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Winchester in Bloom folds after wilting interest
WINCHESTER in Bloom has disbanded following the departure of organisers and falling interest.
The group has been struggling for several years since its heyday around 10-15 years ago.
At its peak Winchester was among the most successful cities in the region regularly winning awards for its displays.
David Platt, acting chairman, said: “It has been very difficult to keep Winchester in Bloom going with six very experienced members of the committee leaving the group during the last five years coupled with a lower level of interest in the gardening competitions year on year.”
But Mr Platt said he hoped that the group may be revived in the future.
Catherine Turness, manager of the Winchester Business Improvement District, said: “Winchester BID is disappointed that Winchester In Bloom is unable to continue but we understand the difficult decision the group has made.
“An incredible amount of voluntary resource and time has previously gone into making the annual competitions a success and we do hope the scheme can be reviewed in the future.”
But Winchester will continue to bloom during the summer as the BID will continue its floral activities.
Ms Turness said: “The BID will continue to provide the hanging baskets and window boxes to BID businesses and we are grateful to Winchester City Council for their support in providing the flower troughs at key locations across the city.”
The Golden Lion, on Alresford Road, Winnall, has won many awards for its spectacular flowers since Derek and Brid Phelan took over five years ago.
Mr Phelan said: “It’s a crying shame. For young people it is a crying shame too. They got involved and it got them off the street.
“We will keep doing the displays and hopefully we might get it back together. We would be willing to help.”
Mr Phelan said coach companies were altering their route past the pub to allow passengers to see the displays.
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