Thanks to our community


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.

Bill Jefferson


Silloth Parks Committee and Silloth in Bloom Community Group.

Britain in Bloom ‘Judgement Day’

By Anna Malina

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.

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From Left: Cllr. Bill Jefferson, Chair of Silloth in Bloom; Philip Cueto owner of Golf Hotel (venue sponsor), Mayor Tony Markley and Britain in Bloom judges, Keith Jackson and Mark Wasilewski. Photo: Anna Malina.
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Display Board created and sponsored by John Cook with content by Anna Malina.

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

Video of Silloth Green by James Smith, Silloth. 

The Judges were taken first to the Silloth Green Community Garden, where they met volunteer, Anne Winter, who routinely cares for the Garden.

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Volunteer Anne Winter meeting the Britain in Bloom judges in the Community Garden. Photo: Anna Malina.

Several other volunteers were also introduced to Mark and Keith.

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Judges meeting young Community Garden Volunteer. Photo Anna Malina

The judges were invited to (re)hoist the Green Flag, which was awarded to Silloth in 2016, for the fourth year running.

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Britain in Bloom judges hoisting Silloth’s Green Flag. Photo Anna Malina
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Silloth Town Councillors, Green staff and Volunteers with the Green Flag. Photo Anna Malina

Mark and Keith were then introduced to representatives from the Council Maintenance Team, Ken Wannop (Parks Manager), and Aaron (Park Supervisor), and the Town Clerk, Wendy Jameson, who responded to questions about their various different roles.

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Judges introduced to the Green Maintenance Team and Town Clerk, Wendy Jameson. Photo Anna Malina

Next came a visit to the Rotary Club Tree, where Fausto Previtali explained the background to the tree and talked about the blooms planted around it.

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Fausto Previtali talking to the judges about the Rotary Club Tree. Photo Anna Malina
Rotary Club Tree

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After viewing the Story Telling Chair, main interpretation signage and the Wishing Well, the judges met Vivian Russell, who described the ideas behind  the new bedding plants on Criffel Street.

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Vivian Russell explaining new planting in Criffel Street beds. Photo by Anna Malina

The judges moved on to view the Mosaic planting. The mosaic was made by youngsters from the local school to celebrate the Millenium.

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New planting around the Mosaic. Photo by Anna Malina

Next came a visit to the War Memorial and the Children’s planting at Christ Church.

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Visiting War Memorial Planting
Shaun the Sheep Planting by Solway Community School Pupils.

Then, Mark and Keith had a quick look at Mrs Wilson‘s and the hanging baskets, also a few residential gardens close to Christ Church.

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Hanging baskets around ‘Mrs Wilsons Coffee House’ (named after opera siger Kathleen Ferrier, who lived and taught music in the town. Photo Anna Malina
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Silloth is set out in a grid pattern and many houses in the centre have small narrow courtyard gardens cared for by their owners.

The judges then passed the rare Monkey Puzzle trees at St Andrew’s Church, Silloth, and made their way to the Discovery Centre Garden,  outside the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) base, where they chatted to the Women’s Institute Ladies who routinely care for the garden.

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Judges meeting the WI ladies at the Discovery Centre Garden. Photo Anna Malina

After passing the gardens at the Good Companions Care Home, the BMX Track, the Recycling Area and the Town Council Maintenance Yard, the judges made their way to the Heritage Rose and Bee Garden, where they spoke at length to volunteer, Vivian Russell. Vivian, who designed and planted the garden and cares for it routinely, described the layout and the plants that attract little visitors and help protect the environment.

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.

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Bee Garden Lecturn, describing the plant layout and the plants used in the garden to attract pollinators. Bees, bugs and butterflies that have visited the garden are also illustrated.

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.

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Victorian Pagoda, Silloth Green
One of the directional heritage Panels above the viewing windows inside the pagoda.
One of the directional heritage Panels above the viewing windows inside the pagoda.
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View over the Solway. Photo Chris White

Unfortunately, the judges were too early in the day to view the wonderful Silloth Sunsets

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Pagoda at Sunset.

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.

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Splash pad, Silloth Green. Photo Anna Malina.
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Adventure Play Area, Silloth Green. Photo Anna Malina
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Judges, Mark Wasilewski and Keith Jackson baving the Adventure Play Area, Silloth Green. Photo Anna Malina
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Britain in Bloom Judges and Bill Jefferson in Adventure Play Area. Silloth Green. Photo Anna Malina

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.

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Britain in Bloom judges at the RNLI Station to meet Eddie Studholme Operations Manager and some of the crew. Photo Anna Malina
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Eddie Studhome and the Lifeboat. Photo Anna Malina

Next the judges were ferried by car to the new planting beds at the entrance to Hylton Park, sponsored by Stanwix Holiday Park.

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New bedding and seating Area. Sponsored by Stanwix with additional seat donated by Vintage Rally Group.

The next stop was Silloth-on-Solway Golf Club, where the judges discussed biodiversity and care of the course with the Course Groundsman.

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Silloth-on-Solway Golf Club

silloth Golf Club image from website

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.

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Judges, Mark and Keith with Bill Jefferson and volunteers at lunch reception in the Golf Hotel. Photo Anna Malina
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Silloth in Bloom Volunteers at Lunch reception, Golf Hotel. Photo Anna Malina

‘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.

Here is a short film by James Smith, Silloth, showing images of Silloth-on-Solway from the Air.

Content and photos Anna Malina. email

Kathleen Ferrier Rose in the Bee Garden Silloth Green

Kathleen Ferrier has returned to Silloth in the form of a rose named after her and planted in the Bee Garden on Silloth Green.

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‘Rosa Kathleen Ferrier.’ Planted by Vivian Russell and growing in the Bee Garden 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.

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Mrs Wilson’s cafe, Silloth. Named after Kathleen Ferrier.




Silloth Kids ‘In Bloom’

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:)

Shaun the Sheep supporting ‘Silloth in Bloom’

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🙂

Town centre Clean Up

TeamUp CleanUp

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.

Britain in Bloom Finalist


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