THE LEDBURY in Bloom team is sounding a note of quiet confidence following Heart of England in Bloom judging day on Monday, which was blessed by fine weather.

But now follows “an agonising wait” of more than a month, until September 5, to see if the market town can maintain its remarkable run of Royal Horticultural Society golds.

This year, Ledbury is going for its thirteenth RHS gold medal in a row but, prior to judging day, Ledbury in Bloom chairman Clive Gunn expressed concern that this might be a tall order, because of a change in the marking scheme which would “stretch the small dedicated team of volunteers and the tight budget of Ledbury in Bloom”.

Despite the warning, this week all the hard extra work appears to have paid off.

Mr Gunn, who missed judging day because of illness said: “Many people have commented that Ledbury looks lovelier than it ever has. The hanging baskets and tubs are as good as it gets and the town was spotless. I would like to thank the unsung heroes who were out weeding the streets during ‘Clean Up Week’ and sweeping them on Sunday

“On Monday morning the judges from Heart of England in Bloom arrived at the Town Council offices to be welcomed by, amongst others, the Deputy Mayor Daniel Vesma, Ledbury in Bloom President Ken Davies and Deputy Chairman Tina Vass and the Carnival Princess. Before they set off on their tour they were treated to a slideshow of the best bits of the past year by Ledbury in Bloom secretary Jane Gunn and presented with a portfolio of what the small band of dedicated volunteers have achieved in the last year."

Mr Gunn added: “Tina has masterminded the whole thing and Jane stepped up and did the talk with a few hours notice.

“They then took the judges for a whistle stop tour of Ledbury’s bright spots from The Walled Garden to the Station and the Almshouse beds finishing at The Ledbury Nursing Home/Drop In Centre complex. “

And there was at least one indication that the judges were impressed.

Mr Gunn said: “They paused at the Gloucester Road roundabout which is sponsored by Helping Hands and was described by one of the judges as ‘one of the best in the country and worthy of an award.’

“During the tour they were taken round in one of the new minibuses run by Community Action Ledbury so thanks to them too and to the Town Council who hosted and paid for the reception at the end.”

Mr Gunn said: “There are so many other people who contributed to yesterday from the lady who checked that the poles and posts were free from out of date notices to those who have donated or nurtured plants."