Aileen West and Joan Leece. Funding for this project came from a combination of the Dalston Medical Centre and Dalston in Bloom.
The Grange - This specifically encourages good gardening practice in relation to small gardens, by exchanging ideas, knowledge and plants. Volunteer based and with the joining together as a community to hold an Open Gardens event on 17/18th June. This event demonstrated just what can be done in small estate gardens in a very short time - 2 years in the case of The Grange. The judges met Chris Scales, Pat Geddes and Annie Cowan.
Dalston Business - Dalston in Bloom benefited from financial support from many provate individuals and local businesses. It was important for the judges to meet some prominent business people. Brian Hetherington, Peter Ebbatson and David Gray were intoduced to the judges in front of the much acclaimed new development next to the Victory Hall. This group, representing many businesses in Dalston, design, construct and supply landscape materials to the community and beyond.
Jubilee Garden - an RHS It's Your Neighbourhood entry to mark the Dalston Gardening Club's 25th Anniversary. The judges met Jenny and Stewart Hudson as well as other members of the Jubilee Garden team.
The Kingsway and Dalston Toilets - the judges were keen to see the sheepfold seat where they met Pat Jackson, who along with Stephnie Diver and others, have spent hours and hours weeding in the area. On the way to the Square, the judges expressed pleasure in the public toilets and associated garden, so carefully tended by Joyce and Ollie Roberts.
The Square - first stop in the Square was the Dalston Fryer and the St Michael's Blackdish poster display. Here they met Mia Richards, one of the children. Next stop was Mike Purdham's beautiful courtyward garden.
The Cemetery - the visit to Dalston cemetery was guided by Bryan Craig and Liz Auld. They were delighted to see a slow worm and interested to hear about the University project.
Flower Festival St Michael's Church - in St Michael's, the judges met Pam Coke and David Cowen. Pam explained how the local flower clubs work and David was keen to explain the proposed development plans.
The Tour ended after the visit to the Festival Flower Festival
End of tour volunteer's get together - a wonderful finger buffet was put-on by the ladies of the Methodist Church. This was an opportunity for Ronnie Auld, Chairman Dalston in Bloom, to express his thanks to all the volunteers who have contributed so much to our Britain in Bloom entry this year. James Codingly spoke for the judges (although Rae was keen to add his thanks too).

To view a Channel 8 TV broadcast report - click here

Photography by Paul Mitchell from Wildmanmitchell.conm. Paul describes his business thus - "I am a multi disciplined photographer and videographer, with my main specialism being within the sports and outdoor industry. I am also an accomplished PR, editorial and portrait photographer and have worked for a number of national clients, events and publications. Alongside being a photographer I also produce video material for a wide range of industries and produce anything from sporting event films to corporate training materials.As a self shooting/editor I deal with all aspects of a production from concept to completion."

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Thank you to Paul for producing all but two of the above pictures - a full photo gallery of all the pictures which he took on judging day is available here.

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