Category: News (Page 1 of 4)

Co op support

On Saturday the 18th November 2023 we received confirmation of the recent donation of £1032.29 from the Co op on Colchester Road in Halstead. We met Debs their community pioneer who thanked us for everything that we do for Halstead.

Debs position as a community pioneer is to promote the Co op`s involvement in their local community, and we look forward to continue working with her.

We are extremely grateful to the Co op for their continued support.

Winter planting 2023/24

We have started the 2023/24 winter planting, this years plants are Polyanthus in White, Red and Orange, Bellis and Pansies.

There was an excellent turn out by the volunteers for both the sorting of the plants on Saturday the 28th and planting out on Sunday the 29th of October.

A big thank you goes to our suppliers for the winter planting of 2023/24 Bourne Brook Nursery in Greenstead Green.

David Tarbun

It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death of David Tarbun.

David had been a very valued and loyal member of the HIB team for many years. More recently when he had been unable to help with the everyday work of deadheading, weeding etc he became our quiz master, organising the venue the questions and hosting the event.

In addition to the many other organisations that he was involved with he always found time to help HIB, he will be greatly missed.

Plant Stall and Quiz

On Saturday the 7th October HIB will be having a plant stall outside the Solar Co-op offering a variety of plants for sale.

The annual HIB general knowledge quiz evening is being held in the Queens Hall at 7.30pm on the 27th October, tickets at £5.00 pp. Ideally tables of 6.

Please note that there are not any bar facilities, those attending are being advised to bring their own drinks and snacks.

To book a table please contact either Mike Rees on 07765 326549 or Annie Rees on 01787 828642.

Winners of the 2023 Local Garden Competition

The Halstead in Bloom volunteers and their guest judges would like to thank everyone who entered our Local Garden Competition. We were all very impressed with the hard work and dedication of all the gardeners involved and are grateful to you for inviting us into your homes, allotments and establishments. We are pleased to announce the following people as the winners of each category.

Front Garden Chris Bruin

Back Garden Tracey Rowe

Allotment Pat Patteson and family

Young persons under 15 ( Joint winners ) Holy Trinity School & Halstead Guides, Brownies and Rainbows.

List of Town planting 2023


Town Bridge:   Heliotrope  (dark blue)
Euphorbia  (‘fluffy’ white)
Rose Geraniums
Rose Trailing Begonias
  Scaevola    (light blue)
ROSE Geraniums
PINK Geraniums
ROSE Trailing begonias
Diasciam  (small pink flowers)
The Causeway:
Yellow Marigolds
Sanvitalia (yellow ‘daisy’ flowers)
Petunia BLUE

Also used:

White trailing begonias

Lantana (lots of pink/yellow little flowers)

Impatiens (busy lizzies)

‘Big’ Pink begonias – big and pink!!

Verbena ‘Candy Cane’ ( stripey pink flowers)

Red and White Geraniums Hope this is helpful

Summer Planting

Some of the 9,500 plants for this years summer planting, which have been and are in the process of being sorted, ready to be delivered to their area for planting, starting tomorrow the 28th May.

Local Garden Competition

At Halstead in Bloom we are launching our Annual Local Garden competition. If you are really proud of your garden or allotment and would like to show it off this is the competition for you.

We have 4 categories this year, Front garden, Back garden, Allotment and young person under the age of 15.

You can enter as many categories as you like.

Entry forms are available at the Town council offices, Librar and on the notice boards of Sainsburys and the Weavers court Co-op, or if you would rather email your details, please do so at the closing date is the 23rd June 2023 and judging will take place over the weekend of 1st & 2nd of July.

Good luck and happy gardening.

Fit for a King

Today Halstead in Bloom have launched a Coronation Shop/Business window competition, We are inviting all businesses and shops along the High Street and surrounding areas to dress their windows Fit for a King. It will then be up to the residents of Halstead to decide on their favourite by voting over the Coronation weekend, To ensure that you are on the final voting list please register your shop/business by emailing the more entries we have the better our lovely Town will look.

Secretary`s report for 2022

Halstead in Bloom.  Secretary’s Report 2022.

2022 saw a return to a full complement of monthly meetings.  An extra-ordinary meeting was held early in January to decide on whether Halstead would enter Anglia in Bloom 2022 campaign – majority vote was for no entry but some additional category entries which were judged virtually were submitted.  All entries received good reports with Halstead Public Gardens being judged as ‘Best Park’ 2022.  An enjoyable ‘Christmas Tea’ was held at Queen’s Hall in January and was well attended by volunteers.  All enjoyed the afternoon and expressed hope that it could repeated in future.

This year we asked for support for volunteers from In Bloom partners and Braintree D.C. pledged continuing co-operation and in return HiB continued to be ‘eyes and ears’ for reporting issues.  Halstead Town Council continued to discuss what support would be available.

It was decided to produce a calendar 2023 and team members submitted photos from which choices were made.  The calendar was well received.

Halstead in Bloom continued to support local groups and events especially those celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

Bedding plants for both summer and winter were purchased from our usual sources – Colne Valley Nurseries and Bourne Brook Nurseries.  Many complimentary remarks were made about the displays.  Well done Joan for designs and to all for planting and maintenance.

At our Annual General Meeting 2021 – held in February ’22 – Margaret Eskins was unopposed as Chairman and was re-elected to the post.  Secretary/Treasurer was also re-elected.  It was proposed that all posts should have deputies to step in as required.  Mike Rees put himself forward as Deputy Chair and he was adopted.  No names were put forward for deputy secretary/treasurer but Annie Rees offered to take on the role of sponsor liaison and a team took on organisation of Local Garden Competition.  Cllr Mick Radley offered to oversee accounts.

Halstead in Bloom gave talks at Halstead U3A, Tollesbury Gardening Club, West Bergholt Flower Club, White Notley Gardening Club and Braintree Quadrant Coffee Morning and interest was expressed about In Bloom at all events.  Donations were received at U3A, Tollesbury, West Bergholt and White Notley and Lin and Doug joined HiB as volunteers as a result of the White Notley talk.

The proposed Town Centre regeneration work did not take place in 2022 but is said to be scheduled for 2023.

Monthly community litter picks have been a feature this year and have generally been well supported.   HiB successfully lobbied Eastlight Homes to remove the raised bed at Blamsters Crescent.  This was effective and the area has now been grassed and three fruit trees planted.

HiB was pleased to take part in the spectacular flower festival in July arranged by the Friends of St. Andrew’s Church and team members assisted at the event.  The first local garden competition for 2 years was a success and the managing team are keen to go forward to 2023 with new ideas and strategies.  HiB was pleased to take part in the Christmas Tree display at St. Andrew’s Church and Annie and the Krafty Krew were voted ‘Best Tree’ by visitors to the event.

The very hot, dry weather in summer 2022 posed some problems but with good team efforts and hard work displays were maintained and appreciated by residents and visitors. 

HiB was pleased to assist the family of the late Michael Hutchings by providing a memorial plaque for a bench at Mill Green Playing Field.  The family raised considerable funds for Halstead in Bloom in Michael’s memory.

Year was rounded off with a coffee and mince pie afternoon at the White Hart and was well attended by team – a great end to another successful In Bloom year.

Halstead in Bloom Treasurer’s Report 2022

I am pleased to report that once again Halstead in Bloom had a successful financial year in 2022 finishing in a slightly better position than the year began.

Annie has done sterling work attracting sponsorship with all past sponsors returning and new sponsors coming in.  Halstead Templars Rugby Club, Halstead Women’s Institute and Crownlea all gave sponsor money and have had sponsor signs displayed. 

Donations were also increased this year with the family of the late Michael Hutchings contributing greatly to funds.

Calendar 2023 showed increased profits over the former year and speaker’s fees/contributions were £225 when none were received in the previous two years.

Halstead Town Council paid us to provide baskets in 2022 where we had not charged for them in 2021.  Baskets and much of the town centre planting are owned by Halstead TC which is why they are watered by HTC although we plant and maintain throughout.

Christmas Cards showed a profit of £216.24 in 2022 against £49.33 in 2021 – thank you to Joan and Dennis for this contribution.

Retail donations (from the Co-op and Give as you Live) increased this year to £1038.46.

Interest on our savings account for the year was £2.06 up from 20p. the previous year

On the cost side the amount paid for plants was up by £561.76 and market forces will mean a steeper rise in 2023. 

We paid a greater amount for compost this year, up £361.12 mainly because we had non in stock at the start of the year.

Postage costs rose slightly this year – about 15 copies of the minutes are posted every month plus some additional letters of thank you, etc. We continue to monitor closely the balance sheet for Halstead in Bloom and the Trustees are mindful of their duties to oversee finances diligently.

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