A big thank-you to those keeping Stone town in bloom

I’m breaking with tradition as normally I write my role call of thanks in the October edition when we’ve heard if our town has been awarded Gold by the Heart of England in Bloom. The reason I’m doing it now is October seems such a long way off and after a very long hard winter and a recent scorching summer, I believe everyone deserves their thanks now from our Stone in Bloom group. By the time you read this we will have been judged, it will have taken place on Monday, July 9, beginning at 9am in Stonefield Park. What we still won’t know is have we done enough to win Gold!

Stone in Bloom would like to thank the following: Stone Town Council for funding the hanging baskets; the entire team of Stafford Borough Council’s Streetscene; Mill Farm for all their help and the sponsorship of compost, plus thanks to our advertising sponsors; all the Stone schools and playgroups who enter the garden and poster competition and Pirehill First School for participating in judging day.

5th Stone Beavers for their hard work on the Abbey Street bed and helping judging day go well; The Moorings residents; Bury Bank and Fletchers Garden Centres for participating in our Discount Card Scheme; Peter Arnold for the loan of his trailer and his help; Aston WI, U3A Bowling Team, Friends of Stonefield Park and the park rangers; Stone Lions for litter picking; allotment holders Sid Goodman and Tony Hollinshead for allowing us to show off their hard work on the route.

The Summer Festival Committee for their kind donation; Karen and Pete Wyatt helping our route sail smoothly; the Green Bus committee; Fleur Tea Rooms, thanks to Fiona for giving us hot drinks in the freezing weather and letting us benefit from the book donations.

To everyone at Mountfords (what would we do   without you?); Phil Darby of the Whitebridge Estate which never fails to impress the judges; Home and Colour, especially David’s jokes; The Crown Hotel, the team at Granvilles, Mark and Anne Trinder at One Stop in Walton and all other businesses who so kindly support us and our town and surrounding areas.

Thanks also go to the many people who we’ve called on to help us water especially Brad and Viv at Lymestone Brewery. Tony Panter and his trusty team, Eric and Alan, thanks for all your efforts throughout the year.

Of course there are those who go that extra mile for us and I will mention them individually, those who never want any credit. Our Stone in Bloom group pay special thanks to the Stone & Eccleshall Gazette who enable us to get our story out each month and support us in many more ways; Peter Jones (of Stone), who gives his plant equipment and time freely, teaming up with Stone in Bloom member Rob Kenney in managing the wildflowers, and is responsible for the beautiful shows of wildflowers each year in Stone. Mick Plant, who gives hours of his time every day in all weathers making the town spick and span.

We must also give thanks to Steve Hood and Rob Kenney who are our trained specialist weed sprayers and who have walked miles throughout the year ridding the town of weeds. Last, but the most important, are our In Bloom volunteers. We all give hours of our time for the town to look its best. We are a small but very effective group of friends who are responsible for so much in the town.

We rely solely on donations and sponsorship, if you would like to support us then either join us for a few hours a week, or buy an In Bloom discount card which you can use at garden centres or many of Stone’s businesses, or even consider sponsoring us. For details call Secretary Tracey 07545 780935.