Everything is bloomin’ lovely on the Fylde coast

Lytham in Bloom committee has won the RHS Champion of Champions award.  Chairman Jim Leak with the award.
Lytham in Bloom committee has won the RHS Champion of Champions award. Chairman Jim Leak with the award.
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It’s celebration time across the Fylde coast after four towns were crowned winners of this year’s Britain in Bloom contest.

Lytham was hailed Champion of Champions in the nationwide Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) competition and Garstang was the gold winner of the small town category.

Freckleton and Elswick were both handed silver gilt awards for the village and town categories.

The RHS said Lytham was “the cleanest, greenest and most beautiful location in Britain”.

It scored highly on local heritage and identity, gaining the maximum 10 point score.

The judges were particularly impressed by the colour co-ordinated planters in the Piazza and the 3D floral display of the Lytham Windmill, which created a memorable displays for visitors.

They said the Friends groups showed “excellent levels of community involvement and a commitment to continually improve attractiveness for residents visitors alike”

Jim Leak, chairman of Lytham In Bloom, paid tribute to the entire community and particularly an army of 130 volunteers.

“It’s the ultimate prize and we are all so delighted,” said Jim.

“All of the other four contenders for the Champion of Champions awards joined us in taking gold in their 
category and the award was the very last to be announced so it was an anxious time.

“We were hopeful after 
all the hard work everyone had put in to make Lytham look its very best and I really have to pay tribute to all the community groups for their wonderful efforts.

“Everyone really got behind us and I think it showed in just how good the whole town looked.

“This really is the one we have been aiming for and to win it is an absolutely marvellous feeling.”

Roger Burnett, chairman of the RHS Britain in Bloom judging panel, said of Lytham: “It was a true pleasure to 
visit such wonderful places and meet inspirational people.”

And Britain in Bloom judge Jim Knight added: “All five nominees in this category were of an absolutely exceptional standard and it was so difficult to choose an overall winner.

“The community spirit and volunteering in Lytham was outstanding.

“Everything came together so perfectly and the quality of the horticulture in Lytham was unrivalled.”

Sue Lee, chairman of Freckleton in Bloom, was happy with the award of silver gilt and particularly by the fact Freckleton was praised by the judges for its community involvement.

“We got top marks for community involvement and that was especially pleasing,” she said.

“Everyone worked so hard and rallied round to do their bit and this is a fitting reward.”

In Garstang, the hard work of the volunteers was praised by Coun Tom Balmain.

He said: “This is a tremendous event in Garstang – Britain in Bloom enhances the whole town.

“The volunteers do a huge amount of work and really need to be congratulated.

“Garstang is an ancient market town of significant importance, and Britain in Bloom makes it even more beautiful for the visitors when they come.

“Everybody is impressed with the group’s work and this award is very well deserved.”

At Elswick, residents are pleased with their Silver Gilt award.

Parish councillor Martin Molloy said: “When you talk to people about Elswick they say it’s the village with the flowers.

“To be recognised, after all the hard work the volunteers have put in, is wonderful.”