LEDBURY's mayor, Cllr Annette Crowe, is keeping her fingers crossed that the town will receive its ninth gold medal in a row, in the Heart of England in Bloom competition.

Ledbury pulled out all the stops again last Thursday, July 23, for judging day, from the laying on of a vintage Alvis car for the two judges, and arranging a gaggle of scarecrows to greet them on the walking tour.

Cllr Crowe said: "It all went very successfully. The two judges were bowled over, I think, by the planning and the community spirit and the diversity.

"I do think they were really impressed, and I am hopeful that we can achieve a gold again, fingers crossed."

The judges arrived in Pugh's car park at 10am and were met by members of the Ledbury in Bloom committee. They then departed in a vintage Alvis car for the short drive to the Feathers Hotel where they met Cllr Crowe and were presented with buttonholes by the carnival princesses.

They then walked through to the Almshouses where they admired the rear gardens and met some of the residents.

The party then re-joined the Alvis for a tour of the town viewing Top Cross, Biddulph Way beds and the Gloucester Road Roundabout. From there they travelled along the by-pass to be shown all the roundabouts before visiting Prince Rupert Way to meet the volunteers who maintain the grass amenity areas.

Continuing in the Alvis they reached The Bowling Green where they viewed the gardens and enjoyed some of David Waller’s sausages. They were also shown the entries to the scarecrow competition.

The hospital gardens were next on the tour before visiting Queen’s Walk then walked back past the Fire Station to the Millennium Garden and on to the Master’s House where they had a guided tour to explain the refurbishment scheme.

After the Master’s House visit the judges walked up Church Lane to see the Burgage Hall garden where the historically accurate planting scheme was explained before moving on to the Walled Garden.

The results of Heart of England in Bloom will be announced in September.