Judging Day – Ely In Bloom 2005

Image: Ely In Bloom

After working flat out since March, the day of reckoning has finally arrived for the volunteers, organisations and businesses who have been working with the Ely Perspective to prepare the City for entry in this year’s Anglia in Bloom… along with the judges, Brian Thornton and Brian Swift.

Just under 40 voluntary organisations and businesses have been involved along with numerous individuals and preparations have been extensive and sustained as progress throughout the year has had to be recorded.

Image: Ely In Bloom Judging

At a brief welcome ceremony at Ely Museum the two Brians were greeted by the Mayor, Cllr Bryant Watson – who helped start the whole thing off back in February by paying the entry fee – the Deputy Mayor, John Ison, Chairman of the Perspective, Philip Eden and members of the Perspective Design Group, who coordinated everybody’s efforts; Shirley Overall and Sheila Friend Smith who chairs the Group. Also present were Perspective members Nigel Bloxham and Ray Tinker who documented the entire process in photos and on video.

After Cllr Friend Smith and Mr Eden had welcomed the judges a video diary was shown documenting preparations for the competition.

Image: Ely in Bloom Shop Window Winner

Finally, Cllr Bryant Watson announced the winner of the Ely Window Dressing Competition and after thank you’s and good byes all round the Judges, escorted by Philip Eden, Cllr and Mr Friend Smith and Shirley Overall set off on a two hour tour of blooming highlights, starting with the Museum’s own floral display. Meanwhile the Mayor hot footed it to High Street Passage to award the trophy for Best Dressed Window to the winners, The Little Shop.

So what happens next?

The results of the judging will be announced on 22nd September in a prize giving ceremony at St Andrew’s Hall in Norwich at that point we will find out how well we have done. The prizes are gold, silver and bronze but a gold would also mean we go through to Britain in Bloom next year.

If you missed your chance to join in this year not to worry, Anglia in Bloom 2006 is launched on 10th November and whether it’s Anglia in Bloom or Britain in Bloom Ely will definitely be taking part next year. If you want to get involved in Ely in Bloom 2006 watch this space for details!

Just under 40 volunteer groups took part in Ely in Bloom this year while sponsors include the Mayor, Mayor’s Charity, the Atrium Club, Ashwells property developers and Nigel Bloxham local photographer and Ray Tinker who gave hours of their time for free.

Photo Caption

Photo – Main: Ely in Bloom Judges inspecting the Museum Garden
Ely in Bloom Judges start their tour of the City with the Museum garden.
Left to Right: Mr Friend Smith, the two Brians, Shirley Overall, Cllr Sheila Friend Smith and Philip Eden.

Photo – Inline: Ely in Bloom Shop Window Winner
Cllr Bryant Watson with staff from “The Little Shop� winner of the Ely in Bloom window-dressing competition.

3 replies
  1. Patrick Guttin
    Patrick Guttin says:

    I’m curious if the pictured “Shirley Overall” is the same Shirley who lived in Montreal, Quebec in the early 80’s.
    My e-mail is included with this letter

  2. Mary McGuire
    Mary McGuire says:

    I’m glad you’re all for Ely in Bloom but I don’t think rest of your comment is constructive or fair.

    39 organisations took part in Ely in Bloom. A good three quarters of them were volunteer organisations and the project was also coordinated by an independent volunteer group, the Ely Perspective.

    In other words, ordinary people, people like you and me did most of the work. People of all ages from all over Ely who had far better and more important things to do with their spare time, were willing to put in hours of effort, over a period of several months, because they are proud of their city and they want it to look nice. They’re prepared to do it again, next year, too.

    One of the criteria for entry in the “In Bloom” competitions is that the entrants can prove their efforts are sustained throughtout the year from the point at which the town or city decided to enter… so for 2006 that starts from… oooh… about a month from now!

    A scrap book has to be submitted in advance of the judging documenting the work that has been done, with photographs of areas planted before and after and more photographic evidence documenting work in progress – and the results – throughout the year. Some bedding is quite short lived but permanent planting displays take time to establish themselves and ideally we’d want a mixture of both. As I understand it, the intention of the other volunteers is the same as my own; that they should maintain the current displays throughout the summer. If they aren’t it’ll not be because we’re all de-mob happy after the judging, if we cared enough to bother in the first place our commitment isn’t going to evaporate over night. No, it’ll be because there aren’t enough volunteers to make it possible.

    So if you want to make sure the planting is maintained there’s a very simple solution.

    Join in. Help us to keep it going.

  3. Jarvis
    Jarvis says:

    I’m all for Ely in bloom, although it upsets me that two weeks before judging the city gets covered in beautiful flowers, then next weekend they will all be taken away again. Maybe they shouldn’t say when they are judging, so Ely is ‘in bloom’ all year…

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