BUILDING works in the town will not spoil Stourbridge’s chances in this year’s Bloom campaign, the judges told the News today (Thursday).
Mike Garwood and Nicola Clarke from the Heart of England in Bloom campaign were taken on a tour of the town to see if Stourbridge’s team of volunteers had done enough to earn another glittering award.
The town has won four gold gongs to date but repeated heavy rain showers and ongoing regeneration works have threatened to cast a shadow over this year’s efforts.
However head judge Mr Garwood, chairman of Heart of England in Bloom, said it was “nice to see work in progress” in Stourbridge which now boasts a new state-of-the-art bus station and is awaiting the construction of a mammoth new Tesco superstore on the old Crown Centre site.
He said: “With all the major works that are going on in the town I’m impressed that the organisers have been brave enough to ask us back.
“A lot of towns and cities wouldn’t be.
“It’s not all about the blooms and florals. It’s nice to see major redevelopment going on in Stourbridge.
“We like to see work in progress. The town is still clean and tidy so the only impression it’s made on is us a good impression.”
Despite recent downpours - the sun shone as the Heart of England representatives took in the town’s highlights - including Mary Stevens and Stevens Parks, Old Swinford Hospital School, the new Stourbridge Interchange and St Thomas’s Church Hall’s community garden where they met campaign volunteers and supporters.
Judge Nicola Clarke said: “It’s been a very successful visit and it’s been wonderful to meet so many volunteers who really care about their environment and their projects.
“I was particularly impressed with the various groups that are trying to save the River Stour and clean it up.”
Transition Stourbridge launched a Save Our Stour campaign back in February and since then volunteers and fellow group Tidy Stourbridge have held a number of clean-up operations on the river banks.
Stourbridge in Bloom organiser said it was difficult to say whether the town has done enough to scoop yet another gold award but he praised efforts by those backing the campaign including Stourbridge Rotary Club, Churches Together and developers Bowmer & Kirkland.
The results will be revealed on September 13 at a ceremony in Kings Heath in Birmingham.