No annual Bloom contest this year

Lamplaugh Gardens, North Marine Drive'Inner Wheel present a chq for �300.00 for the 60th Anniversary Garden for Inner Wheel'PA0817-16'Barry Mitchell, Jean Frank president , pictured at the back'Robert Ellis, Walter Green, Scott Dunnachie,Judy wilson

Lamplaugh Gardens, North Marine Drive'Inner Wheel present a chq for �300.00 for the 60th Anniversary Garden for Inner Wheel'PA0817-16'Barry Mitchell, Jean Frank president , pictured at the back'Robert Ellis, Walter Green, Scott Dunnachie,Judy wilson

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RISING costs, falling committee members, and a lack of sufficient interest from the town mean this year’s Bridlington in Bloom gardens contest is cancelled.

The annual contest has been held for the past 25 years for private and commercial premises displays.

However, recent times have seen a switch to less expensive ways of running it to reduce the time an effort needed by a dwindling band of committee volunteers.

Barry Mitchel, chairman of the bloom committee for the past eight years, said with a membership of just five, less than half it was eight years ago, it has become a difficult task and a costly one.

“It is very difficult to find people to join the committee. Few have the time these days due to work and other commitments.

“The committee itself is in a period of transition, but there hopes that a Bridlington in Bloom annual gardens competition will return next year.

“We are hoping to be able to make an announcement in the Autumn,” said Mr Mitchell.

A lack of interest in the competition itself is also one of the reasons.”

Last year’s contest was based on entrants submitting photographs of their gardens which the committee judged before visiting the top few to make their final choice, but they only received around a dozen entries.

“For a town the size of Bridlington that is ridiculous,” said Mr Mitchell.

In 2009 a similar competition was judged on submitted photographs illustrating the four seasons.

The last full blown competition involving judges visits to all entrants and an awards ceremony at The Expanse Hotel was in 2008.

“It was an expensive operation, the committees time and travelling around, and the awards themselves, but only 50% of the winners actually turned up for them,” said Mitchell.

The committee is totally dependent on sponsorship from local companies and business, and any money it can raise in its own right, plus it did have a limited amount of funding, now not available.

Despite that it has continued to provide the town centre with hanging baskets and floral displays.

Its Spring hanging baskets were up earlier this year for three months which together with watering costs around £2,000.

Of the baskets out at the moment they split the cost 50-50 with East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

At Christmas providing the festive pomander displays at 66 points around town costs £20 each.

“We have tried to spend what money we have wisely for the benefit of the town, people do not always drive past private gardens or businesses but they can see Bridlington in Bloom on the streets.

“I am sure we would not get sponsorship we do if we were not making the right choices,” he said.

l What do you think? Should the competition continue or doesn’t it matter? Give us your views by email to: newsdesk@bridlingtonfreepress.co.uk, or by letter to Bridlington Free Press, 3, Prosepect Street, Bridlington YO15 2AQ. Please include a daytime telephone contact and your address.