As you will be aware, our town/community has been shortlisted as finalists for the Britain in Bloom (BiB) national awards in the Small Coastal Town (less than 12000 population) category alongside contenders from St Brelade, Newcastle (NI), Bute, Mablethorpe, Filey and Tenby. This, in itself, represents a considerable achievement for a town our size (the smallest in the competition). This follows our success in winning the Cumbria-in-Bloom (CiB) award in this category for 2014 and 2015.
We have now presented our community’s achievements to judges from both CiB and BiB in the last few weeks and I should like to thank all members of our community for their enormous efforts in support of our bid for national recognition. It has been a privilege and pleasure for me to lead Silloth on this journey, over the last four years and this year’s judging visits went very well indeed. We now await the outcome of our collective efforts.
My sincerest thanks to all for the tremendous efforts which have been made. Fingers crossed.
Silloth Parks Committee and Silloth in Bloom Community Group.
Britain in Bloom judges, Mark Wasilewski and Keith Jackson visited Silloth on 4th August, 2016 to judge ‘Silloth in Bloom’. The town has been nominated as a finalist in Britain in Bloom’s ‘Small Coastal Town’ category and has been preparing for the visit for some months.
At 8.45am, Mark and Keith were formally welcomed to the town, greeted by Silloth on Solway Town Council Mayor, Tony Markley, the Silloth in Bloom Chairman, Cllr. Bill Jefferson and Golf Hotel owner, Philip Cueto, who provided the hotel venue for the presentation and reception.
After a presentation to Mark and Keith by Anna Malina (Silloth in Bloom Website, Portfolio and Tour Co-ordinator), and Cllr. Bill Jefferson (Silloth in Bloom Chairman), the judges tour began at 9.20am crossing the road to The Green
Judges shown round the Bee garden by Vivian Russell who has spent around 3000 hours as a volunteer growing from seed, planting and nurturing the garden. Photos Anna Malina.
The judges spent some time reading the information on the Lecturns, one of which is placed at each end of the entrance to the Heritage Rose and Bee Garden. The layout, the plants used and the insects attracted to the garden are all described in detail, so providing visitors with the information needed to plant their own gardens for pollinators.
After spending a considerable amount of time in the Bee Garden, the judges made their way to the Victorian Pagoda on Silloth Green, noting the directional heritage panels above the viewing windows and the panoramic view over the Solway Firth to Dumfries in Scotland.
Unfortunately, the judges were too early in the day to view the wonderful Silloth Sunsets
After walking past the Splash pad, the judges admired the Adventure Play area enjoyed by local children and visitors. The natural areas and pine plantations around the play areas were highlighted.
Next stop was the RNLI Station to meet Eddie Studholme and some of the Lifeboat Crew, who described the course they ran recently for youngsters to instill a sense of responsibility and care for the community.
Next the judges were ferried by car to the new planting beds at the entrance to Hylton Park, sponsored by Stanwix Holiday Park.
The next stop was Silloth-on-Solway Golf Club, where the judges discussed biodiversity and care of the course with the Course Groundsman.
After a little more than the planned two and a half hour tour, the judges returned to meet volunteers and have a well deserved lunch at the Golf Hotel.
‘Silloth in Bloom’ members thank Mark and Keith for their visit and wish them well.
The Britain in Bloom Awards Ceremony will take place in Birmingham on 14th October, 2016, at which time the competition winners will be announced.
Kathleen Ferrier has returned to Silloth in the form of a rose named after her and planted in the Bee Garden on Silloth Green.
The rose is a bushy, upright, deciduous shrub with thorny stems. The salmon to deep pink rose is strongly fragrant and flowers from late spring into autumn.
As the wife of the local bank manager, Kathleen Ferrier, or Mrs Wilson as she was then, lived in Silloth for some time. Although she became a famous contralto after leaving Silloth, it was said Kathleen Ferrier remained riotously good fun, generous-hearted and with a distinctly salty sense of humour and a complete lack of pretension, traits shared by many Silloth residents.
She made two recordings reputed in their day to outsell those of Vera Lynn and Frank Sinatra – one of an operatic aria by Gluck, Che farò senza Euridice (translated as “What is Life to Me Without Thee?), the other of a Northumbrian folk song, Blow the Wind Southerly. One commentator says “Kathleen sang them with a sincerity that tugged at the heartstrings.”
Kathleen Ferrier died in 1953 at the height of her career.
Proud of her legacy, Mrs Wilson cafe in Silloth bears Kathleen’s married name.
Youngsters from Solway Community Technology College have had great fun bringing their planted pots to Christ Church Silloth to keep ‘Shaun the Sheep’ company as he awaits the Cumbria in Bloom judges visit on Thursday 14th July and the Britain in Bloom visit to the town on 4th August. Young people helped produce Shaun the Sheep placards during the Silloth leg of the Tour of Britain in 2015 and have stepped up to the plate again. All great fun …. cheers everyone else up too:)
Volunteers from Christ Church, who are supporting a new ‘Silloth in Bloom’ project, battled wind and rain on Friday 8th July to set up placards with images of ‘Shaun the Sheep’ on the grass around Christ Church. Silloth’s sheepy mascot was drawn in many different poses by John Dunn before the Tour of Britain leg, which came through Silloth in 2015. The placards were masterfully coloured in by youngsters in Silloth, who added their own messages. A few more illustrations of Shaun have been drawn for the ‘In Bloom’ bids, and the placards have been added to the others in the fold.
The innovative posters, plus a few more designed specifically for ‘Silloth in Bloom,’ are now being utilised as part of a new project, again involving youngsters, who will soon be be planting pots of blooms to sit alongside Shaun in the Christ Church ‘meadow.’ Cumbria in Bloom judges will visit on Thursday 14th July and the Britain in Bloom judging tour is on 4th August. Let’s hope for some sunshine🙂
Silloth Town Centre Clean up will take place on Monday, 11 July, meeting at the Community Hall on Petteril Street at 10.00am. Anyone interested in coming along and helping we’ll be pleased to see you. Equipment will be provided, along with lunch afterwards. The Cumbria in Bloom judging will take place on 14 July and the Britain in Bloom judging on 4 August, so it’s important we get our town looking tidy. Spread the word and pop the date in your diary.