LEDBURY pulled out all the stops for the Heart of England judging day on Monday, under cloudless skies and sweltering sunshine.

The Ledbury in Bloom team and its helpers were going for twelve RHS gold medals in a row, and nothing was left to chance.

Ledbury in Bloom chairman, Clive Gunn said: “The judges from Heart of England in Bloom toured Ledbury on Monday and put Ledbury in Bloom to the test. They were escorted by Deputy Chairman Christina Vass and committee member Jane Gunn while I co-ordinated the movement of the supporting minibus, provided by Community Action Ledbury.

“This whisked them up to the station and around the bypass. The organisers of the Ledbury Celebration had done a grand job, cleaning up after their stalls had gone home, but the final hard yards of sweeping the centre of town had been done by the volunteers of Ledbury in Bloom with more than a little help from their friends. The bypass was looking as neat and tidy as it has done for some time, thanks to Councillor Keith Francis and his team and the rapid progress made by Galebreaker on their roundabout.”

Mr Gunn added: “The Helping Hands roundabout sparkled in the sun. All the beds, tubs, hanging baskets and troughs had been finally dead-headed and watered. Ledbury was as ready as it ever has been to be assessed.

“Over the weekend there was a flurry of activity at the Top Cross after the scaffolding had been removed ahead of schedule. Tina Voss had called her team out to replant all the bottom beds.

“It was a very busy weekend for her as on Sunday, the children’s competition “My Box of Garden Delights” had been displayed and judged in the Parish Church, courtesy of Revd Keith Hilton-Turvey. He also acted as judge along with Ledbury in Bloom’s chief plantsman Rob Wilson. “

Mr Gunn said of Ledbury’s chances for a twelfth gold: “We now have a long wait until September 20 to find out what award we get at the ceremony in Burton, but to be honest keeping all the plants watered is a much more urgent. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed in any way.

Prizes for the children’s competition were awarded by Nina Shields, chairman of Ledbury Town Council.

The winners were: Age 5-8, 1st Grace Clueit; 2nd Theo Stanley. Age 9-11, 1st William Lambourne; 2nd Niamh Hogan; Highly Commended, William Healey

Marcus and Sue Low of Wellington Heath sponsored the prizes.