The moment of truth

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THE last-minute pruning and sprucing of Sudbury came to an end with the arrival of the Anglia in Bloom judges.

Efforts to prepare the town for the annual floral competition had seen volunteers, the town council and Sudbury in Bloom committee members unite in a frantic bid to be ready for inspection – and launch a challenge for an elusive gold award.

On Tuesday, the final adjustments had been completed in time for judges Susan Hacon and Hazel Law to run the rule over the town’s flower beds, roundabouts and verges, on the lookout for horticultural excellence.

Nick Irwin, Sudbury in Bloom chairman, who last month questioned the town’s involvement in the contest on the grounds of it being “weed infested”, greeted the judges at Belle Vue Park.

“Sudbury is looking really good, but it is a shame we have had all this activity over the last four or five days when it should be going on throughout the year,” he said.

“I think perhaps the business sector could do a bit more, like they do in Halstead, but both Waitrose and the Delphi have done themselves and the town proud.”

Staff at the Waitrose store in Station Road have vowed to help keep the area’s flowers in good condition once a month, while 15 apprentices from Delphi Automotive Systems spent a week working with community wardens to tidy up Sudbury two weeks ago.

Adrian Osborne, deputy mayor of Sudbury, said he believed all those involved in preparing for the competition should be thanked for their commitment.

“The weather has been against us, but we have done very well,” he said.

During a tour of the town, the judges stopped off at various locations, including Tudor Primary School, Sudbury Resource Centre and the Mill Hotel.

Mrs Hacon, lead judge, said: “I always look forward to coming to Sudbury and I particularly love the common lands.”

The town will have to wait until September to find out if it has improved on last year’s silver gilt award.