Truro’s Floral Splendour

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   The Mary Rhoda was built in 1868 at Point and originally made of English oak, Grey elm and Baltic red pine.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.

Signage and Clutch purse

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’.


#shoparttrail – Collaboration with Truro Businesses and the Truro Festival

Last month we had some tremendous support from the Truro businesses who hosted a group of artists’ work in prominent locations of their shop windows.  You can maybe appreciate how precious your shop window is.  It is about what you sell, who you are and entices those from the outside to look in and perhaps go inside and make a purchase.

The Truro Festival organised the #shopArtTrail which allowed visitors to explore Truro further and discover eleven artists’ work displayed in the city.  A great way to be in the fresh air, follow the map and to learn something new.  Visitors picked up the trail checklist from the festival marquee on Lemon Quay and went on their way to enjoy art and to explore Truro deeper.

At the top of Pydar Street the artist Laura Wray was able to display several pieces of art, complimenting the art gallery café of InnerTide on Pydar Street perfectly with its nooks and reclaimed shelves.


Pennyworths displayed Felicity Tattersall’s amazing Samuel Footes tea party scene.  Felicity took time to write a piece on Mr. Samuel Foote, who was the theme of the Truro Festival and decorated the delightful window display on High Cross.  I do believe the sweets were a slight distraction for her and she enjoyed the colours of the shop with glee!  This is a great example where the shop and the art worked together to create a display.

Businesses window displays (2)

Pennyworths Coffee House with Samuel Foote

(You may be wondering who Samuel Foote is, well  for the next three-years the Truro Festival will focus on a forgotten Truronian from the 18th century. In his day, Samuel Foote was the first stand-up comedian and known as the funniest man in London. He was a Cornishman with a larger-than-life personality, who wowed audiences at his tea parties in the fashionable coffee houses of Covent Garden.)



Samuel Foote

Midtown Deli & Cafe on King’s Street, was host to Leonardo Santolamazza’s work.  Leonardo has worked with Totally Truro the Business Improvement District on many previous projects, including BIG ART.  The Italian born artist is passionate about his work and his style is distinctive.

Malletts Home Hardware situated on Victoria Square, hosted Beano cartoonist, Nick Brennan.  Nick is a cartoonist and illustrator and is a great inspiration.  During the festival he hosted a cartoon workshop, which the children really enjoyed.

Nick Brennan (2)

Magpie & Fox held two vibrant pieces of art in their window from Tom Sutcliffe and Mat McIvor.  The art suited the fashion boutique on River Street to the ‘T’.

Truro Fabrics hosted Sam Bradbury’s newly created puppets.  Manager of Truro Fabrics commented that they noticed people looking into the widow and checking it on their maps.  Sam’s work was most at home at Truro Fabrics and again was well suited to this creative business on Calenick Street.

Archie Browns had an amazing window display with the silhouette of Truro Cathedral, the city penned in Silver and the Truro Festival Guides clearly celebrating the arrival of the Truro Festival .  Emeilia Wharfe is a freelance, illustrator and writer who displayed interesting and delicate pieces of work hung in Archie Brown’s window.  Emeilia aslo created the enlightening Truro Festival display and information board about Samuel Foote.  This specially commissioned installation is to reintroduce the extraordinary life of Foote to Truro and many of the festivals events are aimed at celebrating and educating audiences about the first ever stand up comedian!

Vertigo is a fun, vibrant bar and restaurant.  One of the best places for a night out in Truro.  It has funky lines and patterns as its décor and Charlotte Davis displayed one of her drawings within their window.  Charlotte loves lines and precision and this piece of art hung in their window with ease.

Sam’s in the City held sketches from Rowena Siorvanes.  The work, created specifically to be shown at Sam’s was beautifully hung and displayed in this smart and stylish eatery in the entrance.  So whilst waiting to be seated, the arts location within the restaurant, allowed customers to view and enjoy the work.  Rowena’s art of simple pen and ink, displayed people enjoyed eating seafood and Sam’s in the City sell’s similar types of dishes.  Rowena is inspired by people in everyday life that she observes – all their characteristics with simple line drawing.

Finally talented artist, Keith Sparrow displayed his work in Waterstones, Boscawen Street with some manga style creativity!  In fact, he took this to a new level by creating artwork live in the window.  This similar concept was taken by Uneeka Life, just a few doors down, who had artists working in their window each day, pop up – during the festival. It is these collaborations that we like to celebrate!


Keith Sparrow manga workshop on Lemon Quay

Uneeka’s window on Boscawen Street is their pride and joy – the store relishes in being creative with their window and it was wonderful to have them on board with the Truro Festival.

Visit Truro decorated their window beautifully during the festival.  Thank you to all those businesses who participated and joined in the #trurofestival in any way they could.  Visitors were able to spot eleven artists’ work in the shop windows around Truro with ease.


Ian Kelly image 1

Ian Kelly

Following on from the Truro Festival, there is an evening with actor and director Ian Kelly fresh from the West End production of the hit play ‘Mr Foote’s Other Leg‘. Ian will give a talk about his research into the life of the enigmatic Truro-born Samuel Foote.7.30pm on Thursday 26 May in the Lander Gallery CafeTickets are £10.00 and available from

St. Piran’s Day celebrations in Truro

Living in these meager times cannot be easy, however an excellent excuse to enjoy ourselves has arisen with the St. Piran’s day celebrations in Truro – our great little city.  On Saturday the 5th of March there will be the St. Piran’s marquee, with items Made in Cornwall.

From 10am until 12noon, there will be a children’s workshop with Clare Summerson of ARTiCulate.  A morning of craft, to make a symbol to carry in the Grand Parade.  It is a free event, although you need to book via email or call The Tourist Information Office 01872 274555.

There will be Cornish performers in the marquee from 1-4pm and the line up looks exciting!

1 – 1.30pm – Kemysk (Cornish Dance Team)

1.30 – 2pm – Keur Heb Hanow (Cornish Language Choir)

2 – 2.30pm – The Stowes (Folk Band)

2.30 – 3pm – All Thraw’d Together (Male Voice Choir)

3 – 3.30pm –  Loic Rich

3.30 – 4pm – Bert Biscoe

Then at 6.30-8.30pm, there will be Dalla and Kernow King performing and the event costs £10, including a bowl of warming Cornish Chilli!  Booking with and call 01872 274555 

Kernow King-16

The highlight of the day is the parade at 1pm, from St George’s Road to High Cross – all are welcome to join or watch, with tartans and flags.  ‘Trelawny’ will be led by the City of Truro Male Voice Choir.  2012 Flags outside the cathedral (2)

We hope to fill Truro with a great atmosphere and community spirit, many of the pubs have Cornish bands or some live entertainment and of course, make sure you join in and sing at 9pm together in unison!