The Bury in Bloom story

How the Bury Society started Bury in Bloom in 1986

Former Chairman Mike Ames had a key role in starting Bury in Bloom on behalf of the Bury Society. Here is his article, from the Autumn 1986 newsletter, along with early archive material from 1987 and 1988.

Just a few moments ago I was buying some food items in preparation for this evening’s dinner, from shops in Abbeygate Street when I noticed two sales assistants watering the flowers outside their premises. Then the thought crossed my mind that late in September Bury is still Blooming and some people are still caring by feeding and watering their plants. Isn’t that what Bury in Bloom is all about; CARING how our various buildings look and how flowers brighten them up and their surroundings, not only for ourselves but for all who visit our town. Many people, residents, commuters and tourists have commented how colourful and pleasing the town has looked throughout this summer through the efforts of those who participated in this Society’s first Bury in Bloom venture.

Of course, such an event does not just happen. Many months and long hours have been spent by those people who formed a very active committee. Much preparation, planning, administration, contacts, both far and near were made in order to get our community moving and participating in the enterprise. The fact that Bury did Bloom this year was due to a very active committee led by a very persuasive Chairman and backed by a great deal of public goodwill. Main public areas and buildings were taken on by the Borough Councils Parks Department. It was very encouraging for the organising committee to have the support, backing and faith of the Council on this first Bury in Bloom.

The judging took place in July by a very dedicated panel who worked against the clock to produce the finalists who had entered in competitive spirit. Many wonderful prizes and trophies were awarded through the generosity of our sponsors, ‘Gardening Hour’ on the local’ radio with national and local experts on its panel came live from The Corn Exchange and proved a colourful and fitting climax to the efforts of an those who had contributed to Bury in Bloom 1986. Indeed, it was a proud moment when at the conclusion of the evening the Mayor of St. Edmundsbury presented the prizes to the winning entrants, witnessed by the local M.P. and an audience of several hundred.

I guess that, as you are reading this article many of those window boxes, tubs or hanging baskets have been emptied of their contents and the containers put away for another year. — Yes, another year! 1987 will soon be upon us and 1987 will be a challenge to us all to make Bury bloom yet again. Your society is determined to make next year is venture even bigger and brighter than 1986 — a challenge indeed! !

Will you be prepared to make a promise now to participate and get your resident families, friends and colleagues to follow your example? Let the members of the Bury Society show everyone both townsfolk and visitors to Bury that we are proud to have Bury St. Edmunds as our town and we show it by caring for it in 1987, by saying it with flowers.

Mike Ames, Chairman for Bury In Bloom 1987

Click here to download a pdf of Bury in Bloom winners from 1987

Click here to download a pdf of the launch of Bury in Bloom 1988


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