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Prudhoe in Bloom 2012

On Saturday 22nd September, St. Mary Magdalene Church Hall coffee morning was the host for the Prudhoe in Bloom Gardening Competition.  This is an annual event that sees residents compete for best front and best rear gardens, as well as schools and churches for best kept grounds. 

This year the awards were presented by Cllr Mrs Eileen Burt.  Mrs Burt said of the slideshow “I am surprised and delighted to see the vibrant and colourful gardens shown on the presentation, especially in view of the horrendous conditions this year.”

Before announcing the winners in the Town’s wards, Cllr Mrs Burt gave special thanks to Mrs Vivienne Bolton from Corbridge, who gave up her time again this year, to judge the residential entries. 


The overall winners for ‘Best Front Garden’ and ‘Best Rear Garden’ in the Town were  Mr & Mrs Hull (Maple Grove) and Mrs & Mrs Scott (Lime Grove).  Both entrants were awarded full points for their rear gardens.  Mrs Bolton expressed that these gardens were of such a high standard, they could be made open to the public as part of the National Gardens Scheme.  Mrs Bolton was impressed with the care and attention shown to everything; as well as high quality planting and maintenance, colours were vibrant, bins were hidden and there were such a wide variety of plants in all manner of tubs and containers as well as beds – not a leaf was out of place.  Mr and Mrs Hull and Mr and Mrs Scott were delighted to receive trophies for their wonderful gardens.  Mrs Scott said during judging “gardening is my hobby, I take great pleasure in what I do and in the results.”

Next were the churches awards receiving certificates and vouchers donated by Tyne Valley Garden Centre, Mickley.  Mary Kelly received a certificate on behalf of St Mary Magdalene Church and Cllr Peter Nevin on behalf of St. George’s Church, Mickley.  The runner-up in the churches category was St Mary Magdalene, with Our Lady and St. Cuthbert’s RC Church receiving the coveted silver rose bowl for ‘best church grounds’.  Cllr Mrs Burt commended the churches entered, adding “not one receives a gardening bill as all the work is done by volunteers.  Mr John Brennan at Our Lady & St Cuthbert’s Church, Mr Tom Teasdale at Prudhoe Methodist Church, Mr Peter Nevin and Mr Bill Forster at St George’s Church and Mr Tom Pattison and Mr and Mrs Hughes at St Mary Magdalene Church.”  Our Lady & St Cuthbert’s RC Church was also awarded a Silver Medal by Northumbria in Bloom for the ‘best kept grounds of a religious establishment’, when entered by the Town Council in August.  Mr Nino Tomczuk collected the prizes on behalf of Our Lady & St. Cuthbert’s RC Church.

The schools were the last to be presented with certificates and vouchers donated by Tyne Valley Garden Centre, Mickley.   These were judged by Dean and Vivienne Readman of Hollybush Nurseries and Landscaping, near Slaley.  This year the top prize for schools could not be separated and the joint winners of ‘best school gardens’ were Mickley First School and Highfield Middle School, who graciously agreed to share the trophy.  Cllr Mrs Burt described how impressed the judges were with all the schools entered and described of Mickley First School “our judges were really impressed that children of First School age were so keen and knowledgeable about gardening.   As well as bringing the community into the school, the gardening club have visited St George’s Church at Mickley to plant bedding and tree lillies, which are now in full bloom, and initiated a litter pick in the village.”  Of Highfield Middle School the judges stated “the knowledge and enthusiasm shown by the children at Highfield Middle School and their gardening expert, Mr Smith is equally impressive.  The children want to stay and work in the school gardens rather than take their breaks and it is obvious they are all green-fingered.”  Mrs Sally Webb was delighted to collect the trophy and prize on behalf of Mickley First School and Mrs Pamela Kidd on behalf of Highfield Middle School.  Mrs Kidd spoke afterwards “now that Mr Smith has retired, the children are managing the gardening club themselves; they are keen to continue Mr Smith’s high standards and regularly receive ‘jobs to do’ as well as keeping him up-to-date with all things horticultural.”  As a result of Prudhoe in Bloom Mrs Webb and Mrs Kidd discussed the possibility of a gardening exchange, where the children could visit each other’s plots.    Mrs Webb said “our gardening club would love to visit the larger growing plots at Highfield, it’s a lovely idea.”  Certificates and vouchers were also awarded to Adderlane First School and Prudhoe Castle First School.  Cllr Mrs Burt said “all our schools have made great efforts in horticulture and should be congratulated.  It would also be great to see some of the produce grown appearing in the Prudhoe Town Show next year, and perhaps winning some prizes.”

Cllr Mrs Burt also celebrated the Towns achievements in the Northumbria in Bloom regional competition.  As well as silver gilt medal for the Town, Ferndene Hospital and Prudhoe Gardeners Association received gold medals and Our Lady & St. Cuthbert’s RC Church and Eastgate Manor Care Home received silver medals.  

It was a great morning of celebration and community.  Cllr Mrs Eileen Burt gave special thanks to the Parish Hall for refreshments and facilities; and to Creative Management for donating biscuits; to the judges; to Mrs Moira Wooldridge for taking photographs of the gardens as well as the presentation; to the ‘In Bloom’ volunteers, Cllr Mrs Jennifer McGee, Cllr Peter Nevin, Mrs Joan Russell and Mr James Dobson; to Tyne Valley Garden Centre for sponsoring the competition in the form of prize vouchers, and finally to everyone who entered.  Cllr Peter Nevin ended by appealing to all the green-fingered attendees to consider getting involved with ‘In Bloom’ to help shape the appearance of the Town.  The group currently meets on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, at 5:30pm in The Spetchells Centre.  If you would like to get involved please contact Sarah Eden at the Town Council on (01661) 835487 or e-mail

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