Judges cast an eye over Middleton in Bloom entry
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
ORGANISERS on Middleton-in-Teedale’s Northumbria-in-Bloom competition entry are pinning their hopes on a united community effort to again reach gold status.
The village has earned gold status for the past two years and with the floral displays better than they have ever been, people are quietly confident of more success this year. Judges Sue Townsend and Jane Hastings, who visited the village for an inspection during the summer, said they were impressed with what they had seen.
They were particularly interested in the “yarn bombing” which had seen local knitters produce nature-themed tea-cosies to place over bollards and railings.
Mrs Townsend said: “It is a lovely idea.”
Middleton-in-Bloom organiser Pam Phillips described how a number of groups in the village had come together to help, including the Friends of Middleton-in-Teesdale Primary and the Rainbow troop which had taken part in planting sessions. She added that Middleton-in-Teesdale Parish Council had organised a litter pick in the days before judging took place. She thanked Durham County Council’s clean and green team, in particular. Mrs Phillips said: “Durham County Council has come up trumps for us. They have painted all the lamp-post bottoms and provided two new bins at the newsagents. They also helped make the village look its best with street sweeping.”
Throughout the year Middleton-in-Bloom volunteers meet weekly for planting and cleaning around the village before enjoying a cuppa together. Volunteer Christine Cartwright said the work was for the benefit of the village and not merely for the annual competition. However, she added: “It does give you something to aim for because the criteria is very good and they are quite strict.”
Jimmy Bennett, Durham County Council’s clean and green manager, said: “The volunteers from the Middleton in Teesdale in Bloom group do such a fantastic job in making their village look as attractive as possible each year for the judges.
“We are very pleased in the clean and green team to be able to support the group in their endeavours.”