Celebrating… the Elswick in Bloom team. Picture; RHS/Mark Waugh

Lancashire town triumphs as Champion of Champions

Elswick in Bloom has been awarded the Champion of Champions award in 2017’s Britain in Bloom competition, held on Friday, October 27 at a ceremony in Llandudno.

In the competition’s 53rd year, the event was hosted by presenter and garden designer James Alexander-Sinclair, with 78 groups chosen to represent their region or nation following success in their respective areas last year.

Elswick in Bloom represented the North West region and battled against Aberdeen, Harrogate, Hillsborough in Ulster, Oldham, Portishead and St Peter Port in Guernsey to win the award.

By the way, ignore the nonsense about the group ‘cheating’ in some unsavoury headlines today – nothing to do with this year’s award.

Their entry impressed the RHS judges with bold floral displays, community participation, and environmental responsibility.

Community orchard

The group created a community orchard, beehives, re-planted native primroses, crocus corms, tulips and bluebell bulbs, bird boxes and bug hotels.

A recycling scheme made use of old Christmas trees to help stabilize sand dunes on the nearby coast.

Roger Burnett, chairman of the RHS Britain in Bloom judges, said: “It’s clear that for the people of Elswick, Britain in Bloom is not only a competition but a way of life. The group’s entry was fantastic, very well thought through and of the highest standard.

“Elswick in Bloom’s many volunteers should be applauded for how they’ve turned the village round into somewhere that is clean, green, beautiful and a source of pride for the whole community.”

Bold and impressive bedding. Picture; RHS/Mark Waugh Proud of their achievement – members of Elswick in Bloom. Picture; RHS/Mark Waugh

Discretionary awards

The discretionary awards are given to recognise excellence in specific areas or categories. The winners are:

Involving Young People: Brighter Bothwell, Scotland – ‘An outstanding example of how to engage children and young people in horticulture as a way to help them learn about nature, growing and the environment.’

Wild About Gardens: Newcastle Under Lyme, Heart of England – Extensive wildflower and pollinator beds, in line with the Wild About Gardens campaign, run by the RHS in partnership with the Wildlife Trusts.

Gardening In A Changing Climate: Bothwell Community Garden, Scotland – Singled out by the judges for the use of renewable energy, water conservation, reuse of materials, an all-organic policy and beekeeping.

Overcoming Adversity: Bury in Bloom, North West – Tackling vandalism ‘head-on’ with resolve.

Overcoming Adversity: Forres in Bloom, Scotland – Forres adapted to the major challenge of its local plant and gardening materials supplier closing. The group grew more than 30,000 bedding plants in a small nursery.

Parks and Green Spaces: Seaton Park, Aberdeen, Scotland – Flood mitigation measures, ‘an impressive range of trees and shrubs across the whole park, wide successional planting and some outstanding specimen trees.’ It also hosts activities to suit people from all parts of the community.

Growing Communities: Oldham, North West – Programme of community involvement, known as Bloom and Grow, a range of ‘growing hubs’, including food growing initiatives in parks, garden competitions, a Love Where You Live campaign and ‘fruit commuter routes’.

Growing Communities: Walthamstow, London – A public vegetable plot, meadow, orchard, village square and community shop.

Sitting pretty… the Elswick in Bloom team. Picture; RHS/Mark Waugh Community orchard impressed the judges. Picture; RHS/Mark Waugh

Full results

  • Aberdeen (Champion of Champions, Scotland) Gold
  • Aldridge (Urban Community, Heart of England) Gold
  • Altrincham (Large Town, North West) Silver Gilt
  • Ballymena (Large Town, Ulster) Silver Gilt
  • Barnoldswick (Town, North West) Silver Gilt
  • Belfast (Large City, Ulster) Silver Gilt
  • Belper (Large Town, East Midlands) Gold
  • Blackburn Town Centre (Business Improvement District, North West) Gold
  • Bothwell (Small Town, Scotland) Silver Gilt
  • Bray (Small Village, Thames and Chilterns) Silver Gilt
  • Bury (Small City, North West) Silver Gilt
  • Cannington (Large Village, South West) Silver Gilt
  • Canterbury (Small City, South East) Gold
  • Chesham (Large Town, Thames and Chilterns) Silver Gilt
  • Clifton (Urban Community, South West) Silver Gilt
  • Colchester (Small City, Anglia) Silver Gilt
  • Coupar Angus (Large Village, Scotland) Gold
  • Croston (Large Village, North West) Silver Gilt
  • Cullybackey (Large Village, Ulster) Silver Gilt
  • Dalston (Large Village, Cumbria) Gold
  • Deal (Coastal >12,000, South East) Silver Gilt
  • Derry City (Small City, Ulster) Gold
  • Didsbury (Urban Community, North West) Gold
  • Donaghmore (Village, Ulster) Gold
  • Elswick (Champion of Champions, North West) Gold
  • Farnham (Large Town, South East) Gold
  • Filby (Village, Anglia) Gold
  • Forres (Town, Scotland) Gold
  • Halstead (Town, Anglia) Gold
  • Harrogate (Champion of Champions, Yorkshire) Gold
  • Hillsborough (Champion of Champions, Ulster) Gold
  • Hunstanton (Coastal <12,000, Anglia) Silver Gilt
  • Hutton Cranswick (Large Village, Yorkshire) Gold
  • Kendal (Large Town, Cumbria) Silver Gilt
  • Kilconquhar (Small Village, Scotland) Silver Gilt
  • Kirkcaldy (Small City, Scotland) Silver Gilt
  • Littleover (Urban Community, East Midlands) Silver
  • Llandudno (Coastal >12,000, Wales) Gold
  • London Borough of Ealing (Large City, London) Silver
  • London Borough of Hillingdon (Large City, London) Gold
  • London Borough of Islington (City, London) Silver
  • London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (City, London) Silver
  • London Borough of Tower Hamlets (City, London) Silver Gilt
  • London Bridge (Business Improvement District, London) Gold
  • Mansfield (Business Improvement District, East Midlands) Silver Gilt
  • Market Bosworth (Large Village, East Midlands) Gold
  • Newcastle (Coastal <12,000, Ulster) Silver Gilt
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme (Small City, Heart of England) Gold
  • Newquay (Coastal >12,000, South West) Gold
  • North Berwick (Coastal <12,000, Scotland) Gold
  • Norwich (Business Improvement District, Anglia) Gold
  • Oadby & Wigston (Small City, East Midlands) Silver Gilt
  • Oldham (Champion of Champions, North West) Gold
  • Otley (Town, Yorkshire) Silver Gilt
  • Pebworth (Village, Heart of England) Silver Gilt
  • Pembrey & Burry (Port Town, Wales) Silver Gilt
  • Penrith (Business Improvement District, Cumbria) Gold
  • Ponteland (Small Town, Northumbria) Silver Gilt
  • Portishead (Champion of Champions, South West) Gold
  • Randalstown (Small Town, Ulster) Gold
  • Sark (Village, Guernsey) Silver Gilt
  • Sherborne (Town, South West) Silver Gilt
  • Sidmouth (Coastal <12,000, South West) Gold
  • Silloth-on-Solway (Coastal <12,000, Cumbria) Silver Gilt
  • St Aubin (Village, Jersey) Gold
  • St Helier (Coastal >12,000, Jersey) Gold
  • St Peter Port (Champion of Champions, Guernsey) Gold
  • St Saviour (Town, Jersey) Silver Gilt
  • Stanghow (Small Village, Northumbria) Gold
  • Starbeck (Urban Community, Yorkshire) Silver Gilt
  • Truro (Large Town, South West) Gold
  • Uddingston (Urban Community, Scotland) Gold
  • Uppingham (Small Town, East Midlands) Gold
  • Usk (Large Village, Wales) Gold
  • Uttoxeter (Town, Heart of England) Silver Gilt
  • Walthamstow Village (Urban Community, London) Gold
  • Wareham (Small Town, South) Silver Gilt
  • Whitby (Coastal <12,000, Yorkshire) Silver Gilt

With the Britain in Bloom final judging fortnight now at an end, many In Bloomers across the UK may be taking a well-earned rest while they await the results in October. We have no doubt that judges will have seen some beautiful sights on their travels.

More than 3,000 cities, towns, villages and urban communities took part in the 2017 Royal Horticultural Society’s community gardening campaign. This number has been narrowed down to just 79 entries that made it to the final stage of the competition.

RHS Britain in Bloom finals

To make it into the finals it takes a high level of quality, commitment and determination. With the number of entries increasing each year, it is an impressive achievement just making it onto the finalist list which is available to browse here. Well done to all of the finalists – but also to all the other hard working entrants whose efforts have done so much to improve their environment.

The finals bring together the highest achievers from all of the 16 regions and nations participating in the campaign. Each entry is assigned to a category depending on the size of their area. These include Large City, Large Town, Small Village, Urban Community and Champion of Champions.

Expectations from the judges are high and the judging process is rigorous, focusing on achievements in environmental responsibility, community participation and horticultural achievement.

What happens from here?

Important Britain in Bloom dates:

  • Judging fortnight 31st July – 12th August.
  • Finalists need to submit images of their work by 31st August. These images may be used at the awards ceremony, on the website or in the magazine.
  • Finalists will learn their fate on October 27th at the RHS Britain in Bloom UK finals award ceremony

Getting your Britain in Bloom entry prepared

At Amberol, we are avid supporters of the competition. We work with a range of councils, community groups and businesses across the country to help support their entry. We supply self-watering planters, litter bins and benches made form 100% recycled polyethylene. Click here To find out more about how Amberol can help improve your public space or call us on 01773 830 930.

Essential maintenance

Bloom results 2017

This year during July and August the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) spent 13 days in Manchester judging all of our In Bloom groups across the city. Bloom is a very misleading title for the campaign as most people think it is all about flowers and bedding plants, the actual scores are made up as follows:

  • Horticultural achievement = 30%
  • Community involvement = 40%
  • Environmental/Composting/Recycling/Litter + Graffiti = 30%

We have a big part to play in the environmental quality of the entries with grass cutting, shrub and hedge maintenance and general cleanliness.

Last year Manchester received 124 RHS Awards which made us the number one authority in the UK. This year the RHS have invited 148 of our groups to their awards ceremony, which was in November, you only get an invite if you have won an award so we will still be the leading authority on Bloom in 2017!

This year we have also got the ward of Didsbury in the National Britain in Bloom finals.

Summary of the Bloom awards:

  • 2 School Certificates of Merit;
  • 6 5 Year of Continuous Gold Certificates;
  • 11 Main Trophy /Awards;
  • 11 Bronze;
  • 50 Silver;
  • 39 Silver Gilt; and
  • 47 Gold.

Dame Penelope Keith returns to telly with another delightful travel series centered on villages in Britain, only this time bragging rights and money are involved.

Penelope Keith’s Village of the Year: (L-R) Patrick Grant, Penelope Keith, Alex Langlands & Juliet Sargeant — Photo © Tessa Newmark Photography, courtesy of Acorn TV

Two-time BAFTA Awards winner Penelope Keith (To the Manor Born, Executive Stress) has a thing for British villages.

A proud villager herself, she presented the first of her travelogue series, Penelope Keith’s Hidden Villages, starting in 2014, followed by Penelope Keith’s Hidden Coastal Villages in 2017.

Her latest is Penelope Keith’s Village of the Year, a travel and competition series in which she and her team of judges scour the length and breadth of Britain to give one village the coveted crown plus prize money of £10,000.

The judges are archaeologist and village historian Alex Langlands, garden designer and RHS Chelsea Garden Show gold medal winner Juliet Sargeant, and craft expert and village dweller Patrick Grant.

In the episodes that make up the competition’s heats, Penelope and the judges each visit one of four villages out of the 76 that were shortlisted — organized across the 24 episodes into the Western, South East, Central, and Northern Zones — and collectively select the one that will continue on to the zone’s semi-final. Ultimately, only one the four semi-finalists will be named Village of the Year and receive the £10,000 in the series finale.

The first episode finds Penelope in Charmouth in West Dorset, where she discovers a type of dinosaur fossil that can be found along the village’s Jurassic coastline. Patrick visit Redbrook, the village that sits directly on the English-Welsh border and is “split down the middle by the River Wye” with England on one side and Wales on the other. On the Devon-Cornwall border is the village of Lydford, where Juliet learns where the name “Saxon” comes from. And Alex heads to North Wales to the village of Aberdaron, which is sometimes referred to as “the land’s end of Wales” due to its remoteness.

As with the other programs in her travel series, Penelope Keith’s Village of the Year will fire up your wanderlust in all kinds of ways. It is filled with spectacular aerial views and gorgeous on-the-ground shots of the villages, and chats with locals who share interesting and often funny anecdotes and tidbits of history about the villages. The whole thing is fun and charming and well worth a watch.

Penelope Keith’s Village of the Year premieres in the US with its first four episodes on Monday, June 17, exclusively on Acorn TV and the Acorn TV channel on Amazon. The series’ debut continues on consecutive Mondays with four episodes each.

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Redbourn to feature in Channel 4 show

PUBLISHED: 09:00 21 January 2018

Anne Suslak

The Village of the Year judges.

Archant

Redbourn has been shortlisted in a national competition to be crowned village of the year.

The ‘Village of the Year’ competition airs on Channel 4, and sees Penelope Keith travel around the UK with a team of three judges to find Britain’s best village. As well as the title, the winning village will receive £10,000.

Penelope’s team of judges includes archaeologist and village historian Alex Langlands, garden designer Juliet Sargeant and fashion designer and Great British Sewing Bee presenter Patrick Grant.

Together, they will explore villages and soak up local architecture, rural pastimes and forgotten traditions and skills, culminating in a grand finale revealing the overall winner.

While in Redbourn Juliet will break bread with the local miller. The episode also features the village of Findon, Rowhedge in Essex and Coxheath in Kent.

Redbourn parish councillor Ivan Hickmott, who put together the application for the show, said: “The TV company made two visits and met a number of people and saw some of our historical sites.

“I am delighted that they shortlisted us and said on the basis of their second visit that we’d have our 10 to 15 minutes of fame. We are absolutely thrilled.

“They met with me and had a trip to Redbournbury Mill and they met the local miller who talked them through the baking process, which was fantastic.

“In terms of marketing the village, which is something we are trying to give more attention to, this is ideal.”

During the show, the judges will meet “quirky characters” that make up British life, seeing everything from scarecrow championships to Second World War festivals, aiming to capture all that is great about rural communities.

The show airs every day on Channel 4 at 3pm, with a peak show every Saturday at 8pm. During the peak show, five villages from the week’s heats will go head to head for a spot in the grand final. The finale will air on Saturday, February 10 at 8pm.

The Redbourn episode will air at 3pm on Thursday, January 25.

What’s the Difference Between Great Britain and the United Kingdom?

Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

The names Great Britain and United Kingdom are often used interchangeably. However, they are not actually synonymous. The reason for the two names, and the difference between them, has to do with the expansive history of the British Isles.

The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwestern coast of Europe. The largest of these islands are Britain and Ireland. (Smaller ones include the Isle of Wight.) In the Middle Ages, the name Britain was also applied to a small part of France now known as Brittany. As a result, Great Britain came into use to refer specifically to the island. However, that name had no official significance until 1707, when the island’s rival kingdoms of England and Scotland were united as the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Ireland, meanwhile, had effectively been an English colony since the 12th century, and after the emergence of Great Britain, it remained under the influence of the British crown. In 1801 it formally joined with Great Britain as a single political entity, which became known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland—or the United Kingdom for short. However, the union lasted only until 1922, when Ireland (with the exception of six counties in the north) seceded. Ireland soon became a sovereign republic, and its former partner took on the official name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Great Britain, therefore, is a geographic term referring to the island also known simply as Britain. It’s also a political term for the part of the United Kingdom made up of England, Scotland, and Wales (including the outlying islands that they administer, such as the Isle of Wight). United Kingdom, on the other hand, is purely a political term: it’s the independent country that encompasses all of Great Britain and the region now called Northern Ireland.

Great Britain versus the United KingdomThe map shows the territories of the British Isles and the names by which they should be referred to.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc./Kenny Chmielewski

Britain leaves the European Union, leaps into the unknown

LONDON (AP) — So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu.

With little fanfare, Britain left the European Union on Friday after 47 years of membership, taking a leap into the unknown in a historic blow to the bloc.

The U.K.’s departure became official at 11 p.m. (2300GMT), midnight in Brussels, where the EU is headquartered. Thousands of enthusiastic Brexit supporters gathered outside Britain’s Parliament to welcome the moment they’d longed for since Britain’s 52%-48% vote in June 2016 to walk away from the club it had joined in 1973. The flag-waving crowd erupted in cheers as Big Ben bonged 11 times — on a recording. Parliament’s real bell has been silenced for repairs.

In a message from nearby 10 Downing St., Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Britain’s departure “a moment of real national renewal and change.”

But many Britons mourned the loss of their EU identity, and some marked the passing with tearful vigils. There was also sadness in Brussels as British flags were quietly removed from the bloc’s many buildings.

Whether Brexit makes Britain a proud nation that has reclaimed its sovereignty, or a diminished presence in Europe and the world, will be debated for years to come.

While Britain’s exit is a historic moment, it only marks the end of the first stage of the Brexit saga. When Britons wake up on Saturday, they will notice very little change. The U.K. and the EU have given themselves an 11-month “transition period” — in which the U.K. will continue to follow the bloc’s rules — to strike new agreements on trade, security and a host of other areas.

Full Coverage: Brexit

The now 27-member EU will have to bounce back from one of its biggest setbacks in its 62-year history to confront an ever more complicated world as its former member becomes a competitor, just across the English Channel.

French President Emmanuel Macron called Brexit a “historic alarm signal” that should force the EU to improve itself.

“It’s a sad day, let’s not hide it,” he said in a televised address. “But it is a day that must also lead us to do things differently.”

He insisted that European citizens need a united Europe “more than ever,” to defend their interests in the face of China and the United States, to cope with climate change and migration and technological upheaval.

In the many EU buildings of Brussels on Friday, British flags were quietly lowered, folded and taken away. This is the first time a country has left the EU, and many in the bloc rued the day. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen lamented that “as the sun rises tomorrow, a new chapter for our union of 27 will start.”

But she warned Brexit day would mark a major loss for the U.K. and said the island nation was heading for a lonelier existence.

“Strength does not lie in splendid isolation, but in our unique union,” she said.

Johnson insisted post-Brexit Britain would be “simultaneously a great European power and truly global in our range and ambitions.”

“We want this to be the beginning of a new era of friendly cooperation between the EU and an energetic Britain,” Johnson said in a pre-recorded address to the country broadcast an hour before Britain’s exit.

In a break with usual practice, independent media outlets were not allowed to film Johnson’s speech, which the government recorded Thursday at 10 Downing St.

Johnson won an election victory in December with a dual promise to “get Brexit done” and deliver improved jobs, infrastructure and services for Britain’s most deprived areas, where support for leaving the EU is strongest. On Friday, he symbolically held a Cabinet meeting in the pro-Brexit town of Sunderland in northeast England, rather than in London.

Johnson is a Brexit enthusiast, but he knows many Britons aren’t, and his Conservative government sought to mark the moment with quiet dignity. Red, white and blue lights illuminated government buildings and a countdown clock projected onto the prime minister’s Downing Street residence.

There was no such restraint in nearby Parliament Square, where arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage gathered a crowd of several thousand, who belted out the patriotic song “Land of Hope and Glory” as they waited for the moment that even Farage sometimes doubted would ever come.

“This is the single most important moment in the modern history of our great nation,” Farage told the crowd.

“The war is over,” said Farage, who often describes Britain’s relationship with Europe in martial terms. “We have won.”

Londoner Donna Jones said she had come to “be part of history.”

“It doesn’t mean we’re anti-Europe, it just means we want to be self-sufficient in a certain way,” she said.

But Britons who cherished their membership in the bloc — and the freedom it bought to live anywhere across of 28 countries — were mourning.

“Many of us want to just mark our sadness in public,” said Ann Jones, who joined dozens of other remainers on a march to the EU’s mission in London.

“And we don’t want trouble, we just want to say, well you know, we didn’t want this.”

Britain’s journey to Brexit has been long, rocky — and far from over.

The U.K. was never a wholehearted EU member, but actually leaving the bloc was long considered a fringe idea. It gradually gained strength within the Conservative Party, which has a wing of fierce “euroskeptics” — opponents of EU membership. Former Prime Minister David Cameron eventually agreed to hold a referendum, saying he wanted to settle the issue once and for all.

It hasn’t worked out that way. Since the 2016 vote, the U.K. has held fractious negotiations with the EU that finally, late last year, secured a deal on divorce terms. But Britain is leaving the bloc arguably as divided as it was on referendum day.

By and large, Britain’s big cities voted to stay in the EU, while small towns voted to leave. England and Wales backed Brexit, while Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain.

Candlelit vigils were held in several Scottish cities, government buildings in Edinburgh were lit up in the EU’s blue and yellow colors, and the bloc’s flag continued to fly outside the Scottish Parliament.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Brexit was “a moment of profound sadness.”

“And here in Scotland, given that it is happening against the will of the vast majority of us, that sadness will be tinged with anger,” she said in a speech in Edinburgh.

Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party government is demanding the right to hold a referendum on independence from the U.K., something Johnson refuses to grant.

London, which is home to more than 1 million EU citizens, also voted by a wide margin to stay in the bloc.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was “heartbroken” about Brexit. But he insisted London would remain that welcomed all, regardless of “the color of your skin, the color of your flag, the color of your passport.”

Negotiations between Britain and the EU on their new relationship are due to start in earnest in March, and the early signs are not encouraging. The EU says Britain can’t have full access to the EU’s single market unless it follows the bloc’s rules, but Britain insists it will not agree to follow an EU rule book in return for unfettered trade.

With Johnson adamant he won’t extend the transition period beyond Dec. 31, months of uncertainty and acrimony lie ahead.

In the English port of Dover, just 20 miles (32 kilometers) across the Channel from France, retiree Philip Barry said he was confident it would all be worth it.

“My expectation is that there may be a little bump or two in the road but in the end it will even out,” he said. “Somebody once said: short-term pain but long-term gain.”

Associated Press video journalists Jo Kearney and Philipp-Moritz Jenne contributed. Casert reported from Brussels.

Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit and British politics at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit

The Difference Between the UK, Great Britain and England

Copyright: pavalena / 123RF Stock Photo

By Liz Olson

There are key differences between Great Britain, the United Kingdom, and England—names often used interchangeably.

Great Britain

Great Britain is an island that consists of three somewhat autonomous regions that include England, Scotland and Wales. It is located east of Ireland and northwest of France in the Atlantic Ocean. The term Great Britain is often used as a synonym of the United Kingdom, though the two are different.

The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom (commonly abbreviated UK) is a country that includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Its official name is United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. While England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are called countries, there exist regulations and policies in those states that are determined by the UK. The capital city of the United Kingdom is London.

England

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. England is the largest and most populous nation in the UK. It is bounded by Wales and the Irish Sea to the west and Scotland to the north. The English Channel, the Strait of Dover, and the North Sea separate it from Europe to the east. The Isle of Wight, off the southern mainland in the English Channel, and the Scilly Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean off the southwestern tip of the mainland, are considered part of England.

The Commonwealth of Nations

The Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary association of 52 states or countries that were formerly British colonies or territories. Members of the Commonwealth of Nations recognize the United Kingdom’s Monarch as their own king or queen, but remain politically independent. The Commonwealth has no constitution. The Singapore Declaration of Commonwealth Principles, however, states that the Commonwealth is “a voluntary association of independent sovereign states each responsible for its own policies, consulting and co-operating in the common interests of their peoples and in the promotion of international understanding and world peace.”

Members of the Commonwealth of Nations

Antigua and Barbuda Australia Bahamas
Bangladesh Barbados Belize
Botswana Brunei Canada
Cameroon Cyprus Dominica
Gambia Ghana Grenada
Guyana India Jamaica
Kenya Kiribati Lesotho
Malawi Malaysia Maldives
Malta Mauritius Mozambique
Nigeria Papua New Guinea Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa
Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore
Solomon Islands South Africa Sri Lanka
Swaziland Tanzania Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago Tuvalu Uganda
United Kingdom Nauru New Zealand
Namibia Vanuatu Zambia

You Might Also Be Searching For

  • Great Britain
  • England
  • Wales
  • Scotland
  • Northern Ireland
  • United Kingdom
  • Commonwealth of Nations
  • British Monarch
  • Isle of Man
*This page was updated in September 2017. A previous version of this article referred to The British Isles. Direct all feedback to editorsinfoplease.com.

May I wish everyone a Happy New Year and with the festive season behind us we look forward with optimism for another successful bloom year. It will be great to start implementing all of our plans for 2020 with what I believe will be another stunning display on our main bed as well as implementing some of the ideas for improving the other wildlife friendly displays around the town.
The RHS theme this year is ‘Grow Social’ to encourage ‘bloomers’ to make new connections in their communities, something we do pretty well anyway!
We have made such a difference to the attractiveness of Kingsbridge though our RHS Britain in Bloom successes and this has helped seed ideas by KTC and ourselves for the implementation of further public realm improvements which will be be phased in over the coming months.
Through the local media I have managed to achieve good coverage of our work and achievements in the hope that we will continue to receive the support and goodwill by the local business community to be able to fund our campaign this year but it always seems to be a real challenge,however I remain optimistic.
The team have been made aware of the significant events and time frames for this year via email regarding the South West in Bloom seminar, judging, awards and children’s painting competition but some of these lack detail so I will endeavor to ensure more information is passed on when it becomes available.
In the meantime I very much look forward to seeing you all at our weekly working parties.
​​​​​​Graham Price

The Kingsbridge In Bloom team welcomed the national judges from the Royal Horticultural Society, with a special welcome from the town crier.

A group of the volunteers who give up their time to make Kingsbridge look beautiful, gathered together to welcome the two judges from Britain In Bloom, Kim Parish and Lesley Jelleyman, who are judging for the Britain In Bloom National Finals.

Kingsbridge’s Town Crier, Roger Pinder, welcomed the judges with an announcement about the specialness of Kingsbridge and the volunteers of Kingsbridge In Bloom.

Graham Price, chair of Kingsbridge In Bloom, said: “Earlier this year Kingsbridge was invited to represent the South West region in the RHS National finals of Britain in Bloom.

“On Monday this week the sun shone and the town looked at it’s very best with stunning floral displays and good examples of horticultural excellence throughout.

“We escorted two RHS National Judges Lesley Jelleyman and Kim Parish to various locations throughout the town for the two-and-a-half-hour assessment, finishing at the Methodist Church to view the display of work carried out by the team over the past twelve months.

“They were particularly impressed by how the group had completely transformed the look of the the town over the last ten years.

“The judges were very impressed by the effort put into the campaign by our Bloom team and the fact that we have a very clean and attractive town, which we are very proud of.

“We are privileged to have been chosen to represent the SW against all of the other regions in UK but we will not know our result until late October when they will be announced at the RHS awards function at the Waterside Centre in Belfast.

“The team have worked tirelessly to get to where we are so fingers crossed for a good result!”

This dedicated team of volunteers at Kingsbridge In Bloom, now in it’s eleventh year, have played a major part in transforming the small medieval market town on the south coast of Devon into a thriving and attractive place for the community and many visitors to enjoy.

You can see Roger welcoming the judges on our below.

Also in the news

THE Kingsbridge In Bloom team welcomed Royal Horticultural Society judge Terry Porter to the town on Monday morning and are hoping to ‘maintain their gold status’.

Terry joined the Graham Price, KIB chair, Chris Povey, Mayor of Kingsbridge, and the rest of the KIB team as he starts his judging for the Britain in Bloom competition.

KIB volunteers have been working everyday to get the town ready for the judging, its Gill Matthews saying ‘We’ve been out every day of the week, doing everything possible and really pulling out all the stops in the hope we can maintain our gold status for our lovely town.’

Graham Price said they were ‘doing all we can’ to make Terry’s visit ‘interesting and enjoyable’. Terry himself said that it was important to ‘encourage as many local people as possible’ to support Britain In Bloom teams.

The results of the competition will be announced on October 6 at Taunton Cricket Club after the team of 40 judges have visited all the contenders in the South West over the next few weeks.

Good luck to Kingsbridge In Bloom!

Ronnie O’Sullivan is the defending champion at Champion of Champions (Picture: Getty Images)

The Champion of Champions only returned to the snooker calendar in 2013 but it has quickly become one of the highlights of the season and it takes place this week in Coventry.

The 16-player event sees winners of tournaments from the last year compete for big money, as the victor walks away with a cool £150,000 from Sunday’s final.

Ronnie O’Sullivan is the defending champion and has reached the last three finals in Coventry, but world champion Judd Trump will be coming in full of confidence after winning the World Open in Yushan on Sunday.

Women’s world champion Reanne Evans is making her debut in the tournament, taking on Shaun Murphy on Monday afternoon, while Jimmy White is also involved having won the World Seniors Championship.

When is Champion of Champions 2019?

The tournament runs from Monday 4 – Sunday 10 November.

Judd Trump is coming off a World Open victory on Sunday (Picture: VCG via Getty Images)

Champion of Champions 2019 draw and schedule

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Mon 4 Nov
1pm – Group 4 Semi-Finals (best of 7)
Neil Robertson vs Martin Gould
Shaun Murphy vs Reanne Evans

7pm – Group Final (best of 11)
Robertson/Gould vs Murphy/Evans

Tue 5 Nov
1pm – Group 3 Semi-Finals (best of 7)
Mark Selby vs Yan Bingtao
Mark Allen vs Matthew Selt

7pm – Group Final (best of 11)
Selby/Yan vs Allen/Selt

Wed 6 Nov
1pm – Group 2 Semi-Finals (best of 7)
Judd Trump vs Stephen Maguire
Kyren Wilson vs Thepchaiya Un-Nooh

7pm | Group Final (best of 11)
Trump/Maguire vs Wilson/Un-Nooh

Thu 7 Nov
1pm – Group 1 Semi-Finals (best of 7)
Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Jimmy White
John Higgins vs Stuart Bingham

7pm – Group Final (best of 11)

O’Sullivan/White vs. Higgins/Bingham

Fri 8 Nov
7pm – Semi-Final (best of 11) – Winner Group 1 vs. Winner Group 4

Sat 9 Nov
7pm – Semi-Final – Winner Group 2 vs. Winner Group 3

Sun 10 Nov
1pm & 7pm – Final (best of 19)

What TV channel is Champion of Champions on and is there a live stream?

ITV4 will be showing all the action live, with subscribers able to stream the matches on the ITV Hub.

Champion of Champions odds

9/4 Ronnie O’Sullivan
11/4 Judd Trump
6/1 Neil Robertson
15/2 Mark Selby
10/1 Mark Allen
10/1 Shaun Murhpy
16/1 John Higgins
20/1 Kyren Wilson
22/1 Stuart Bingham
50/1 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
100/1 Martin Gould
100/1 Yan Bingtao
100/1 Stephen Maguire
150/1 Matt Selt
1500/1 Jimmy White
5000/1 Reanne Evans

Odds courtesy of Betfair

Champion of Champions prize money

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  • Winner: £150,000
  • Runner-up: £60,000
  • Losing semi-finalist: £30,000
  • Group runner-up: £17,500
  • First round losers: £12,500

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