Halstead’s ‘blooming’ best in Anglia again

Halstead in Bloom team who have got Gold, won best town and won best overall in the Anglia in Bloom competition. ANL-150922-194936009

Halstead in Bloom team who have got Gold, won best town and won best overall in the Anglia in Bloom competition. ANL-150922-194936009

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Halstead continues to dominate the local In Bloom competition as it picked up yet more accolades at the Anglia in Bloom awards ceremony.

With its theme of oranges and lemons, Halstead in Bloom picked up another gold award as it was again awarded the best town category at the ceremony on September 17.

The icing on the cake for the group, which is in its 15th year, was being named overall winner, beating entrants from Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.

“It’s absolutely wonderful. We lost our president Michael Portway in July so it was dedicated to him,” said Halstead in Bloom secretary Julia Smith.

“He was one of the founding members. It was so sad to go without him.”

Formed in 2000, the group has a accumulated a number of awards, including gold awards for the past seven years, overall winner for Anglia in Bloom three times, with Halstead being named best town in the Britain in Bloom competition twice.

As winners of the competition last year the group cannot not enter this year, giving the rest of the country a chance it seems.

Mrs Smith said the group’s success was down to the “community spirit” in Halstead.

“We have so many volunteers, some are there every week and some every so often. Everybody is so interested. People come up to us in the street and ask, ‘how did we do?’, Not, how did you do?

“People are really buying into it. It’s something to be proud of.”

Asked if they could get any better, Mr Smith said, “There’s always room for improvement. We have already got plans for next year.”

These include the possibility of doing some work at Halstead Community Resource Centre .

While winning so many awards has been a great boost to the group, Mrs Smith said seeing the community buy into its philosophy of trying to improve the town was most important.

“It definitely brings visitors into the town. People have contacted us, asking to come and have a look round,” she said.