I have had the pleasure of a three hundred and sixty degree tour of Truro in all its floral splendour. Truro in Bloom planted its roots in 1974, promoting the objectives of the national Britain in Bloom campaign, with the aim of enhancing the beauty of Truro and its immediate environment by encouraging businesses and residents to make their premises look beautiful with floral displays, which makes an attractive city. Truro in Bloom created and opportunity for schools, businesses and communities to pull together to make Truro shine. The sense of pride and cohesiveness made me feel proud of Truro.
On July the 19th I accompanied a representative from Truro City Council, Parks Department, Liam Shoesmith and Leslie Lawson-Kinross, a Truro in Bloom volunteer for the South West in Bloom judging day. Together we chaperoned the judges around Truro. South West in Bloom is one of the eighteen regional/national competitions that makes up the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom. The goal is to improve our local environments and neighbourhoods through plants and keeping the vandalism, graffiti and litter at bay. We walked around Truro, with Liam explaining the plants chosen to suit the environment of Truro with shady and lighter areas. I explained to the judges about our city centre signage scheme and about our various events such as Children’s Day and Christmas lighting. At various points throughout the city the judges met volunteers from Truro in Bloom. The street furniture, bollards, posts and drainpipes all had a spruce up for the competition.
One of the Truro BIDs objectives is to help enhance the beauty of the City with funded floral hanging baskets each summer and the aim for our third term, is to explore permanent planting such as trees and wildlife havens for the city centre.
Then, on the 1st of August I judged the shop window display competitions with Leslie and Peggy from Truro in Bloom. From previous years competitions Truro is of a certain level and classed as National Finalists in the RHS Britain in Bloom Competition. The Rhoda Mary on Trafalgar roundabout is a beautiful eye catching green display and the theme given to the businesses for their window displays was ‘nautical’. The Mary Rhoda was built in 1868 at Point and originally made of English oak, Grey elm and Baltic red pine. She was built incredibly well and her life ended in 1925 when she was decommissioned. Newham is now home to the Rhoda Mary project and this is an exciting new initiative to rescue, rebuild and operate the famous West Country schooner Rhoda Mary.
It was wonderful to see so many businesses participate in the shop window display competition – with so much effort put in. As judges, we looked for fresh flowers and the connection with the overall theme. No.22 came first, followed by Lily’s of Truro and Malletts Home Hardware came third. Highly commended included Cloisters, Oggy Oggy, the Tourist Information Centre, Uneeka, Trevails, Velvet Crystal, Klimek, Time Gone By, Mistral and Guild of Ten all received highlight commended. No. 22 had an underwater scene with Dahlia’s as sea anemones and jellyfish! I particularly enjoyed the suspended sail boats of Uneeka with their floral sails.
In the charity category, Cancer Research were first, British Heart Foundation came second and third was CLIC sargent. Highly commended was Oxfam, Cornwall Animal Hospital and Children’s Hospice South West. Nickys Flowers received an honoury award and all three florists in Truro, including Celtic Flowers and Rosewood the Truro Florist all offered discount to businesses so that fresh flowers could be displayed.
Finally on the 4th of August, the judges Kim Parish and Nigel Bishop came to judge the National Britain in Bloom competition. Everything stepped up a gear, with Liam and Leslie whisking the judges on the route in double quick time to try to show them the best our City has to offer. Bambu café owner, Sarah stepped out to briefly greet the judges on their tour. Finally we all met at Trennick Mill for lunch with the judges, Truro City Parks Team, Biffa team, Truro in Bloom, John Tamblyn the Mayor and Lionel Knight, The Town Crier and many more. Truro competes against several other places in the Large Town catergory including; Altrincham – North West, Ballymena – Northern Ireland, Belper – East Midlands, Chesham – Thames & Chilterns, Farnham – South East, Kendal – Cumbria. We hope Truro will do well and we will find out the results in October.
I loved engaging with the judges and telling them about what the Truro BID does and little interesting nuggets of information about our ‘Great Little City’.