Friday, 31 October 2014

Carrickfergus in Bloom Winners Honoured at Prize-Giving

Community floral and artistic creativity was recognised by the Carrickfergus in Bloom initiative organised by Carrickfergus Borough Council. The local ‘Best Kept’ competition winners and runners received their well earned certificates and prizes at a prize-giving lunch in Carrickfergus Town Hall today (Friday 31st October) with over 90 people attending the event.
Competition categories included Best Kept Garden & Best Kept Container Garden for householders; Best Kept Commercial Premises for commercial organisations; Painting, Poetry and Tallest Sunflower Competitions for young people.

At the Lunch, the Chairperson of Parks, Countryside & Amenities Sub-Committee, Alderman May Beattie thanked all those who took part in the competition and made it such a success. “The Carrickfergus in Bloom Community Competitions have really caught the imagination of our Boroughs citizens. This year over 1,230 people created some beautiful floral displays that we can all enjoy." said Alderman Beattie

“This year we have a great deal to celebrate, at the Britain in Bloom awards, the Borough received two silver gilt awards for Carrickfergus and Whitehead towns, our best result since the inception of the competition. We also received awards at Ulster in Bloom.”

“Carrickfergus in Bloom is a beacon of community gardening good practice, as it encourages people to get involved, builds community spirit and improves the environment we all live in. With initiatives such as our school growing clubs and green gyms which create opportunities for health, wellbeing and learning.”

Alderman Beattie also thanked the competition sponsors who paid for many of the flowerbeds and hanging baskets throughout the Borough. "The success of Carrickfergus in Bloom could not have happened without the generous support of local businesses throughout the Borough of Carrickfergus."

"We would also thank our partners that have made Carrickfergus in Bloom such a success. Conservation Volunteers, The Woodland Trust, Translink, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, the Department of Regional Development and many others have all helped to improve the environment of Carrickfergus Borough this year“. Ended Alderman Beattie

List of Winners:

Monday, 20 October 2014

Borough Success at Gardening Oscars

Carrickfergus Borough has scooped two Silver Gilt awards at the 50th Britain in Bloom UK Final awards in Bristol. Britain in Bloom is Europe’s biggest community gardening campaign run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). Carrickfergus was successful in the Large Town category and Whitehead scooped another Silver Gilt in the Small Town category.
Commenting on the experience of taking part in Britain in Bloom 2014, Alderman May Beattie, Chairperson of the Parks and Countryside Sub Committee of Carrickfergus Borough Council stated: “Once again we have benefitted immensely from participating in Europe’s premier horticultural awards scheme. From an aesthetical perspective, the Borough’s planting schemes are looking tremendously well. However, on a more important note, it is the immense community and voluntary participation and support of our initiatives, at creating and maintaining our blooming borough on an all year round basis that is pivotal in our ability to take part in this prestigious competition. I would like to commend all who took part in this year’s initiative.”

Stephen Daye, Parks and Countryside Development Officer who attended the ceremony which was held at the Bristol Marriott City Centre and was attended by almost 400 community gardening champions, said “This is a wonderful accolade for the Borough. It is the result of much hard work and no-one should underestimate the amount of effort which has gone into this campaign by all our partners. Our Borough's successes could not have happened without the generous support of local people, businesses and schools; and statuary bodies such as Carrickfergus Borough Council, the Housing Executive and Department of Regional Development.”

Bill Pollock, Chairperson of Brighter Whitehead who also attended the ceremony said “Britain in Bloom is a magnificent opportunity for Whitehead to enhance its surroundings and create beautiful displays that are enjoyed by everybody. Our ‘in bloom’ campaign is much more than flowers and making the town look good for one day; instead it is a 365 day initiative that looks at sustainable development and biodiversity, conservation and recycling, local environmental quality, permanent landscaping, and public awareness of the environment. I would encourage everybody interested in our campaign to visit the Brighter Whitehead website ( for further details on our campaign and how you can help us next year.

Commenting on Carrickfergus in Bloom’s efforts, RHS judges Brendan Mowforth & Mark Wasilewski said: ‘An evident community spirit has been fostered and is well supported by the strong relationship with and support from Carrickfergus Borough Council. There is a very strong emphasis on biodiversity, health and well-being, and the Brighter Whitehead Group works actively in fostering cohesion across all sections of the town.”

The RHS Britain in Bloom awards are a chance to celebrate the work of dedicated volunteers across the UK, of which there are up to 300,000, and to recognise achievement, innovation and a commitment to keeping our villages, towns and cities clean, green and thriving.
Bloom volunteers collectively invest nearly 11 million hours every year into local Bloom activities, which equates to almost £70 million at the National Minimum Wage. It is hoped that the transformation of community spaces championed at the RHS Britain in Bloom awards ceremony will encourage even more people to get involved and help continue to make a positive difference over the next 50 years.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Painting & Poetry 'Carrickfergus in Bloom' Winners Announced

Today Alderman May Beattie, Chairperson of the Parks, Countryside and Amenities Sub-Committee announced the winners and runners-up (list enclosed) of the Carrickfergus in Bloom Children’s Painting & Poetry Competitions.
Alderman Beattie said “We are delighted to announce the Carrickfergus in Bloom Children’s Painting & Poetry Competition Winners and Runners-up. I am thrilled with the response from those taking part and am really excited about the quality and diversity of the entrants. It has been an opportunity for me to see the wealth and variety of artistic talent in our community. “Winners and runners-up will be invited to a prize-giving ceremony at the end of October in Carrickfergus Town Hall to receive their certificates and prizes.

Children's Painting Competition 15 and under (view all paintings)
Winner: Lauryn Glass, Carrickfergus.
Runner-Up: Hollie Gilliland, Carrickfergus.
Runner-Up: Leanne Ku, Carrickfergus.

Children's Painting Competition 10 and under (view all paintings)
Winner: Jenna Kane, Carrickfergus.
Runner-Up: Maddison Brown, Carrickfergus.
Runner-Up: Martin Kearney, Carrickfergus.

Poetry Competition (read poems)
Winner: Alexander Grant, Carrickfergus.
Runner-Up: Alice Logan, Carrickfergus.
Runner-Up: Kathryn Howard, Carrickfergus.