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Black Country and Staffordshire's Heart of England In Bloom winners revealed

By Thomas Parkes | Halesowen | News | Published:

Towns and villages took home four golds in the annual Heart of England In Bloom awards.

Members of Wednesfield in Bloom Joanna Watson, Maureen Smith, Trevor Truswell and Carole Truswell

Stourbridge, Halesowen, Wednesfield and Lichfield all impressed the judges and took home the top spot in their categories.

Representatives from the four areas were given awards at a ceremony held in Rugby on Thursday.

Judges praised the horticultural teams for their hard work in creating a sea of green for the summer months – with praise also going to Wednesfield In Bloom, which was named as the category winner.

The scenic village claimed gold and won overall in the Urban Community category and will now be put into contention for the 2020 Britain in Bloom Finals.

Councillor Philip Bateman, who represents Wednesfield North, said: “I think the truth is that most of Wednesfield is ecstatic about the win.

“It’s been an excellent year for all the volunteers that have been putting themselves forward and taking part.”

Volunteers

Workers and volunteers spent hundreds of hours carefully tending gardens to ensure they were in tip-top condition for when the judges visited earlier this summer.

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Councillor Bateman said it had been a “community” effort – with the bid this year stretching to the Ashmore Park shopping centre.

Judges Paul Ash and Paul Steed from Heart of England in Bloom with members Jan Postie and Joanna Watson

He added: “We’ve achieved all of this by raising donations, having raised the money ourselves. And people have been turning up with geraniums and showing of the benefits of their greenhouse. One constituent donated 100 sunflowers.”

Halesowen in Bloom also claimed gold in the same category, with the chair of the group praising the community spirit.

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Eve O’Connor, chair of the group, said: “It’s our fifth gold in a row and we’re really pleased to maintain the standards our community has achieved.

“We’re happy to get the gold and bloom really does change places and more people should get on board. It sees the town get a spring clean and benefits the community.

“And people work in cohesion throughout the year – it’s the glue that brings it all together.”

Competition

The group also competed in an international competition for the International Challenge award.

Halesowen is up against three Canadian towns – Barrie in Ontario, Coquitlam in British Columbia and Wood Buffalo in Alberta – as well as Lexington in Kentucky, USA, and Szekesfehervar in Hungary.

Results will be revealed in Nova Scotia, Canada, from September 25 to September 28.

“We’ve had an interesting time – much more than normal,” Eve added.

Stourbridge in Bloom also wowed judges with its scenic display and came away with gold in the Large Town category.

Bilston in Bloom received a bronze award in the Urban Community category, with Willenhall in Bloom claiming a silver in the same category.

Blooming Lichfield claimed gold in the Small City category.

Essington in Bloom also received a silver gilt award in the Small Town category.

How our towns fared in competition:

*Bilston in Bloom

Award: Bronze

Category: Urban Community

*Halesowen in Bloom

Award: Gold

Category: Urban Community

*Stourbridge in Bloom

Award: Gold

Category: Large Town

*Essington in Bloom

Award: Silver gilt

Category: Small Town

*Wednesfield in Bloom

Award: Gold

Category: Gold and overall category winner

*Willenhall in Bloom

Award: Silver

Category: Urban Community

*Lichfield in Bloom

Award: Gold

Category: Small City

Thomas Parkes

By Thomas Parkes
Trainee Reporter - @TParkes_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch at thomas.parkes@expressandstar.co.uk.

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