Boston was clearly blooming and looking bright yesterday afternoon in the sunshine as the East Midlands in Bloom (EMIB) judge came to view our town’s team efforts.
Judge Stephen Dando was shown around our town by Alison Fairman, Chair of Boston in Bloom following social distancing guidelines where the judge this year only met with one volunteer at each of the sites covered in the main route. On request of East Midlands in Bloom, groups were asked to provide storyboards to help tell the story of their projects throughout the year.
As we have said in previous years, in-bloom judges don’t give a lot away. They look and listen graciously, take many notes and photographs, make polite conversation and then disappear to consider our town’s destiny.
But when you are previous gold award winners, five years running, you can’t help but feel hopeful when you hear the judge say: “this is a vibrant area”. And then goes on to say “you have excellent volunteers”.
Due to the Covid pandemic many towns have been hit hard, EMIB have made the decision to give awards this year using new a new marking criteria system but there will be no category winners. We will find out our fate in September when the team attend the EMIB awards ceremony in Grimsby.
For now judge Stephen has applauded the work embarked upon by a huge team of volunteers and partnerships.
The toured sites of Boston today included Willoughby Roads Allotments, Memorial Gardens at Wide Bargate, Central Park, Fisherman’s Memorial and St Botolph’s Footbridge area, St Botolph’s Church grounds, Custom House Quay, Haven Meadow and Boston Railway Station. Along the way meeting a volunteer at each site making sure all social distancing guidance was being followed.
Last stop was Boston Railway Station where the judge was greeted by Jo Andrews, Community Rail Officer for the Poacher Line and two volunteer station adopters who work hard to keep the blooms at the station looking good.
At the final stop judge Stephen spoke about his day to the Secretary of the Boston in Bloom Partnership, Maddy Eyre where she asked what he has enjoyed the most about his day. Judge Stephen said: “So many things have really been wonderful, when shown around the allotment all the work that has been done in the community and the wonderful things that are there working with a wide range of people.
“I have learnt a lot today about the wonderful history of Boston today and how things are developing. The volunteers and how everyone is so enthusiastic, really makes the place look good.”
He was then asked to sum up his day in three words, these were “Absolutely fantastic”, only two words needed.
Alison Fairman, Chairman of Boston in Bloom, said this is always a year-round effort, the community involvement has strengthened from year to year and this year had been “tremendous”.
She thanked all sponsors who without them some of the projects would have been impossible.
Alison added: “The judge took his time at every stop and was most interested in what the volunteers told him about the area. The imagination in lots of the planting and particularly in the sculptures and the buoys seemed to impress him. He loved the Haven wild meadow. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for this year. Boston is a great town and the volunteers and partnerships everywhere hard to match.”
Photos by Jaimanuel Photography