Rochdale AFC Winter Wonder Wall

Date published: 08 January 2018

Volunteers armed with trowels and spades arrived at the Crown Oil Arena on Saturday morning (6 January), ready to plant hundreds of pansies and primroses, creating a winter Wonder Wall feature along Sandy Lane.

The original Wonder Wall planted by volunteers in the summer won two awards at the North West In Bloom competition.

Led by Rochdale AFC and Rochdale Township in Bloom, the group decided to create a winter wonder wall.

Rochdale AFC Sales & Marketing Manager Frances Fielding said: “We were absolutely thrilled to win the North West in Bloom awards and we have received so many positive comments from the local community about the wonder wall that it was a no brainer not to create a winter feature.

"With the help of the marvelous volunteers and sponsors, we have once again transformed the gateway along Sandy Lane and I feel very proud to be involved in this fantastic project.”

Roy Down, vice chairman of Rochdale Township in Bloom said: “The turn-out of volunteers was fantastic and everyone worked exceptionally well. The ages of volunteers ranged from seven through to people in their 70s, which was brilliant, and we all just got stuck in and worked as a team. The land was transformed in just a few hours and has landscaped the local area.”

Paul Ellison said: “Many thanks to Frances and Roy for continuing the great project of the Rochdale's AFC Wonder Wall Rochdale in Bloom project, showing all year-round involvement for the RHS Northwest and National In Bloom competition.”

The Wonder Wall was sponsored by Crown Oil, Rochdale In Bloom and Spotland Councillor Wendy Cocks. Gordon Rigg Garden Centre supplied  the plants. Paul Ellison, Roy Down and Phillip Massey managed the project. Councillor Cecile Biant, members of the Rochdale Environmental Action Group (REAG) and volunteers took part.

The Wonder Wall will feature in the 2018 Rochdale entry into the North West and National In Bloom competitions, Rochdale's first ever entry into the national competition after being nominated to go forward as the category representative.

There are plans for another summer display, and a further planting event will be held at the Crown Oil Arena in the spring.

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