Students celebrate success at the Chelsea Flower Show North East Heats

Chelsea Flower Show North East Heats East Durham College winners Allan Raby and Vicky Abbott.
Chelsea Flower Show North East Heats East Durham College winners Allan Raby and Vicky Abbott.

Two East Durham College students are celebrating their budding success after coming out on top at the Chelsea Flower Show North East heats.

The college was chosen to host the event at its Peterlee campus last month, which allowed competitors to submit their floral designs with the aim of winning the opportunity to attend the Chelsea Flower Show in May as a competitor.

A floral demonstration at the Chelsea Flower Show North East Heats.

A floral demonstration at the Chelsea Flower Show North East Heats.

Nearly 100 people attended the North East Inspiration Day - where they could view the competitor’s floral designs, see a presentation from a leading floral designer and hear the results of the competition.

The nine competitors who took part in the Chelsea Florist of the Year bracket - including seven East Durham College students - were tasked with making a wedding stole to be worn by a bride in a Scottish castle.

East Durham College floristry student Allan Raby took home the first place prize and fellow student Vicky Abbott came in second place.

Allan, 49, from Thornaby and Vicky, 26, from Hartlepool, will now have to wait for the results from the other regional heats to see if their scores qualify them for the finals at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Sue Lee, the college’s floristry lecturer, said: “The British Floral Association (BFA) were delighted with the number of competitors in each category and the visitors who attended the Inspirational Day demonstrations in the theatre.

“Congratulations to all our students and the other competitors for taking part and putting their heart, soul, time and dedication into making every design truly inspirational.”