West Leeds: Volunteers going for gold in summer flower contest

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Hardworking volunteers have brightened-up Pudsey town centre ahead of this summer’s Yorkshire in Bloom contest - and are hoping to bag a prestigious gold medal.

Pudsey in Bloom members have worked for a year to revamp the bus station and its surroundings, placing colourful troughs on the barriers and creating a flower bed behind Pudsey Leisure Centre, in The Market Place.

They hope to improve on the success of previous years, after officials were shown round on April 7 for spring season judging ahead of a further viewing in June.

The points from both sessions will be combined and the winners crowned in September.

Volunteer Margaret Lowham, 66, of Springbank Avenue, said: “Our hopes for Yorkshire in Bloom are of course for gold. We have had two silvers in the past and last year increased that to a silver gilt, so there is only one aim left as far as medals go.

“We know it is a big ask but we are remaining positive - it keeps us going when we are working in the pouring rain sometimes,” she added.

Another volunteer, Maureen Fawcett, 70, of Westroyd Crescent, said: “I think we could do well because we have come on leaps and bounds since we got silver.”

A personal inclusion to the revamp, finished in April, was ‘Gerty’s Seat’, in honour of resident Gerty Adair.

This was placed outside Pudsey House, in The Market Place where Gerty, 80, of Victoria Road, has worked for over 20 years as caretaker and booking manager.

She said: “A lot of people have been using it. When I have gone out, I have thought ‘It is lovely to have this sat here’.

“It will be great when in a few weeks the good weather comes.”

The seat cost £1,220 to place, which came as part of a £2,500 grant from Community First, and also paid for barrier troughs, compost and plants for the bus station development.

Margaret said: “We have been trying to brighten the bus station up because it is the hub for Pudsey. It’s a lovely looking bed behind the leisure centre and it’s just coming into its own now.”

The leisure centre beds have been placed outside a room used by adults with special needs and has been funded by LCC Green Leeds to the tune of £1,100.

Pudsey in Bloom is manned by 12 volunteers, mostly grandparents in retirement, and have been sponsored by many establishments in the area, including chip shop the Wetherby Whaler and Pudsey Computers.

They next plan to strip-out and replace beds next to the library, with a Tour de France twist. The volunteers will also be fundraising at this year’s Pudsey Carnival on May 17.


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