Village digs deep to harvest award

Dorothy Clark and Brian Walker (left) receive Northumbria In Bloom award.''PLease give Jim Appleby a byline.
Dorothy Clark and Brian Walker (left) receive Northumbria In Bloom award.''PLease give Jim Appleby a byline.

A VILLAGE’S efforts to make its community bright and beautiful have paid off after it was honoured in a prestigious competition.

Greatham, on the outskirts of Hartlepool, was rewarded with a silver gilt certificate in the Northumbria In Bloom Awards ceremony.

The village’s success in the best village category came after months of hard work by volunteers and residents.

Judges said they were amazed at how communities had overcome the squeeze on finances to produce an array of eye-catching floral displays.

Dorothy Clark and Brian Walker, of the Greatham In Bloom group, which leads the village’s entry, joined winners at the awards ceremony in Saltburn.

Mrs Clark, chairwoman of Greatham In Bloom, said: “We feel very pleased with the silver gilt and would like to say a very big thank you to everybody who helped and did a lot of work on the day the judges came.

“The village looked beautiful. This year we planted two big sections of shrub bed as you come into the village and around the green.

“A lot of people and the pubs also put tubs and flowers out.

“It gives you pride in the place and it shows.”

The Smiths Arms, on the High Street, run by Paul Heward also received a silver gilt award in the best external premises of a hotel or pub section for its colourful floral displays.

There were also successes for Sedgefield which won gold and winner of best small town and Billingham won a gold in the best large town category.

Eileen Burn, chairman of Northumbria in Bloom, said: “Towns and villages and local authorities have faced up to the challenges of the year with tremendous enthusiasm and imagination, and everyone is to be congratulated on their contributions to these great results.”

Cowpen Bewley Woodland Park, in Billingham, scored gold and overall winners of the Durham Villages Trophy for best conservation project.

And Belasis Business Park in Billingham was awarded gold in the Gateshead MBC Trophy for best business park.

Accolades were also presented to numerous schools in the area.

Oakdene Primary School, in Billingham, were joint winners of the Rod Leyburn Memorial Trophy in the growing together gardening scheme along with Hexham Priory School.