Linlithgow picks up several awards at Britain in Bloom ceremony

Marj Lochtie and Ron Smith receive the Britain in Bloom gold certificate from TV presenter Chris Bavin, centre.
Marj Lochtie and Ron Smith receive the Britain in Bloom gold certificate from TV presenter Chris Bavin, centre.

Linlithgow is the best blooming town in the UK, according to the Royal Horticultural Society.

Representatives of Burgh Beautiful Linlithgow were awarded several accolades at the recent Britain in Bloom Awards in Belfast.

The local group’s convener, Ron Smith, said: “Not only did we receive a Gold award - our best result so far in Britain in Bloom – but we were also presented with the Best Town award, having won the UK town category.

“We were delighted that all the hard work and commitment of our volunteers, sponsors and donors was so publicly recognised at a national level.

“Also, in receiving a Community Champion award, I was both surprised and honoured to have been nominated and that the Royal Horticultural Society had considered me worthy of such an award.”

Amongst the judges’ comments were: “Many congratulations on an outstanding community-led entry. As a team, you have demonstrated the finest values and outcomes of the Bloom campaign. You are a real credit to your community and Scotland.”

“Outstanding gardening achievement was demonstrated throughout the judges’ route. The business partnerships with Hopetoun Gardens (and Binny Plants) and almost all of the shops are making a real difference.”

“The standard of maintenance and impact of the displays in Learmonth Gardens, along the canal, the historic railway station, the crocodile garden at Water Yett and other areas was excellent.”

“The residential/community garden at West Port flats was exceptional and would have been worthy of a Gold at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.”

“Exceptional cleanliness was demonstrated right through the tour. This was almost entirely achieved by volunteers who worked incredibly hard to achieve the standard and should be congratulated on their achievement. The community management of your street furniture is excellent.”

“Congratulations on not just taking on the challenge of reduced maintenance budgets through your Bye Bye initiative, but also achieving the excellent results you have with so many dedicated and skilled volunteers.

“This is an exceptional example of overcoming adversity. Indeed, the best that either of the judges has seen.”

Mr Smith said: “Our thanks go to the many people who have shown their support by expressing appreciation on Facebook and I must convey special thanks to colleagues in our Competitions Working Group.

“We faced a huge task in co-ordinating the activities related to the entry and I am very grateful for their help.”