Team effort in bid to become champions elect

FINGERS CROSSED: Mayor David Hume (second left) with judges Sue Wood (centre) and Jim Knight (second right).
FINGERS CROSSED: Mayor David Hume (second left) with judges Sue Wood (centre) and Jim Knight (second right).

An anxious wait lies ahead for Halstead after judges from Britain in Bloom toured the town to see if it is worthy of the ultimate gardening prize.

The town is looking to walk away with the champion of champions award in the floral competition after triumphing in the national section of the contest 12 months ago.

On Thursday, members of Halstead in Bloom welcomed judges for a guide of the area’s carefully tended displays.

Committee president Michael Portway said: “The tour went exceedingly well and we had really lovely weather on the day.

“The town looked wonderful and I think the judges went away happy, although they never give anything away. There is a lot of expectation now while we wait.”

After winning the title of best town in Britain, Halstead had two hours to impress judges with its floral decorations, allotments and street cleanliness.

Mr Portway said the town had once again set a high standard.

“We are very proud to represent East Anglia and did not let anyone down,” he said.

Julia Smith, committee secretary, said around £10,000 had been spent on plants for the contest and the town had pulled together in the hope of defeating the four other champions.

“It has been an incredible effort,” she said.