Shropshire

Britain in Bloom 2014: Shrewsbury Champion of Champions

The Dingle in Shrewsbury Image copyright Chris Bayley
Image caption The Dingle in Shrewsbury town centre was created by television gardening presenter Percy Thrower

Shrewsbury has been crowned the Champion of Champions of this year's Britain in Bloom.

The town was given the Royal Horticultural Society title at an awards ceremony on Thursday, marking the competition's fiftieth year.

The town's "community spirit" at the Bowbrook Allotments received particular praise from the society.

In addition, The Dingle in the town centre, created by renowned gardener Percy Thrower, impressed judges.

Percy Thrower presented the BBC's Gardening Club from 1956 and BBC Gardeners' World from 1969 until 1976. He died in 1988.

Image caption Carol Kirkwood presented the BBC's weather forecast live from Bowbrook Allotments after the win

Shrewsbury also won the RHS Britain in Bloom Tourism Award.

The entry was led by Shrewsbury in Bloom, a non-profit organisation which aims to make money through sponsorship and hanging basket sales.

Last year it had 26 business sponsors and raised more than £28,500 for floral displays.

Image copyright Shrewsbury Town Council
Image caption The Flanders Memorial Bed in The Dingle reflected this year's anniversary of the start of WW1

Shrewsbury Town Council Clerk Helen Ball said: "We get 1.5m day visitors to Shrewsbury per year and if they stay an extra 10 minutes and spend an extra £1 because of the floral displays then that's £1.5m extra into the local economy.

"Our local businesses know this and are very keen to be part of it and show they care about the town."

She said the council does not put aside a specific budget for the competition, but supports the bid through its usual grounds maintenance and street cleaning.

The town also holds the annual Shrewsbury Flower Show and in the past has won the European Entente Florale Competition and the International Challenge award in the Communities in Bloom Competition.

Image copyright Shrewsbury Town Council
Image caption Judges from Britain in Bloom praised The Dingle in Shrewsbury town centre

Do you have pictures of Shrewsbury's floral displays or events? If so, please send them to us by emailing yourpics@bbc.co.uk or text them to 61124 (UK) or +44 7624 800 100 (international). Or you can upload here.

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