MALVERN Town will not be entered in the Heart of England in Bloom competition this year.
John Jordan, chairman of the Malvern in Bloom group, has also indicated he may have spearheaded the town’s efforts in the regional contest for the last time.
It comes despite eight successful campaigns which culminated in Malvern’s first ever entry into the national Britain in Bloom finals last year which earned the town a Silver Gilt award.
Mr Jordan said the decision was made to consolidate efforts for 12 months to improve the town’s floral displays in the long-term and increase their chances of gaining a gold standard nationally.
But he confirmed that the It’s Your Neighbourhood competition, children’s art contest as well as pubs’ and hotels’ competitions would still take place and there would be more emphasis on encouraging community engagement this year.
Mr Jordan said taking a break from the town category would allow Malvern Town Council to make substantial improvements to Rose Bank Gardens which national judges were impressed with but remarked that certain areas could be of a higher standard.
“Rose Bank Gardens were in a terrible state three or four years ago until the town council took over and we thought it was ridiculous as they had the potential to be a great asset in the centre of the town,” said Mr Jordan.
“It had been given by Mr Dyson Perrins to benefit the town’s constituents but it was rubbish and no-one wanted to go there at all.”
He added: “It has come on leaps and bounds and is our greatest success story but a lot more can be done.”
Mr Jordan, who is now 79, said it was unlikely he would be chairman of the group in 2016, the next time Malvern entered Heart of England in Bloom as a town.
He first took on the role in 2007 when Malvern won a gold in the small town category. It was then entered into the large town section in 2008 earning silver but after that Mr Jordan has overseen six consecutive golds. Last year he was awarded a Community Champion accolade by competition organisers the Royal Horticultural Society.
“It has been a most enjoyable period and I have loved every minute of it,” said Mr Jordan.
“I want to be involved as long as my strength and health permit but at the same time realise I am getting older.
“By the time the judges next visit Malvern I will be in my 80th year so it is a bit too much to assume I will be able to carry on as I have done.
“It has been a great experience and I have met some wonderful people.”