Ashmore Planting Day 1-6-201961604520_2673276066018237_1735554996792983552_o

My Thoughts on Wednesfield In Bloom 2019!

Well as we come towards the Wednesfield in Bloom judging day – there has been quite a lot of interest in what ‘The Bloomers’ have been trying to do all across Wednesfield this year.wednesfield in Bloom D93A1T0XYAAKBpL WIB2019 65900100_2735423363136840_100105762000338944_n

In short, all sorts of people, from all sorts of professions, have been working hard planning for the 5th July 2019 .

Yes, they have been pooling their ideas, their thoughts and then turning their time and energy into making Wednesfield in Bloom a real success.

So what is it that captures so many diverse people, to want to give up their time to deliver a better cleaner and brighter Wednesfield for all of us?

I think I know the answer, but I cannot be sure of the reason.

What I do know is that I have with my two fellow Councillors in Wednesfield North Mary and Rita Potter, have been working incessantly with other Volunteers  to deliver on a plan that will impress the Heart of England Judges.

This year we have expanded the area that we have been working on – to take in the Giant Housing Estate of Ashmore Park.

Wednesfield in Bloom has been working this year within a giant footprint.

The in-Bloom influence starts from Bentley Bridge Leisure Park through the retail Park, across the Amphitheatre into Wednesfield High street, out to Woodend and Ashmore Park in the North East of Wolverhampton.

It’s a massive area in geographical terms. Perhaps bigger than many of the town centres that surround us!

In four short years Wednesfield in Bloom has become massive in Wednesfield Village life.

All the resources to bring and deliver the flowers the preparation etc, have all come from Volunteers and the donations of individuals living in Wednesfield, business and commerce. It’s a tidal wave of energy that has again been unleashed and the work leaves behind happy and smiling people.

WIB has been a huge success, yes, we have won a Heart of England Silver Award on the first time of entry (2016) then a Gold award in 2017 followed by a Gold Award and Community Award in 2018!

But what has been achieved goes beyond that. It has led to a small army of people who have been willing to give their time free to make the area they live in better for others.

The Ashmore Park project this year has stirred much interest. Most of the comments have been encouraging and we have had huge local support for the massive amount of work we have undertaken from a standing start to impress the judges.

With 48 Hours to go I look back in amazement to see what has been achieved first here in Ashmore Park. All the shops in the Shopping Parade have taken part. There are flowers outside almost every shop front door. Bunting flies from the shop fronts, all the car parks have been swept and cleaned by Volunteers. Flowers are looking beautiful. All paid for by donation or by residents turning up with a geranium or something else that is colourful but they don’t know the flowers name..!

Almost everyday I have left with someone’s money given as a donation in my pocket!

Yes, there are a few siren voices that either cannot get what this is all about, or have some other political view.

Wednesfield in Bloom has become a mass movement because ordinary people want it to happen.

They enjoy people being nice to each other, working hard to transform or connect neighbourhoods. They like it when someone picks up litter. People also like the Flowers as they grow in the planters or from the hanging baskets.  Our wonderful flower displays connect people and places, flowers deliver joy and they are given when people are in sorrow.

 

This year here on Ashmore Park we decided that it would be a good idea to link WIB with a #ShopLocal campaign. Its been a great success. We are seeing more footfall on the Shopping Parade and that is good for Local Shops. Lots of people are coming down to take a look at what is happening. Yes, there are grumbles about other issues. But I want to thank the hundreds of well wishers that like what they see and what is happening in their sight. The people who have donated flowers money and other resources. Most of all I want to thank people for being nice to each other!

Mary and I have not given up working in the Village Centre either. We still tend the ‘Big Bed’ we chat with people from all over down there. Wednesfield in Bloom is exhausting, but it is on a roll! Now we are thinking about next year and what other project can be rolled into the proposals! Oh yes if you want to Volunteer….you will be most welcome!

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Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more

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