“Rye was one of only 60 from 1,800 competitors selected for the Britain in Bloom Competition 2004”. These were the words of Peter Holman Chairman of South and South East in Bloom speaking at a Britain in Bloom Seminar at the George Hotel. He went on to say that “Rye has an exceptional chance of actually winning the small town class in the competition.”
There are only three teams from the whole of the South and South East to have qualified for the 2004 event and Rye is the first town ever to qualify from the Rother District area.
The highest award offered is a Gold Medal and the Rye Committee are adamant that this will be the target. A gold would almost certainly make Rye the winners in the small town class.
To win the competition the support of almost everyone in the community will be essential plus help from the local authorities and principle organisations in the town. The turn out was most promising and included the leader of the East Sussex County Council Peter Jones, Rother District Councillor Granville Bantick, Rye Councillor Paul Osborne, Town Clerk Richard Farhall, Town Manager Yolanda Laybourne, Chamber of Trade Chairman Sarah Nixon, Thomas Peacock Head Ann Cockerham, Tourism Information Centre Manager Joanna Arkley.
The competition is not all about ‘blooms and baskets’ many other factors are taken into account when the judges mark the scores. Extra points are gained for the ‘Community support’, litter free streets, lack of graffiti, even matching litter bins can help the cause.
Back Row: Paul Osborne, Peter Holman, Richard Farhall, Robin Patten, Ian Theakston, Granville Bantick, Brian Griffiths, Paul Keenlyside. Front Row: Sarah Nixon, Yolanda Laybourne, Peter Jones, Joanna Arkley, Lorna Hall and Ann Cockerham.
To win Rye must have the help of Rother District Council, Sussex County Council as well as other agencies inside and outside the town. The good news is that the efforts of Lorna Hall and her amazing committee have attracted the attention of many in high places as can be judged by the impressive attendance at the meeting. All kinds of help and support, both financially and practically can be expected but to win the whole town must get behind the event.
“Rye’s Own” will commit at least a page a month to supporting and promoting Rye in Bloom’s challenge for the Britain in Bloom competition. Let us leave no stone unturned in our effort to attain this great goal. Together we can turn every eye-sore in Rye into a better place, we can plant flowers where they have not been seen before and put on such a display of hanging baskets that the judges will be dazzled.
If Rye can win it will mean great benefits to the town. More tourists, more business and more jobs. It will be a cleaner, smarter better place to live in. Pride in Rye will also result in less vandalism, less graffiti and less street crime, the whole town will be looking out to prevent damage being caused, a close community spirit, similar to that seen in World War Two will be needed if Rye is to win.
If you think you can help practically or by sponsorship please phone Lorna Hall on 01797 229808.
Rye’s Own February 2004
All articles, photographs and drawings on this web site are World Copyright Protected. No reproduction for publication without prior arrangement. © World Copyright 2017 Cinque Ports Magazines Rye Ltd., Guinea Hall Lodge Sellindge TN25 6EG