Tameside In Bloom
Work is carried out all year round to improve the appearance of Tameside, from street cleaning and graffiti removal to planting flowers and putting out hanging baskets. However, the judges for Britain in Bloom decide the winners based on what they see on the day they judge the entry. Entrants are given four hours to take two judges on a tour of their area in summer.
The tour needs to showcase our best examples of the items that the judges will be looking for such as floral bedding, sustainable planting including shrubs and trees and community based projects. However, points will be lost for items such as derelict buildings, graffiti, litter, dog fouling and poor planting.
The points are awarded in three categories; horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and community participation. Therefore the tour route must be carefully chosen to ensure that it highlights these criteria.
The same route is used both for the North West in Bloom competition and the Britain in Bloom competition.
The route chosen to display Tameside starts at Park Bridge Heritage Centre in the Park Bridge Countryside Area. The judges are greeted by the officers who will guide them around the route and are shown a DVD which gives them an overview of the work carried out around the borough throughout the year.
The tour will start with a quick trip around the Heritage Centre and will pause to view the sparrow hawk that has been sculpted out of a tree. There are also examples of hedge laying to be seen. The Countryside Officers show the judges the “Bright Shop” area which is being renovated to make it more accessible and to provide a number of different habitats for wildlife. They are shown a scheme being carried out by the Coal Board to divert the river and plant reeds in the banks to help remove heavy metals from the river water.
The judges and officers board the minibus which will transport them around the route.
The party leaves the countryside area and continues along Waggon Road where the route actually crosses into Oldham for a brief distance. The tour turns onto Oldham Road which offers the opportunity to see the gateway features which are situated on the major road routes into Tameside.
As the tour travels along Oldham Road various items of interest will be pointed out to the judges including Waterloo Park. This year a project is being undertaken to plant wildflowers in this area.
The judges see the Broadoak Hotel, which is the site of the recording of the first BBC Radio 4 Gardeners’ Question Time in 1947, and the planting displays in the roundabout and traffic island at this junction.
The tour continues onto Henrietta Street. The Bridal Gardens are pointed out to the judges as an example of green space in a built up area.
The tour pauses at Ashton Market Ground where the judges will see an example of an important retail area in Tameside and will meet representatives from businesses that work with Tameside in Bloom.
As the tour resumes it passes Ashton Bus Station which purchases hanging baskets from Tameside Nursery each summer.
As the judges travel along Wellington Road they see the seventeen new hanging basket planters installed in the central reservation of Wellington Road.
The party travels along Lord Sheldon Way where there are 120,000 spring flowering bulbs planted in the central reservation and an additional 6000 shrubs have been planted along each side of the carriage way.
The judging tour pauses at the Ashton Moss Business Park to show the judges an example of sustainable planting maintained by private businesses.
The party returns along Lord Sheldon Way and the new statues depicting popular local activities are pointed out to the judges.
The next point of interest is the Ashton Memorial Gardens, including the popular planting schemes that contain a mixture of bedding plants and more permanent specimens
The tour exits the roundabout towards Dukinfield and continues into Central Estate, Dukinfield . The judges are taken to the recently rebuilt Lyndhurst Primary School where they meet teachers and pupils. The judges hear about the various environmental features incorporated into the new school building including the sedum roof. The children show the judges the school garden which has been developed after the school achieved second place and a prize of £2,000 in the Green Your Grounds competition in 2009.
The party next visits the Central Residents’ Association at their greenhouse. The residents explain to the judges about the projects that have taken place, including their entry into the North West in Bloom Neighbourhood Awards.
As the judges return to the BT roundabout they have an excellent view of the town heritage bed which is situated in the grounds of St Michael's Church. There is a heritage bed in each town in Tameside. In 2010 they will celebrate the centenary of the Girl Guide movement.
The party passes San Rocco, a private business which purchases summer hanging baskets from Tameside Nursery each year and the new war memorial at the junction with Arundel Street.
The judges visit Willow Wood Hospice where they are shown the work that volunteers from the community and local businesses do to maintain the grounds. Along the way they also meet a resident to see an example of the excellent private front gardens that contribute to making the borough more attractive.
The tour stops next at Stamford Park where the judges walk through the conservatory and then onto the flower garden. The judges see the high quality of bedding displays used throughout the borough’s parks.
The tour continues into Stalybridge and passes Stalybridge rail station which has recently been refurbished. The station will be complemented this year by a planting scheme and hanging baskets at the entrance.
Rififi’s night club, Stalybridge bus station and Cosmo Bingo also purchase summer hanging baskets each year from Tameside Nursery.
At the junction of Mottram Road and Huddersfield Road the judges will see a new planting scheme to commemorate the centenary of the Girl Guide movement. The scheme will use roses which have been named in honour of the anniversary.
The judges visit Mottram Road Allotment Association and see an example of allotments in Tameside and meet the enthusiastic members of the association who count several national champions amongst their number.
The tour continues into Cheetham Park and passes the first bird sanctuary in England which is now maintained by Cheshire Wildlife Trust. The party leave the bus to view the orchard and walk through the park passing the carved wooden sculptures. They continue to the herbaceous border which was planted with assistance from the pupils of St Peter’s primary school pupils and from which they can view the Timeline monument, complemented by planting which includes azaleas and heathers.
The party stops next at Armentieres Square. The judges see the restored canal, the Lock Gate sundial sculpture and the planting at Rose Terrace which is inspired by the area of France which is twinned with Stalybridge. The party walks down Trinity Street to view the planting at the war memorial and at the site of the old Stalybridge Town Hall.
The judging tour ends at Stalybridge Civic Hall where the judges enjoy refreshments and have the opportunity to meet many of the individuals and groups that have contributed to Tameside in Bloom.