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Britain in Bloom is a horticultural competition in the United Kingdom. It was first held in 1963, initiated by the British Tourist Board based on the example set by Fleurissement de France. It has been organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) since 2002 and is currently sponsored by Shredded Wheat.

The competition is entered by settlements: towns, villages and cities. Different categories exist for various sizes of settlements, and finalists are selected from the winners of regional competitions. Since 2002, the awards have been based on the Royal Horticultural Society's medal standards of Gold, Silver Gilt, Silver and Bronze; the winner is the settlement judged to have most successfully met the rigorous judging criteria. The first stage is judged in around June/July; the second stage in August. Winners are announced in about September/October. The competition covers the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Manmarker.

Floral displays play an important part in the contest, but the "Bloom" title is now, perhaps, misleading: in recent years the competition has increasingly assessed how all sectors of the local community are managing their local environment.

History

The history of the 'Bloom', as it is colloquially referred to, began in 1963 when Roy Hay MBE, a horticultural journalist, went on holiday to France during the Fleurissement de France and was enthralled by seeing the country "filled to overflowing with flowers, shrubs and trees all in full bloom". His enquiries revealed that President de Gaulle had given orders to brighten up the country and the French Tourist Authority had set up the Fleurissement de France in 1959 (now called Concours des villes et villages fleuris). Hay was so impressed that he approached the British Tourist Authority ("BTA"), and he and Len Lickorish, then Director General of the BTA, set up a committee to run a British version, "Britain in Bloom". It was piloted by the British Tourist Authority in 1963 (Lewishammarker being part of that pilot), and went national in 1964.

Many organisations were invited to help, including: the Automobile Association; London Tourist Board; National Farmers' Union; London Parks; Institute of Parks and Recreation Administration; National Association of Rural Communities; Royal Horticultural Society; Royal Automobile Clubmarker; The Tourist Boards of England, Scotland and Wales; The National Federation of Women's Institutes; Civic Trust; Keep Britain Tidy Group; the Flowers and Plants Council; The Horticultural Trades Association; The British Hotels and Restaurants Association; The Society of Town Clerks; Townswomen's Guild and British Airways. Despite this impressive list, Roy Hay later reflected that the initial reaction of the horticultural trade and local authorities was lukewarm.

Nevertheless, regional committees were quickly formed, and in 1964 Bathmarker became the first national winner. From 1964 to 1969 inclusive there was an overall national winner. From 1970, however, the competition was divided up into a range of categories, because of the difficulty of comparing settlements of different sizes fairly.

The British Tourist Authority managed the competition until 1983 when the Government Department sponsoring the BTA felt that it should relinquish the responsibility. The Tidy Britain Group (the group responsible for the Keep Britain Tidy campaign, now known as EnCams) took over; it already had a long association with the competition. To mark the changeover, 1983 was celebrated as "Beautiful Britain in Bloom Year". Sir Lawrie Barratt of Barratt Developments expressed his support to the Tidy Britain Group for the competition and provided sponsorship until 1989.

More categories and awards were added, in part reflecting a greater range of settlements, but also to recognise other elements of horticulture, including landscaping, and also to recognise the strenuous efforts to beautify the urban areas of the larger cities. McDonalds began sponsoring the competition from 1990, which led to focus on littering behaviour and the implementation of a Children's Painting Competition Calendar. In 2001 the event was organised jointly by EnCams and the Royal Horticultural Society and from November 2001 the RHS took full control as the organising body of Britain in Bloom.

Year Organising Body Main Sponsor
1964 to 1982 British Tourist Authority No main sponsor
1983 to 1989 Tidy Britain Group Barratt Developments
1990 to TBC Tidy Britain Group McDonalds
2001 Tidy Britain Group & Royal Horticultural Society TBC
2002 to 2003 Royal Horticultural Society B&Q (from 2003)
2004 to 2006 Royal Horticultural Society B&Q
2007 to present Royal Horticultural Society Shredded Wheat


Structure

The competition currently has ten entry categories, most of which are determined by population size. Within each category, similarly sized communities compete across a spectrum of horticultural endeavour, including plantsmanship and landscaping, and in dealing with issues of litter, graffiti and vandalism.

  • Category A
    • Small Village
    • Village
    • Large Village
  • Category B
    • Small Town
    • Town
    • Large Town/Small City
  • Category C
    • Large Town/Small City
    • City
    • Large City
  • Category D
    • Urban Community
    • Urban Regeneration
  • Category E
    • Small Coastal
    • Large Coastal


Judging

Britain in Bloom encompasses 12 English regions, as well as Scotlandmarker, Walesmarker, Northern Irelandmarker, Isle of Manmarker, Jerseymarker and Guernseymarker. Because of the area that is covered, judging usually takes place over two years in two stages.

  1. Local competition: Entries are first submitted by voluntary local 'Bloom' Committees, depending upon the area, to Local Authorities, Town or Parish Councils. The local volunteers are colloquially known as "bloomers". As judging approaches, the bloomers – who have steered their community's bid – coax and cajole local residents into last-minute tidy-ups, hedge-trims and litter-picks. Judging takes place in June/July, and winners are announced during local presentations between August and November.
  2. UK-wide: After the judging of the first stage (the Local competitions), Committees representing their nation/region select entrants for the second UK-wide stage. To ensure that effort is sustained over time, this second stage of judging takes place in August the year after they qualify. Winners of the UK judging are announced at a prestigious ceremony in September/October.


National winners

Details to 1990 from Graham Ashworth CBE, Britain in Bloom, The Tidy Britain Group (Wigan:1991)

KEY
Winner Known
Category Dormant
Category Not Created/No longer exists
Winner unknown/Not known if category exists


Year Champion of Champions Large City City Large Town Town Small Town Small Country Town Large Village Village Small Village Urban Regeneration Urban Community Coastal Resort
Small City / Large Town: (35K–100K) Large Town / Small City: (12K–35K) Coastal Resort A Small Coastal Resort Coastal Resort B Large Coastal Resort
2008 Nottinghammarker Sheffieldmarker Solihullmarker Tauntonmarker Perthmarker Forresmarker Cricklademarker Falklandmarker, (Scotlandmarker) Earsdonmarker Ravenfieldmarker Chapelfieldmarker, Norwichmarker Clifton Village, Bristolmarker Hermmarker, Guernseymarker Exmouthmarker
2007 Broughshanemarker, (Northern Irelandmarker) Nottinghammarker, (East Midlands) Stockton-on-Teesmarker, (Northumbriamarker) Horshammarker, (South East England) Bury St Edmundsmarker, (Anglia) Oakhammarker, (East Midlands) Grouvillemarker, (Jerseymarker) Comriemarker, (Scotlandmarker) Darleymarker, (Yorkshiremarker) Nominations but No Winners St Philip's & St Paul's Floral Trail, (Heart of England) Uddingstonmarker, (Scotland) Cleethorpesmarker, (East Midlands)
2006 Alnessmarker, (Scotlandmarker) No Nominations Aberdeenmarker, (Scotland) Shrewsburymarker, (Heart of England) Perthmarker, (Scotland) Brightlingseamarker, (Anglia) St Martin's Parish, (Guernseymarker) Broughshanemarker, (Northern Irelandmarker) Norton in Halesmarker, (Heart of England) Ravenfieldmarker Seedleymarker and Langworthy, (North West England) Starbeckmarker, (Yorkshiremarker) Scarboroughmarker, (Yorkshire)
2005 Cardiffmarker Derrymarker Newcastle-under-Lymemarker Durhammarker Hexhammarker Garstangmarker Uskmarker Heyshammarker Braymarker St Philip's & St Paul's Floral Trail, Birminghammarker Spondonmarker in Derbymarker Sidmouthmarker
2004 Stockportmarker Derbymarker Bathmarker Perthmarker Ilkleymarker Alnessmarker Broughshanemarker Appleton Wiskemarker Sornmarker Coventrymarker City Centre Dycemarker St Ivesmarker and Carbis Baymarker Bridlingtonmarker
2003 Nottinghammarker Cheltenhammarker Harrogatemarker Barnstaplemarker Ledburymarker Pitlochrymarker Darley Dalemarker Drumnadrochitmarker Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed The Mumbles Fileymarker Eastbournemarker
2002 Bournemouthmarker Oxfordmarker Perthmarker Bridgnorthmarker Alnessmarker Garstangmarker Broughshanemarker Filbymarker Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Brackleymarker Hermmarker Southportmarker
2001 Nottinghammarker Bathmarker/Durhammarker St. Heliermarker (Jerseymarker) Dungannonmarker Sidmouthmarker Pitlochrymarker Comriemarker Thorpe Salvinmarker Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Port Sunlightmarker Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed
2000 Sunderlandmarker Unknown. To be confirmed Perthmarker Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Pateley Bridgemarker & Bewerleymarker Bampton Unknown. To be confirmed Scarvamarker Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed
1999 Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Barnstaplemarker Forresmarker Pitlochrymarker Broughshanemarker Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed
1998 Unknown. To be confirmed Wokingmarker Perthmarker Unknown. To be confirmed Alnessmarker Waringstownmarker Bampton Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed
1997 Nottinghammarker Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Barnstaplemarker Moiramarker Unknown. To be confirmed Broughshanemarker Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed
1996 Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed
1995 Unknown. To be confirmed Bathmarker Perthmarker Barnstaplemarker Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed
1994 Unknown. To be confirmed Bathmarker Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed
1993 Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Perthmarker Unknown. To be confirmed Moiramarker Unknown. To be confirmed Broughshanemarker &
Bampton
Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed
1992 Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Harrogatemarker Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Saintfieldmarker Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed
1991 Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Guildfordmarker Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Bampton Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed Unknown. To be confirmed
1990 Westminstermarker Bathmarker Whickhammarker Ilkleymarker Moiramarker Saintfieldmarker Catcottmarker Walbottlemarker
1989 Oxfordmarker Telfordmarker Falkirkmarker Forresmarker Bampton St. Florencemarker
1988 Cardiffmarker Cheltenhammarker Burymarker Kelso Market Bosworthmarker Llandinammarker
1987 Aberdeenmarker Douglas, Isle of Manmarker Stratford upon Avonmarker Lympstonemarker Lundmarker
1986 Shrewsburymarker Harrogatemarker Forresmarker Uskmarker Sampford Courtenaymarker
1985 Cheltenhammarker Crewemarker &
Torquaymarker
Moiramarker Lympstonemarker Lundmarker
1984 Bathmarker Whickhammarker Sidmouthmarker Pateley Bridge with Bewerleymarker Sampford Courtenaymarker
1983 Swanseamarker Harrogatemarker Kelso Lympstonemarker
1982 Middlesbroughmarker Eastbournemarker Forresmarker Lundmarker
1981 Bathmarker Harrogatemarker Sidmouthmarker Pateley Bridge with Bewerleymarker &
St. John's Town of Dalrymarker
1980 Exetermarker Douglas, Isle of Manmarker Ryton Killingworthmarker
1979 Aberdeenmarker Harrogatemarker Falmouthmarker &
St Andrewsmarker
Holywellmarker
1978 Bathmarker Douglas, Isle of Manmarker Sidmouthmarker Aberdoveymarker &
Carrington
1977 Aberdeenmarker Harrogatemarker Wolvistonmarker
1976 Bathmarker Harrogatemarker Bampton
1975 Bathmarker Sidmouthmarker Clovellymarker
1974 Aberdeenmarker &
City of Londonmarker
Shrewsburymarker Clovellymarker
1973 Aberdeenmarker Bridlingtonmarker &
Falmouthmarker
Ryton
1972 Bathmarker and
Hartlepoolmarker
Ayrmarker Chagfordmarker
1971 Aberdeenmarker Falmouth, Cornwallmarker Abington
1970 Aberdeenmarker Falmouth, Cornwallmarker Abington
1969 Aberdeenmarker
Overall National Winners
1968 Bathmarker
Overall National Winners
1967 City of Londonmarker
Overall National Winners
1966 Exetermarker &
Middlesbroughmarker
Joint Overall National Winners

1965 Aberdeenmarker
Overall National Winners
1964 Bathmarker
Overall National Winners


Subsequent competitions

From the winners and finalists of Britain in Bloom, entries are picked to represent Britain in international competitions such as the Entente Florale.

Discretionary awards

( Definition Source)
  • The Britain in Bloom Floral Award / The Asmer Trophy: for the production of the best floral displays (won by Bath on 3 occasions - 1987, 1992, 2001). Originally the bedding plants had to have been raised from seed by a parks department.
  • The Permanent Landscaping Award / Beautiful Britain Award(from 1983)/Landscape Development Trophy(to 1983): for the highest quality new and/or extensive landscaping
  • The Bob Hare Award: presented for outstanding contribution to their community's Britain in Bloom effort in any sector
  • Commercial Award / Gordon Ford Trophy: for offering outstanding support to the an entry into the competition (won by Bath on 7 occasions - 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1981). Originally presented by Gordon Ford.
  • Tidy Britain Group Trophy / Keep Britain Tidy Trophy / The Keep Britain Tidy Award: to the finalist appearing to contribute most to the aims of the Tidy Britain Group
  • Tourism Award: presented to the community who did most to give the visitor a pleasing view and a warm welcome
  • Best Public Park Award: awarded to the park with the highest standard of maintenance well managed facilities and beautiful horticulture (won by Bath in 2003)
  • The Going for Green Trophy: presented in the name of one of Britain's leading environmental campaign, and given to the finalist that has displayed a sound grasp of green issues
  • Individual Citations: individuals are sometimes cited for their individual contributions to the year's Britain in Bloom
  • The Moran Memorial Award: for outstanding contribution by an individual to Britain in Bloom
  • Best Inner City / Barratt Inner City Trophy: for the best effort in inner city areas


Year The Britain in Bloom Floral Award / The Asmer Trophy The Permanent Landscaping Award / Beautiful Britain Award / Landscape Development Trophy The Bob Hare Award Commercial Award / Gordon Ford Trophy Tidy Britain Group Trophy / The Keep Britain Tidy Trophy Tourism Award Best Public Park Award The Going for Green Trophy The Moran Memorial Award Best Inner City / Barratt Inner City Trophy
2003 Bathmarker
2001 Bathmarker Leedsmarker
2000 Portsmouthmarker
1999 Nottinghammarker, Hyson Greenmarker
1996 Nottinghammarker
1992 Bathmarker
1990 Southportmarker Swanseamarker Guildfordmarker J Sainsbury plcmarker Nuneaton and Bedworthmarker Keswick George Tomlinson
Crewe
Plymouthmarker
1989 Morpeth Telfordmarker Saintfield in Bloom Committee Bournemouthmarker Moiramarker Muriel Preece
Organiser of West Country in Bloom
Leedsmarker
1988 Bury St Edmundsmarker Plymouthmarker Moffatmarker Gorey, Jerseymarker Exetermarker Lewis McAvoy
Chief Technical Officer Lisburn Borough Council
Oxfordmarker
1987 Bathmarker Crewemarker The Japanese Garden, Aberdeen Stratford upon Avonmarker Bury St Edmundsmarker Jim Woods
Killyleagh
1986 Shrewsburymarker Belfastmarker Walter Dinning, Parks Department, Gateshead Nantwichmarker Sornmarker Leonard Likorish
former Director General of the British Tourist Authority
1985 Douglas Crewemarker Tom Dobbins, Babbacombe Model Village, Devon Torquaymarker Market Bosworthmarker Dr W Dally
Edzell
1984 Cheltenhammarker Forresmarker St David's Centre, Cardiff Nantwichmarker East Sleekburn George Dick
Village orderly of Ballinamallard
1983 Ryton Aberdeenmarker Tevrnspite, Dyfed Sidmouthmarker Cheltenhammarker David Welch
Director of Leisure and Recreation, Aberdeen
1982 Swanseamarker Kirkcaldymarker Harold Peirce, Arthur Allen, Brian Pattenden, Nigel Rogers - Eastbourne Parks Dept Stratford upon Avonmarker Stratford upon Avonmarker (posthumous)
Bob Hare
1981 Stockportmarker Strathclyde Bathmarker Largsmarker Mr H Parker
Assistant Director of Environment (Parks) Swansea City Council
1980 Paisleymarker Belfastmarker Sidmouthmarker Forresmarker
1979 Belfastmarker Yorkmarker Douglas Mr B Wolley
Chairman Northumberland in Bloom
1978 Swanseamarker Holywellmarker Dr D W Huebner
Chairman Yorkshire and Humberside in Bloom
1977 Bathmarker Exetermarker Mr P Conn
Ex Parks Director, City of Liverpool
1976 Bathmarker Wolvistonmarker Mr C B Preece
West Country in Bloom
1975 City of Londonmarker London Borough of Camdenmarker
1974 Bathmarker Clovellymarker
1973 Bathmarker Bridlingtonmarker
1972 Bathmarker
1971 Bathmarker


Regions

The regions of the UK and Crown dependencies used in the competition are (with reference to ceremonial counties and government office regions)

Country Region Name\ Notes
England Angliamarker (East of England region) Anglia in Bloom \
England Cumbriamarker Cumbria in Bloom \
England East Midlands (as region) East Midlands in Bloom \
England Heart of England Heart of England in Bloom \ Heart of England includes Gloucestershiremarker (minus South Gloucestershire), Herefordshiremarker, Shropshiremarker, Staffordshire, Warwickshiremarker, West Midlands, and Worcestershire
England London London in Bloom \
England Northumbria (as North East England) Northumbria in Bloom \
England North West England North West in Bloom \ (as region, less Cumbriamarker)
England South East England South East in Bloom \ (East Sussexmarker, Kentmarker, West Sussexmarker, Surreymarker)
England South West England Southwest in Bloom \ (Bristolmarker, Cornwallmarker, Devonmarker, western Dorsetmarker, Somersetmarker, South Gloucestershire, most of Wiltshiremarker)
England Southern England South in Bloom (run by South East in Bloom)\ (eastern Dorsetmarker, Hampshire, Isle of Wightmarker, southern Wiltshiremarker)
England Thames and Chilterns Thames & Chilterns in Bloom\ (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire)
England Yorkshiremarker Yorkshire in Bloom \
Ulster (Northern Irelandmarker) Ulster (Northern Irelandmarker) Ulster in Bloom
Scotlandmarker Scotland Beautiful Scotland
Walesmarker Walesmarker Wales in Bloom
Isle of Manmarker Isle of Manmarker Isle of Man in Bloom
Guernseymarker Guernseymarker Floral Guernsey
Jerseymarker Jerseymarker Jersey in Bloom


Source of civic pride

Winning a category within Britain in Bloom at a national or even regional level has proved to be a source of considerable civic pride for the towns, cities and villages involved. Many of the authorities of the winning locations do advertise their achievements on signs within, or more predominantly on the outskirts of their settlement. One journalist stated that "Since Britain In Bloom began in 1963 … nothing has pleased town councillors more than to hammer up a sign at the outskirts of their kingdom trumpeting superiority to incoming visitors… Few events provide a sterner test of civic pride." Examples include Garstangmarker where the sign that leads to the high street at the heart of the town says, above the name "Garstang", Britain In Bloom Small Town – Gold Award Winners 2002, 2005, and "Invitation Finalists to Champion of Champions 2006", or Guildfordmarker, which advertises its past triumph in the Town category on its welcome signs.

Further reading



References and notes



External links



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