Appeal as Bloom judges on the way

Dave Orford in bloom
Dave Orford in bloom

THE prestigious East Midlands in Bloom competition rolls into Belper next week – and the town is looking to strike gold for the second year running.

Judges will be in Belper on Wednesday, July 13, from 2.30pm. They will be here for two and a half hours.

Belper is in the Large Town category, which is for places with a population of between 12,001 and 35,000.

It is up against Gainsborough, Ilkeston, Long Eaton, Market Harborough, Newark, Sleaford and Spalding. Judges will be looking at things such as taking pride in the local area.

Last year Belper scooped the gold award. If the town wins the same accolade again, it will be entered into the Britain in Bloom competition.

Now, Belper Town Council is urging locals to help with a final tidy-up before the big day. The council’s July meeting will even be cut short so that councillors can help with the spruce up.

If you would like to help, meet at St John’s Chapel, The Butts, Belper, at 7.30pm, on Tuesday, July 12.

The council wants residents to keep areas in front of homes free of litter, tidy front gardens, plant a tub or hanging basket, chat to judges, and report any unsightly areas to the town council.

One man doing his bit to brighten up Belper is 81-year-old Dave Orford. His terrace house on Chesterfield Road has a fantastically colourful window box.

He is entering it into the town council’s follow-up competition to the main event – Belper in Bloom.

Dave said: “I get a number of comments from people, especially women, about it brightening up the road.

“I think it is a good idea to have Belper in Bloom, although I am not expecting to win it!”

Milford is also entering the East Midlands competition. It is in the village category (population of 301-1,000). Judges will be there on Monday, July 11.

The East Midlands results will be announced on Wednesday, September 14.