Middleton in Bloom welcome RHS judges

Date published: 18 July 2019

Middleton in Bloom welcomed Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) judges back to town on Monday (15 July), which has been decked out with beautiful floral displays for the annual North West in Bloom contest.

This year, the volunteer-led community group showed judges along their colourful and innovative route, consisting of St Michaels Garden Gang, Hope Community Garden, Rhodes Lodges, Middleton Memorial Gardens, Middleton Town Centre, Truffet Park, The Honey Pot Bed, Jubilee Park, The Steam Train, Croft Community Garden Society, Boarshaw Cemetery, Middleton Technology School and first-time commercial entry, The Hare & Hounds.

Also included on the route are ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ community group entries at Status 4 All, Historic Cheapside, RBH’s Chisholm Court, Tonge Court, Alkrington Court and Springvale Youth Club.


The Honey Pot display


Middleton has many new features for 2019, including a Peterloo Memorial by Historic Cheapside, plus the Townley Flyer train, named by Lynn Etchells, and the Fusilier boatman at Rhodes Lodges.

Included on the judging route, the Peterloo Memorial has been created by Paula Hickey and Martin Cove of Historic Cheapside to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre.

Installed in July, The Townley Flyer train was funded by Middleton Township and Rotary Middleton, and created by DDH Fabricators, Lee O'Mara and Julian Howarth.


The Fusilier boatman display at Rhodes Lodges


The boatman, named by Davina Unsworth as a fitting tribute to suggestions for naming boat after Middleton soldiers, Lee Rigby and Joel Halliwell, was installed in June, to enhance the entrance of Rhodes Lodges.

Middleton in Bloom secretary, Keeley O’Mara said: “The day was full of laughs and enjoyment for all of us.

“I’m so totally overwhelmed by the support from Middletonians and so proud of the Middleton in Bloom team.

“The judging day was fantastic: it felt like the whole town came together, and it made me so proud to be a Middletonian.”


The Peterloo Memorial at the site where the Middleton marchers set off
Peterloo Memorial by Historic Cheapside


The group would like to thank Rochdale Council’s Environmental Management team, Middleton Township, Middleton Town Centre Management, all the businesses that got involved, all the entries for ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’, The Friends of Alkrington Woods, The Friends of Jubilee Park, Middleton Rotary Club, Davina Unsworth from RBH, tour guides Peter Allonby and Cliff Ivers with a special thank you to RHS Judge Russ Baguley for putting everyone at ease.

This year’s RHS North West in Bloom contest will be the third time Middleton in Bloom has entered after winning silver in 2017 and 2018.



St Michael's Garden Gang


North West in Bloom is the voluntary regional organisation that administers the Britain in Bloom competition in Lancashire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside, one of the 18 regions comprising Britain in Bloom.

Since 1964, the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom is one of the most effective, and longest running environmental competitions in the UK, with communities demonstrating their ability to create and maintain attractive environments that benefit all.

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