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The Heart of England in Bloom judges visited Ross-on-Wye last Tuesday and were very impressed; not only with the way the town looked on 'Judgement Day,' but also with the community spirit which became more and more evident to them as they made their tour through the streets. Local traders and volunteers as well as Amey Herefordshire had been out from early that morning to ensure that everything was still in order for the important visit. Ross-in-Bloom work hard all year round, planning their latest campaign and their hard work pays off with them generally doing very well in the awards.

Guided by the Ross-in-Bloom team, the judges, Mark Wiltshire, Roger Bache and David Franks visited the riverside, St. Mary's Churchyard, including the Garden of Remembrance, which is beautifully kept by a small team of volunteers. They were taken around the town and were also proudly shown Ross-in-Bloom's pet projects for the year; the continual improvement of Pigs Alley and the Jubilee renovation of the Thomas Blake Memorial Gardens. They seemed particularly interested to learn that the whole family of Radcliffe House Guest House and other residents of Wye Street are actively taking part in this major makeover. Whilst at the garden, the judges were asked to select the winner of the Ross-in-Bloom Childrens' Scarecrow competition, sponsored by the Ross Gazette.

Continued . . .

Carnival Princess Hazel Ashrat joins the Ross-in-Bloom team and the judges at the riverside. Photograph by John Bullough.

The judges select the winning scarecrow.

A welcome sign for the judges in the ever improving Pigs Alley.

During their tour, the three gentlemen were driven round in a vehicle kindly loaned to RiB for the day by Charmaine Danter and on the way were pleased to be greeted by members of ART and the wonderful sight of floral arrangements provided by Ross Garden Store. After visiting the Charities Market at Ross Market House where many organizations were raising money for their causes, the judges continued their journey through the town before being taken to The Chase Hotel where they enjoyed a delicious tea. We shall know the outcome of their visit in September and will keep our fingers crossed.

Ross-in-Bloom Chairman, Margaret Lucas said that she was delighted with how well the day went adding that she was very pleased to see so many people and so much colour around the town. 'Ross was spotless and I would like to thank everybody who did their bit to make the visit an enjoyable and light hearted occasion. Everybody knows who they are, so to avoid the embarrassment of leaving people out, please accept a blanket 'Thank you' on behalf of myself and my team who once again pulled out all the stops.'

Continued . . .

One of the delightful mini murals which brighten up Pigs Alley.

The once intimidating Pigs Alley is now bright and cheerful thanks to Ross-in-Bloom.

Mayor and Mayoress Ravenscroft raising money for SSAFA at the charities market.

Ross-in-Bloom are also pleased to announce that the winners in their local 'Best Dressed Windows for 2011' competition are as follows:

Traders Gold (joint) and The Leadership Trust Trophy: Ruby Tuesday and Like's Florist.
Silver Gilt: Parkfields, The County Collection, George Nicholls, Essential Sewing, Cushty and Hallmark Cards.
Silver: JDs, Bam Boozled, Little Chic and Pedlars Nest.

Charity Gold and the Sinclair-Powell Trophy: Oxfam
Silver Gilt: Barnardo's and Sue Ryder.

Well done to you all

Continued . . .

Iris Price supporting Help for Heroes.

The Ross Branch of the Royal British Legion.

Commander Lampert raising funds for Training Ship Ross.

Evidence of the work of Ross-in-Bloom in black & white (and glorious colour).

At the end of a hard day's judging, everybody returns to The Chase Hotel for tea.
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