Month: February 2019

Britain in Bloom

Halstead in Bloom have been invited to enter the Britain in Bloom competition and represent the Anglia region in  the town category.

On Friday the 8th of February two members of the team attended the BIB seminar in Manchester, to meet the judges and discuss the details of the new marking system


Minutes for January 2019


Minutes of a meeting 31st  January  2019  7.30p.m. at Halstead Icing

 Chairman, welcomed all present, particularly Debra, a new recruit and Alan who returned to the team after his major operation.  Annette and Mark from the Halstead Chamber of Trade were also warmly received.  Chairman accepted apologies from those who could not attend. 

MINUTES of  29th November 2018 had been circulated and were adopted
PRESENTATION: Annette Randal (Halstead Chamber of Trade) spoke about the bags that the Chamber of Trade had printed and offered for sale.  She was pleased to say that the original 50 printed had all sold meaning that a donation of £250 would be given to HiB.  It is proposed that another 50 will be printed and offered for sale meaning another donation to funds.  Annette was thanked for her efforts.  Mark Jeffrey from ESO store in Head Street, Halstead, spoke about other promotional goods for Halstead in Bloom.  It was said that the current HiB logo was not suitable for enlargement and it was suggested that perhaps a ‘young people’s competition’ could be initiated to give a logo on various goods.  It was thought that Ramsey Academy could be contacted and this matter will be discussed and actions taken.  It was thought that perhaps mugs and/or t-shirts would be a good starting point for promotional goods.  Mark said he would be willing to put ‘advertising’ posters in his shop and a window display at judging times.  Annette and Mark stressed that their efforts are to reach new volunteers and to highlight the work being done by HiB.  Annette and Mark were thanked for their presentation.

NEWS:  *Tesco Bags of Help money has now been received – £1000.00.  Some of this will go towards the Junior Bloom vests and both Holy Trinity Gardening Club and the 5th Halstead Trinity Guides want to build new raised beds.  Well done Chris for getting this money, and thanks to all who chose HiB as their charity.  *Christmas meal – feedback. All agreed that this was a lovely evening and that the food was excellent.  Several messages had been received saying how enjoyable the evening was.  Margaret T is thanked very much for her efforts in organising the meal and Marie Hughes has been thanked for providing the lovely meal.  Mr and Mrs Brian Day had given some money for Halstead in Bloom volunteers towards this event and they have been thanked.  *Bloor Homes a resident of Halstead asked if HiB could write to Bloor Homes, developers of the site at Oak Road, to ask if they would consider planting a Christmas Tree at the front of the site so that any new residents’ association could decorate it at Christmas to spread the Christmas effort to the top end of the town.  Letter was written, no reply yet received.  *Gift from Cllr and Mrs D Gronland of £500 was very gratefully received and Mr and Mrs Gronland have been thanked.  *Halstead Beavers meeting at Holy Trinity School contacted HiB to ask if team could help with Beavers obtaining their gardening badge.  Some vague discussions have taken place, but the nature/extent of help required is not yet clear.  *Geoff’s Tree. Geoff Willis passed away last summer and the Halstead Conservation Group intend to plant a tree in his memory at Coggeshall Pieces.  HiB asked to be involved, and 3 silver birch trees will be planted at Coggeshall Pieces on Saturday 9th February at about 11.00am.  There will also be a bench made by one of the Conservation team and placed near to the trees.  HiB team are invited to attend, and there will be tea and biscuits after the planting ceremony.  *Projector.  The planned ‘illustrated talk’ at Tiptree in early December was, unfortunately given without any illustrations as the projector (donated to us) failed.  One of the Tiptree members was Mr Helpful and managed to bend the pins in connecting lead.  Repair wasn’t possible, but Peter from Cablers Network and AV Solutions, based at Earls Colne, very kindly donated a new lead and checked that all is now in working order.  A letter of thanks was written, and we feel confident that the next talk will be illustrated as advertised!  *In Bloom Partnership. Various matters discussed at recent meeting were noted; License to Plant has now been signed off and should be received in the near future; top step at the former Post Office (that we feel is dangerous) is not to be repaired as ECC Officer says that no repair is necessary; the damage to steps and handrail at The Centre was reported; trees are to be, or have been, lopped in Halstead Public Gardens; inventory of street furniture was discussed and copy given to BDC and letter with copy sent to Cllr Kevin Bentley at Essex CC.  No reply so far.  BDC are hoping to make improvements to Halstead Cemetery with some benches being repaired/removed and one of the circular beds at Colchester Road entrance to be revamped.  It is hoped to add some bird/bat boxes and insect hotels at the cemetery.  The possibility of a Friends of Cemetery group was discussed, but it was said this isn’t feasible at present.  Team may have a working party at the cemetery in the future; Greenfields are to replace the missing troughs at Trinity Court; there are plans for some new planting in Halstead Public Gardens.*Co-op Solar Store. has agreed that a large planter can be placed facing the car park at the end of the Hook of Holland unit.  This will be planted with sustainable plants and sited when the weather improves.
EVENTS:  **Rivercare.  Next event is Sunday 3rd February.  Meet 10am at Sainsbury’s Car Park. *Next Community Litter Pick. Sunday 24th February. ALL WELCOME.  Meet 10.30am at Sainsbury’s Car Park.   *Speaking Engagements: on 7/2 at Halstead Baptist Church, on 21/2 at Ridgewell and on 6/3 at Tiptree. *Visits to Air Ambulance base at Earls Colne Airfield will be on 7th February and 22nd February.  If you have booked, please arrive at 1.50pm with high-viz vests if you have them available.  Margaret E/Annie will lead first group, Joan/Julia will attend the second visit.  *WI Quiz will be on 22nd February at St. Andrew’s Hall 7.30p.m.  *HiB AGM is booked for 8th March at U.R.C.  King’s Seeds had agreed to come but have now cancelled the booking.  It is hoped that Perrywood Garden Centre will speak *Halstead Horticultural Society Spring Show has been cancelled for this year. *Rivercare is to hold an annual conference at Rutland Water on 4th April.  More details later.  *Summer Fayre. is planned for 3rd August in Halstead Public Gardens.  Cost of stall will be £15.  At present we have not made agreement to attend as this is around the time of RHS Britain in Bloom judging * Early notification of HiB Quiz for 2019.  David has booked the Con Club for Friday 18th October.  *Halstead Marathon will be on Sunday12th May.  14 HiB volunteers said they’d like to help and this will be passed on to organisers.  *Spring Clean event (K.B.T. group) will this year be between 22nd March and 23rd April – HiB will take part.  *Fields in Trust suggest a ‘Picnic in the Park day on 6th July; are we able to take part?  *Halstead Colne Tangent Group have issued invitation to a lunch on Wednesday 27th March at 12.30pm for 1.00pm at the Colne Valley Golf Club, Earls Colne.  Speaker will be Paula Short speaking about the gifted French designer Coco Chanel.  Cost, including lunch, will be £22 per head and I have menu if anyone wishes to attend, please let me know.  *Bull Hotel is planning an event to showcase all the clubs/societies and what Halstead has to offer.  It is hoped that those new to the Town will attend and get some information on what’s on in Halstead!  Further details later.  *Diary Dates:  A cake stall is planned for 20th April, hopefully outside Solar.  A plant sale is planned for 24th May (Friday market) but discussions took place around suitability of placement.  *May Day event in Halstead Public Gardens will be 6th May 2019.

ANGLIA  IN  BLOOM’18.  *Anglia in Bloom Spring Launch will be on 26th March at Notcutts Garden Centre, Norwich.  Cost is £15 per person, including a buffet lunch.  There will be a ceremonial tree planting to start off the In Bloom year, and speakers have been engaged.  This will be a chance to ask questions about judging and to meet with other entrants (as well as have a day out!!).

*Route for AiB judges’ tour 2019.  David had given some thought to a possible route: Start at Halstead Hall, drive down Mount Hill to Butler Road Car Park.  Walk to Adams Court. Drive to Holy Trinity School. Walk to Public Gardens (entering by the memorial garden). Drive to Parsonage Street to view businesses/fire station. Walk to entrance of River Walk and walk up to back entrance to allotments noting planting, perching benches and viewing platform. view wild life area and enter Guides’ allotment. Drive to Resource Centre.  Drive up Parsonage Street to Church and cross to view Birds Butterflies and Bees garden, fountain, etc.  Drive to Mill Chase Playing Field. Drive to Bowls Club  via Colne Road noting Road Runners Bed, allotment area.  This route will have to be fine tuned and timed but good work David!  We will need to check that all ‘special entries’ are covered – it was thought that Mike Turner’s efforts at Hawthorn Close could be a Community Project worth viewing.
*RHS Britain in Bloom A seminar is organised for Friday 8th February in Manchester.  Joan and Julia will attend.  The different marking system to be employed from this year was noted – marking percentages have changed to be 40% for floral with 30% each for community and environment.  It was agreed that the portfolio might have to be organised accordingly, Chris to discuss.  Joan was asked about planting schemes for 2019, but said we will have to wait until the AGM.  Colours for this year are dark pink, light pink with blues and mauves – vibrant and bright.  There are concerns about supply of plants over the period of Brexit.  Joan asked that all save small plastic water bottles as last year for wording on various show beds.

WORKING  PARTIESFor all working parties meet at 2pm. on Town Bridge/Halstead Icing car park unless advised otherwiseTuesday 5th February – Work at Weavers’ Court.  Tuesday 11th February – Litter Pick.  After that dependent on weather and what needs to be done.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS:  Sec. noted that accounts 2018 are prepared and will be overseen by Cllrs Radley and Gronland rather than audited. (For a charity the size of HiB no audit is required but it is prudent to have accounts viewed by others.  Carol asked if anyone knew the name of the gentleman who regularly litter picks in Sudbury Road.  All were asked to try to get a name so that thanks can be offered.  Sue has been to Spencer’s at Maplestead and they have sold 12 calendars and 2 envelopes.  They will retain the remaining good and sell at £2 each – Sue will call end February.  Sue showed a calendar produced in Castle Hedingham at a cost of £2.86 each that could be printed on a small run if required.  Calendar is A4 size and not glossy but may be acceptable.  Club as Castle offers advertising on pages, which we haven’t done so far.  Joan took one to ascertain postage costs.  Sue to be asked to enquire what format copy would need to be sent.  Sue asked if Greenfields had been contacted about team taking on gardening for a resident in Halstead.  This will be checked.  Sue suggested that perhaps HiB could take on an allotment to use as a ‘nursery’ for plants that could later be sold on or shared.  Details to be ascertained.  Joan spoke about vine weevil in various locations around town and asked if she could purchase some nematodes or other preventative materials.  This was agreed.  Joan also noted that a message had been received from Cllr Jackie Pell who said that the Head of Ramsey Academy is keen to get involved with Halstead in Bloom.  Will be followed up. Fiona spoke about a tree that is leaning at a precarious angle in the walkway from Parsonage Street through to Richard de Clare School and Factory Lane.  This is considered to be a danger to life and property.  Will be reported. Fiona also spoke about vehicles parking on verges in Parsonage Street near to entrance to River Walk and also near to junction with St. Andrew’s Road.  This is recognized as a problem.  Margaret T said that parking notices have been issued.  Fiona also spoke about the amount of pigeon poo near to Hyacinth Tea Shop and Bridge Personnel building.  This had been raised at Partnership meeting and it was said that this is the responsibility of property owner.  This will be reported again. Fiona noted that the road sign at Factory Lane West/junction with Parsonage Street is broken and almost illegible – will be reported. Margaret T said that road signs had been left in New Street and still not collected – has been reported but will be reported again.  Margaret said that there is also a redundant sign near to flower display at Broton Drive.  Will be reported.  Margaret said that  the Children’s Competition this year will be to make a bird box or a frog house and to include 3 plants to attract wild life.  Plans will be sent out with letters inviting entry.  Linda noted that lights are out in St. Andrew’s Churchyard but she will make a note of which ones and report to Halstead TC.  Linda also spoke about the bench against the Church wall facing Parsonage Street that is covered in pigeon poo with excrement also on the surrounding path.  This will also be reported.


At the end of the meeting Margaret Eskins, Chairman, was given a card signed by team members and some plants to celebrate her birthday on 4th February.  Margaret was a bit overcome!  She thanked all for the gifts and cards.



There being no other business the meeting closed at  9.38  p.m.

Next team meeting on   Thursday 28th February  2019     7.30p.m. at Halstead Icing.
All welcome


Contacts:  Margaret Eskins Chairman.  01787 269443

Julia Smith, Secretary. 0776 2587141 / 01787461806. e-mail
Joan Gibson, plants and working parties. 01787 473070        Facebook: halsteadinbloom.
join membership of National Co-op (Colchester Road)   and note HiB as your preferred charity to donate via Co-op purchases.



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