Diary of a Bloomer September 08 – Birmingham Post Article

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We did it, we did it! After four years of hard work and high hopes Moseley in Bloom has won a Gold Award. It’s the first time that Gold has been awarded to a competitor in the Urban Communities category and we came top in that category for the second year running.The awards for Heart of England in Bloom 2008 were announced last week at a ceremony in Burton on Trent. 300 delegates from cities, towns and villages across the Midlands were on the edge of their seats waiting for their results. There were 51 contenders in the main campaign and 58 new entrants in the Neighbourhood Awards for small groups taking the initial steps towards community improvements. We were elated to hear our result and see Chair Natalie Higgins presented with the trophy by Sir William Lawrence OBE Bt.

The good news was whizzed around Moseley via email and phone producing delighted responses and congratulation from around the community: from those who had been actively involved themselves and from those who simply appreciated how much better Moseley looks since the Bloomers got to work.

The Judge’s report was very complimentary and commended Moseley in Bloom for achieving so many improvements in such a short time since entering the Neighbourhood Awards in 2005: they highlighted the high standard of the Village Green, the improvements outside the Police Station, the tree planting programme, the re-cycling schemes, the lack of litter and graffiti and the high standard of street furniture maintenance, the Open Gardens Weekends and the enthusiasm from all of the community.

We began to bloom in the Heart of England in Bloom main campaign just three years ago winning Silver Gilt Awards two years running and last year, as winner in the Urban Communities category nominated as national finalists Britain in Bloom for 2008.

Chair Natalie Higgins, who had the original idea for Moseley in Bloom was rewarded with a personal award for Outstanding Achievement having shown “flair, commitment and doggedness in steering Moseley Village through these exciting times, even managing to plant trees where no-one thought possible.”

MIB Committee member Deborah Taylor competing for the first time in the Neighbourhood Awards was presented with a Merit Award for the transformation of an old overgrown allotment at Moseley Tennis Club into a Community Orchard.

Clutching our Awards we posed for pictures, first with our Judge, Graham Redfern and then with the other Brummie Bloomers as we discussed our floral future and the potential for networking and group action.

We’re planning a major celebration at the Fighting Cocks in Moseley at the end of the month but there’s one last hurdle: on Wednesday we travel to Chester Racecourse to hear our national Britain in Bloom results. If this was the Blooming Olympics we might get another Gold…?

Stephanie Silk