JUDGES have put Thornbury under the microscope this week as part of this year’s South West in Bloom competition.

The Thornbury in Bloom team has put in the effort over recent months in the run up to judging today to ensure its standard is high enough to continue its run of gold medals, having earned one every years since 2000.

Judges Ian Murphy and Kim Porter were given a guided tour of the town by the Thornbury in Bloom team, visiting the WWI anniversary bed, Crossways School, the Wildflower Meadow, Rock Street Gardens and the Ring of Thorns to view the horticultural projects taking place at each.

Their visit was concluded with a buffet lunch at The Chantry where they were joined by dozens of supporters and well-wishers.

The town looks fabulous,” said Thornbury in Bloom president Sheila Forsythe, “I don’t think we could do any better.”

“With the recent hot weather, watering has been just about impossible, we have taken buckets, we have taken watering cans and we have borrowed water from people but it is amazing and we have done it.

“The judges have been amazed, we were having a quick chat before they arrived and we think we know what they are looking for, they seem to be very pleased with how it has gone and enjoyed what they saw, and if you can ensure they are enjoying themselves, you know you have done well.

“We have a wonderful team with a wonderful community spirit who make sure it is as wonderful as it can be.

“A big thank you to everybody. You go around saying you are there for Thornbury in Bloom and everyone is always ready to help out. We try to include everyone in the community and I still find it amazing that everyone continues to say yes if we ask for anything.”

Results of the regional competition will be announced on October 4.

At last year’s event town was named ‘Champion of Champions’ for the South West, having beaten competition from both villages and cities in the region, propelling it into the national Britain in Bloom competition. This has meant more work for the Thornbury in Bloom team this year, with judges set to pay another visit on July 31.

Following the tour, judge Ian Murphy said it was clear how much pride there is in the town.

“The Thornbury in the Bloom competition has a big reputation,” he said, “and everyone looks to them year to year to see if they are going to keep that momentum and I can say for sure you have an amazing place, your reputation is well deserved.”

Fellow judge Kim Porter added: “Thank you for making us all so welcome, the community spirit really is summed up by how many people are here.

“It is fantastic that you are representing us nationally and we wish you the best of luck for that when the judges come to visit in a fortnight’s time.”