Glorious, glorious Wisbech triumphs to win top honours in Britain in Bloom - a fantastic success
THE capital of the Fens was catapulted into the national limelight last night as Wisbech scooped top honours in Britain in Bloom. Days after scooping the top prize in Anglia in Bloom 2009, Wisbech was named a big winner at Britain in Bloom. The town won
THE capital of the Fens was catapulted into the national limelight last night as Wisbech scooped top honours in Britain in Bloom.
Days after scooping the top prize in Anglia in Bloom 2009, Wisbech was named a big winner at Britain in Bloom.
The town won gold at a prestigious ceremony in Torquay last night but was then crowned the best large town/small city (for 12,001-35,000 residents) in this year's competition - staving off competition from places like Bury, Durham, Glenrothes and Kendal.
The accolade is all down to the hard work of agencies, groups, sponsors and volunteers who have given up their spare time - some people for nearly 20 years - to make Wisbech one of the country's floral gems.
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Bob Ollier, Fenland Council's parks and open spaces manager, said: "It was not at all easy.
"I have been there with my last places I worked; Harrogate and Taunton and had success like this there.
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"When I came to Fenland six years ago, when the changes here were being made, I knew I had a real challenge on my hands, and that is why I came. I wanted that real challenge."
Mr Ollier said he was pleased not only with the success of Wisbech but with the real success now being enjoyed by Fenland towns and villages.
He said: "As you know there have been many up and downs along the way, but I never gave up hope as I believed that these towns could do it, they just need that real direction, dedication, commitment and perseverance.
"I have given all that and now see the rewards coming in over the last few years, with green flag success, shows we are raising the standards and bloom awards for Wisbech.
"Chatteris will be next in the next couple of years, not sure it will be next year but they will be close, the same for Manea, March and Parson Drove."
Wisbech in Bloom secretary Penny Stocks said: "We wanted to at least retain our gold from last year so we were, at the very worst, as good as last year.
"But we didn't expect anything else - it's fantastic."
But volunteers are still hoping they will not have to quit the competition next year because they fail to find new greenhouses and polytunnels.
Most of the plants for the sponsored hanging baskets and containers are grown at the College of West Anglia's land-based campus in Wisbech, but that is set to move to Milton.
Mrs Stocks said: "We have had several offers but are still open to more. If anyone has got a secure greenhouse with water supplies available we would like to talk to them."
CONTACT: Mrs Stocks on 01945 581208.