Archive for the ‘Britain in Bloom’ Category

Blooming report

October 25, 2015

Over thirty members of the Trust attended the recent Open Meeting, at which a report was given about the Trust’s entry in Northumbria in Bloom this year.

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Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in our bid for ‘Gold’, being just 4 marks [out of 200] short of attaining the top award in the competition, but we managed to achieve our highest score ever and another ‘Silver Gilt’, for the third consecutive year.


Disappointed that the extra improvements and  volunteer effort this year had only resulted in achieving another ‘Silver Gilt’, it was announced that the ‘Blooming’ committee had decided not to enter the competition in 2016.  It was emphasised, though, that the high standard of planting in the tubs, baskets, troughs and sustainable beds throughout the conservation area would be continued by volunteers next year, but without the extra work behind the scenes needed to impress judges. Hopefully the local businesses will continue with their own floral displays too, to keep Sholey Bridge ‘Blooming’.

The slideshow presentation given at the meeting was taken from the photographs in the Portfolio, which had been presented to the judges when they visited in July …

October Open Meeting

October 18, 2015

The next Open Meeting of the Village Trust is to be held on Tuesday evening 20th October.  There will be a slide show presentation about the Trust’s entry in Northumbria in Bloom. Everyone is welcome.

Open meeting agenda - 20 October 15

Winter bedding for Spring flowers

October 18, 2015

Daffodils, tulips and violas were planted in the tubs on Saturday morning, in readiness for a good show of colour throughout the conservation area next Spring.

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Thank you to all the volunteers who have helped to organise the event or planted the tubs.

Wet FUN Day

September 1, 2015

Bank Holiday Monday afternoon at The Spa Grounds was a little soggy! It didn’t dampen the Consett Rugby Club’s ‘Strong Man’ competition nor the children’s enthusiasm for the inflatables.

Numbers visiting the event were well down on previous years and consequently the Village Trust only raised £50 for its ‘Blooming Shotley Bridge’ Fund with its Tombola and Children’s Lucky Dip, compared to £180 & £160 on its stall in 2013 & 2014. Thank you to the volunteers at the event and the support from local businesses, members and residents who donated prizes.

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Calendar competition

September 1, 2015

Just a reminder about the photo competition for our 2017 calendar. The flowers in the village are looking lovely at present and with the good weather forecast for the week ahead it is an opportune time for getting your cameras out and going for a walk.

Calendar competition

Community Fun Day

August 25, 2015

For a sixth successive year, the Benfieldside, Blackhill, Bridgehill and Shotley Bridge Community Partnership have a FREE Fun Day on Bank Holiday Monday at the Shotley Bridge Cricket Club.

The Village Trust will have a Tombola and Children’s Lucky Dip – raising funds for Blooming Shotley Bridge next year.




Judging complete

July 20, 2015

This morning, judges from Northumbria in Bloom walked around the conservation area with volunteers from Blooming Shotley Bridge.

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They seemed impressed with the floral decorations, sustainable planting, heritage initiatives and wildlife areas.  The clean streets, lack of litter and dog fouling was also admired. Thanks to all the volunteers, residents, businesses, the Junior School and County Council  for their efforts in putting on a good show.

Competition results will not be known until September.

Chester-le-Street visitors

July 12, 2015

Yesterday a group of visitors from the Chester-le-Street & District Area Action Partnership were given a tour of the village centre. Its Improved Environment Task Group came to find out what the Shotley Bridge Village Trust had achieved for our village and how it had happened.


Tubs planted

June 7, 2015

Sixteen Trust volunteers helped on Saturday morning to make a start on planting 44 tubs with summer bedding and 6 with sustainable perennials.  Two new double tiered oak barrel planters have been purchased with a grant from local councillors, which have also been filled with colourful geraniums, surfinia [petunia] and lobelia.

The Council will be planting the Trust’s barrier baskets which volunteers will continue to maintain.

More plants have also been donated and purchased for the sustainable beds, which the Trust plants and maintains, on behalf of the Council.

Blooming ready

June 4, 2015

The Trust has started preparations for the Northumbria in Bloom summer judging in 7 weeks time.  The  judges will be visiting on the morning of 20 July.

50 tubs have been emptied and topped up with compost ready for planting up with summer bedding, by volunteers on Saturday morning and weeds near them have been sprayed. As an experiment, 6 of the tubs are being planted with sustainable plants that will not need to be removed twice a year.  Although £100 has been allocated for this, it should save money in the long term. The Trust spends up to £500 a year on summer bedding and a similar amount on winter bedding and bulbs, as residents tell us that they prefer colourful displays. The bulbs are replanted in open spaces in the autumn.

Keeping the area free of leaves, road grit, dog dirt and litter are important judging criteria.  Please help our volunteers by putting dog pooh bags and litter in the bins provided. Cigarette ends are a particular problem in the village centre, particularly outside pubs and restaurants, even though businesses provide outside bins for their customers.

Many smokers do not realise that throwing away a cigarette end is a littering offence. The County Council’s Neighbourhood Wardens are issuing fines to people doing this in a public place, as it is an offence, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Anyone dropping litter can be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £80. Thirteen people who did not pay their fines for dropping cigarette ends in County Durham were taken to Court yesterday.

More information about your local Neighbourhood Warden Team is available on the County Council website.

AGM & Open Meeting

May 31, 2015

The next Meeting of the Village Trust is to be held at the end of June, on Tuesday evening 30 June.

The AGM will be followed by an Open Meeting, when the ‘Friends of Red Kites’ group will be giving an illustrated talk on Red Kites in the Derwent Valley.  Everyone is welcome.

Agenda 30 June 2015For more information about the Red Kites go to …


Moorsholm visitors

April 22, 2015

Following an invitation from the Trust, volunteers from Moorsholm in Bloom visited Shotley Bridge to give advice on our entry in Northumbria in Bloom.

Last year Moorsholm, a small village on the edge of the North York Moors National Park, again achieved a gold Award in the regional competition and have won the trophy for the best entry in the ‘village’ category for the last three years. They went on to achieve the ‘Best Village Award’ in the RHS National Britain in Bloom competition. Their most successful year and an excellent achievement.

Find out more from the Moorsholm in Bloom website.

Judges in Bloom

April 14, 2015

Yesterday, three judges from Northumbria in Bloom were shown around the village during their spring visit. Although only 20% of the total marks are awarded at this stage in the year, it gave the Trust an an opportunity to showcase the area and explain the improvements which have been carried out or are planned. Particularly as none of the judges had visited us before.

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Big Spring Clean

March 17, 2015

This year the Trust has arranged its annual litter pick on Saturday 21st March, to coincide with ‘Community Clear Up Day’, a national initiative by the Keep Britain Tidy organisation.  We will also be helping to support the Litter Free Durham Initiative.



If you can spare an hour or two, meet at the Golden Flower car park at 9.30am and bring gloves.  Bags, pickers and tabards will be provided, if you don’t have them.

big spring clean

Open meeting agenda

March 3, 2015

The next Open Meeting of the Village Trust is to be held in 3 weeks time, on Tuesday evening 24 March, when Russell Black will be giving a talk about the Memorial Cottages.  Everyone is welcome.

newsletter 80


Blooming at The Snods

December 4, 2014

Blooming Shotley Bridge will be raising funds at The Snods Christmas Fair this Saturday 6th December, 10am – 4pm.

We will have a stall of ‘New’ and ‘Nearly New’ items, many suitable for Christmas presents, and a Lucky Dip for those who just want to give a donation.  Items have been donated by SBVT members and friends, so all proceeds will go to planting flowers and shrubs in Shotley Bridge conservation area.

There will also be ‘Shotley Bridge’ pin badges for sale, which will make good stocking fillers.

Business Awards

October 30, 2014

Three businesses were presented with certificates and Beveridge’s vouchers today, for the quality of their hanging baskets this summer.

The Trust organised the competition as part of the village’s Northumbria in Bloom entry.  Congratulations to …

Eve FashionsWinner of the Golden Basket award

Moon Jewellery – Winner of the Hanging Basket award

Sale Pepe – Runner Up of the Hanging Basket award

[Click on images to enlarge.]

Winter planting

October 25, 2014

This morning volunteers have been out in Shotley Bridge planting the tubs and troughs with bulbs and violas, which should give a lovely display in spring.

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October 24, 2014

Forty people turned out last Tuesday on a windy night to the Trust’s autumn Open Meeting in the Catholic Church Hall.  Sue Shaw [secretary of the Blooming Shotley Bridge working group] gave a presentation about the work of the volunteers and the Silver Gilt award from Northumbria in Bloom. John Worters [chairman of the Trust] presented certificates and gardening vouchers for the Trust’s own front garden and business hanging basket awards. The meeting unanimously agreed to support the Trust’s entry in the village category of Northumbria in Bloom in 2015.

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Residential Front Garden Awards

Golden Gardens …
5 Riverside
20 Derwentdale
26 Snows Green Road

Gardens …
77 Snows Green Road
81 Snows Green Road
Greengarth, West Law Road

Business Hanging Basket Awards

Golden Baskets …
Adam & Eve Fashions

Baskets …
Moon Jewellery [Winner]
Sale Pepe [Runner Up]

Jeff Singleton [secretary of the Trust] gave an update on the village centre improvements being organised by the County Council and paid for with S106 funds from the housing development on the former hospital site. He also gave a slide presentation of old photographs, as an introduction to the setting up of a Heritage working group to pursue various initiatives.

‘Blooming good’ Race Night

October 20, 2014

Thank you to all those who supported the ‘Night at the Races’ social event on Saturday.

We raised £840 for the Blooming Shotley Bridge fund, which will enable the Trust to plant the village with flowers and shrubs in 2015.

Every business in the village helped support the event and fund raising with donations, raffle prizes and sponsorship.

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