Beautiful Blackpool’s growing reputation

Bridge Farm Allotments on Hawes Side Lane in Marton has been awarded an Outstanding award by North West in Bloom, not only for their floral displays but also for a huge mural, painted by groundsman Les Knight.'Pictured with the award and the mural are L-R: Les, Secretary Jean Hudson, and Chairman James Cowburn. PIC BY ROB LOCK'31-10-2013
Bridge Farm Allotments on Hawes Side Lane in Marton has been awarded an Outstanding award by North West in Bloom, not only for their floral displays but also for a huge mural, painted by groundsman Les Knight.'Pictured with the award and the mural are L-R: Les, Secretary Jean Hudson, and Chairman James Cowburn. PIC BY ROB LOCK'31-10-2013
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Blackpool residents are being urged to transform grotspots to gorgeous gardens after the resort celebrated success in this year’s North West in Bloom Awards.

Presenting prizes to seven winners, Blackpool Mayor Coun Eddie Collett appealed for more green-fingered folk to get digging and planting.

He said: “In rural communities people just get on with it and plant a few flowers, but in urban communities there has been a tendency to say, that’s the council’s job.

“But that’s going to have to change, and it’s not just about the cuts. It’s about just getting on and doing it.

“If you see a patch of land, just get on there and plant some flowers, like these gardeners do, and soon there will be no grot spots in Blackpool.”

Accolades were handed out to seven projects during a ceremony at the town hall as part of the competition’s Neighbourhood Awards.

Bridge Farm Allotments, on Hawes Side Lane, Marton, scooped an Outstanding award for their work.

Chairman James Cowburn said: “We are trying to get 100 per cent of the allotments looking pretty and everyone is encouraged to keep their allotments tidy and grow flowers.

“Our groundsman Les Knight has also painted a mural on the side of the garage which looks really good.”

Hoteliers in Bairstow Street and St Chad’s Road also picked up awards in the Thriving category.

Nick Osborne, of the Farnborough Hotel on Bairstow Street, said: “We have strings of coloured lights, hanging baskets and troughs of flowers and our visitors love it.

“Each year more and more hotels have taken part and I think it is good for business because if the front of your property looks nice, people know there is a good chance the inside will be nice too.”

Veronica Allsopp, of The Strathdon on St Chad’s Road, said: “We all do up our patios and we get lots of return visitors who say they choose to stay on our road because it looks so lovely.

“I think more roads should do the same, because anything like this is good for Blackpool and will help bring in more people.”

Among the other winners was The British Limbless Ex-Service Association (BLESMA) which received an award in the Developing category.

David Higginbottom, who is the gardener at the BLESMA home on Lytham Road, South Shore, said: “I have only been looking after the garden for the last year but we have done some planting, created a nice lawn and put in some fruit trees and now the residents love going outside and seeing a bit of colour.”

The other winners were St Stephen’s Church in North Shore (Developing), Chepstow Community Garden in Grange Park (Outstanding), and Dunsop Court (Outstanding).

Blackpool also picked up the Silver Gilt Medal for Best Large Coastal Resort in the North West.

Elaine Smith, organiser of Blackpool in Bloom, said: “Winning eight awards in total has proved to everyone that besides being big and brash, we are fast becoming beautiful Blackpool as well.”

The resort is now aiming for even more success next year.

Tim Riley, parks development officer at Blackpool Council, said: “Next year we have to look across the town for our hidden gems, for example why not landscape a roundabout?

“It is also about the built environment, and the judges were also impressed with the Comedy Carpet on the Promenade.

“I think we can pat ourselves on the back, we have done extremely well this year.”