Judges enjoy visit to blooming town


BEAUTIFUL Bognor Regis sparkled in the summer sunshine as its floral displays were assessed.
South and South East in Bloom judges Barry Newman and Cuy Clifford toured the town’s greenest areas for this year’s awards.

They cast their expert eyes over its horticultural amenities, community participation, sustainability and environmental awareness.

They went away pleased with what they had seen.

Mr Newman said: “People think we just come in to look at the froth and colour but we are looking for a sustainable town in terms of real community driven initiatives.

“We have been very pleased with what we have seen.”

Bognor Regis in Bloom chairman Greg Burt said he had been delighted with the visit by the judges.

“People knock Bognor but it looks beautiful and gorgeous on a day like today.

“The community has shown what it can do when it works together with the local councils.

“Myself and Helen Watson, of Arun District Council, have been very proud to show the judges around the town,” he said.

Bognor is defending its title of best medium-sized coastal town in the 2013 contest with a silver gilt status.

It is one of six towns in this year’s event. Each is judged against a set of criteria in four categories rather than against its rivals.

The judges’ time in Bognor last Thursday started and ended at Hotham Park. It also took in the Sunken Gardens, Waterloo Square, the seafront mounds, the ‘squareabout’ at the hospital and the roundabout outside Butlin’s.

They also called into the Town Cross Avenue cemetery to meet Wendy Morris, of 1st South Bersted Cubs, to find out about their project on its war graves, working with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Another visit saw them meet the clients of Frame of Mind to discover the horticultural delights of their premises on the A29 Shripney Road.

Mr Clifford said: “We’ve met quite a lot of volunteers who were very enthusiastic about what they were doing.

“We were also very impressed about the work of the Cubs as a history project which was very good.”

The judges’ verdict will be given at the awards ceremony at the Amex Stadium in Brighton on September 17.