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Chairmans Report 2009





Outgoing Chairman’s Report:

12 months ago I was proud and privileged to be elected as Chair of “North Walsham in Bloom” for a 2nd year. Whilst the time has flown by much has happened in that time.

It is only natural to firstly recognise the Helpers, Sponsors and Donors that have contributed to NWIB over the past year. My thanks and best wishes go out to them for without them NWIB and its invaluable contribution to the community would not exist.

I should like to think that not only the past year but my term in office has brought an input of initiatives that have added to the solid foundations that I inherited and that we as Helpers, Sponsors, Donors, Shopkeepers, Businesses, Town Council, Tourists or most of the people of North Walsham have benefitted from.

By that, I mean that our team is not serving just to make North Walsham florally beautiful or to win an “Anglia in Bloom” award – we truly like to work on the town’s behalf to encourage the people of North Walsham to be engaged in the community, involved in some way or another and look at their town as one of beauty, colour and cleanliness, to care about the community and the environment; a place to live with pride and pleasure, a place to be happy and to have fun, to enjoy a community spirit whilst at the same time welcoming tourists and the trade they bring.


One thing that was certain to me was to survive we must move with the times and in my opinion we needed to restructure how we financed or should I say raised funding. This we did but like all fundraising activity one starts with virtually a clean sheet every year and over the last 2 years all have been affected by the economic climate. Likewise in the way we organised and carried out the work where we are very mindful of working toward having things looking as though it’s judging day the year through rather than just to be judged on one day of the year. That reorganisation has also worked with Ann at the helm and with helpers responding well but the visual attraction is obviously controlled to a certain degree by the seasons.

Also, it has been and a pleasure to collaborate with and involve the Chamber of Trade, the Griffin Partnership, National Express and offer local businesses true sponsorship opportunities where their business are able to gain recognition via some form of commercialism in advertising on a particular display.

We have a website www.northwalshaminbloom.co.uk that I sponsor and maintain where not only information can be found about us and our town but one that also houses interesting horticultural information and links into the likes of “Anglia in Bloom” as well as into Sponsors websites.

This year there are a number of high points and achievements:

We looked to involve local people, especially children and schools.
We organised:
Plant stalls and coffee mornings
There was an Open Garden day.
Schools Poster Competition
I am sure that all involved in or attended any of these initiatives must have thought them to be not only a great success but a joy and fun too.

We attended the “Anglia in Bloom” Awards ceremony where we were again awarded “Silver”.

The Lions have participated again by sponsoring the boat.

The Scouts have tended a bed in the churchyard and the Inner Wheel, Griffin Partnership, t and the Frogs gave generously.
Members of the group have regularly attended the Bluebell public house Quiz Night where the Landlord, Terry, generously donated a substantial amount to us.

The WI were invited to look after the tubs on the Station Platform.

“Voyager” have been involved in tubs outside Griffin’s offices.

We have opened up the signage with a planter at the entrance to N Walsham on the Norwich Road

PR has continued well with regular newsletters being sent to the Times, The North Norfolk News and the EDP and I thank our Editors along with the Editors of the media.

We have excellent liaisons with the Town, District and County Councils and are collaborating well.  This involves grass cutting, street cleaning and generally keeping tidy the areas under their jurisdiction and to a small extent been involved in “Clean up North Walsham” days.

Like any organisation we haven’t been without our problems. The ones I will mention are vandalism that has been experienced on a scale worse than ever expected and I hope the police now have a handle on the few that – thank you to our Vice Chair for dealing with all the tooing and froing from the hassle this has raised.

The extremely dry summer also gave problems in that our reliance on rainwater initiative via collection became exhausted and problems that CAB experienced with AW did not allow us access to their supply outside normal working hours. This needs to be resolved in time for next year and the matter is in hand.

Without success I have made noises about the removal of the tubs above the Break shop and I hope this will help reinforce removal at the earliest date possible.

The baskets were a wonderful success this year buy unfortunately we were unable to supply 2 would be takers and they finished earlier than expected due to the unusually dry summer and the difficulties we had with access to water.

Plummers exceeded their own expectations and put on a wonderful display and they have planted up with special plants that will flower over the winter. We have an ongoing liaison with Hilary.

I am also pleased to report that our finances continue to be well under control and thank our new Treasurer David from Sexty & Co. for preparing timely and accurate figures.

I think you will have noticed that I have said thank you to most people without naming names but I would like to name a few. I appreciate some of these have derived some income but they have worked with interest and an outstanding community spirit – first is Graham at NW Garden Centre, Michael Morter and Mr Hook. Our main sponsors being N & P and Lovewell Blake. the Chamber of Trade, Margaret Foster the Town Clerk, Sheila Gadsden the Town Mayor and Paul Ingham at NN District Council.

To those that publicise our events, Alex Hurrell, N N News and Archant and Margaret White at the North Walsham Times. Also to Terry at the Bluebell where he not only accommodates us in style but also promotes our activities.

Our committee members in general but in particular Meg for liaising with the Schools, Marion for processing the minutes so efficiently and Ann for organising the work and dealing with the problems, Roger for his litter reports and Paul Pedro our watering man. Plus those that have been close to the committee, Wes & Kay Ewing for the sterling work they put in on many areas that we deal with and the Open Gardens Day in particular, Roger Moorhouse our photographer, webmaster Richard and Marion’s husband Ian who tirelessly works with the plants behind the scenes plus of course our various donors. All these people have helped to make my job easier and bring success to NW in Bloom and North Walsham in general. I sincerely thank them all.

So, in conclusion, I feel we can look back on a very good year, borne out by the wonderful visual displays of plants and flowers and tidiness and commendation from the Anglia in Bloom Judges.
This concludes my two years in office as your Chair. I, in my own way have had as much fun and camaraderie out of NWIB as time and effort put in. I wish the new committee and all involved every success in the future and look forward to seeing NWIB continue to contribute to the community.



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