Rochdale in Bloom dream of gold as they prepare to welcome RHS judges
Date published: 20 July 2019
Judges will enjoy a rich and vivid route through Rochdale
Months of weeding, planting and keeping Rochdale in full floral colour will finally pay off on Monday (22 July), as Rochdale in Bloom welcomes the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) judges back to town in a bid to secure another gold award.
This year, the volunteer-led community group will show the judges around 14 award-winning projects, beginning at the vibrant Norden Jubilee Park, which last year was just one of four in the UK to be awarded a national certificate of distinction for the best RHS parks award.
From there, judges will enjoy a rich and vivid route through Rochdale, taking in the colourful sights displayed at Moss Row allotments, Edenfield alley gate, Denehurst Park, the Rochdale AFC Wonder Wall, Roch Valley Outdoor Learning Centre, Castleton railway station, Castleton War Memorial, Zen Internet, Springhill Hospice, the Growth Project before moving to the town centre.
The volunteers who make Rochdale's entry so successful have been busy getting ready for the judges’ arrival. The In Bloom effort starts in autumn and includes many hours of planning and preparation to ensure each year is bigger and better than the last.
Groups of volunteers have been out each week carefully tending their displays, ensuring that the projects are up to the 'gold' standard which has been won consecutively in recent years.
Sponsored by the Co-op and H Bell and Sons, Rochdale in Bloom has many new features for 2019, including a bicycle feature at Cutgate shops to celebrate the arrival of the Tour of Britain to Rochdale in September, and a Rainbow Garden near Touchstones to show support for the LGBTQ+ community and Rochdale's first-ever pride event.
These projects would not have been possible without the continuous support from Rochdale Borough Council's environmental team. This partnership is vital in the lead up to judging day as they ensure that the route is up to a gold level standard.
Rochdale in Bloom has been lucky enough for the support of environmental management to grow each year and must be the envy of other north west towns.
Sarah Down, a committee member of Rochdale in Bloom, said: “Without everyone involved with Rochdale in Bloom, we would not be as successful as we have been over the years.
“Our efforts are the stunning culmination of everyone pulling together to create something that has the judges sitting up and noticing Rochdale. It would not be possible without the volunteers and community groups, the environmental management team, local councillors and our wonderful sponsors, the Co-op and H Bell and Sons.”
Paul Ellison, Rochdale in Bloom vice chair, said: “This our final stretch now before that all-important gold in our Rochdale in Bloom ‘marathon’. We’re all exhausted with putting in our all, but we are nearly there.
“The goal is in sight, and we are sprinting towards the finish after what has been a steady effort throughout the year.”
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