Stone in Bloom are delighted to announce that Stone was awarded its tenth consecutive Gold in the Large Town category. Volunteers Chairman Grahame Neagus, Jill Hood and Rob Kenney received the award on behalf of the town at the RHS Heart of England in Bloom awards ceremony, held at Warwick Castle (the coldest place on earth!)
The Castle was full of In Bloom groups, some sharing disappointment and others who were as excited as us at winning a Gold. This year Oswestry wowed the judges with a helicopter ride. I like to think we went one better, as due to the kindness of Karen and Peter Wyatt, owners of Canal Cruising, we showed off our heritage and took them on a narrow boat ride.
Many In Bloom groups are funded by their local councils; Stone Town Council funds all our hanging baskets in the town and Stafford Borough Council’s Street Scene spend many hours of their time in the town supporting the group. Stone in Bloom relies on donations and the generosity of our own group members who give financial assistance. For example, we have group members who run their own businesses and sponsor Stone in Bloom and we wouldn’t have our wild flowers if it wasn’t for the generosity of Stone resident Peter Jones who runs his own landscaping business and donates his time and equipment.
Our group hoped for Gold and thanks to the hard work and massive efforts of so many people within our community and especially the Stone in Bloom volunteers who turned out in all weathers throughout the year, our hard work paid off.
It wasn’t long before our triumphant team was back on the streets of Stone helping make your town the place where people want to live, work and visit. Residents had complained it was difficult to get along the pavement down Christchurch Way. On Sunday, September 17, volunteers cleared away the overgrown pathway and cut overhanging branches which were making life difficult for people to walk or ride a mobility scooter down to Morrison’s.
Our next big jobs will be to take down the bunting after the Stone Food and Drink Festival and replace it with flags to commemorate Remembrance Day; we shall clear around the plane tree in readiness for the coming together of the town, where many will pay their respects to the fallen of many wars. Straight after the ceremony we take down the flags and replace them with Christmas trees, bought by town businesses, and their lights will be switched on at the Christmas light switch-on to be held on November 16.
If you have just a couple of hours to help us with any of those work party jobs, we would welcome you. Many of us are well and truly over Primrose Hill and need more willing volunteers to help us. Call secretary Tracey Neagus on mobile 07545 780935 for details of work parties or come and see us at the AGM to be held at Stone Town Council offices on Monday, October 9, at 7pm.