Blooming Haddington - Our Journey
As told by Joe Forte, past Chair of Blooming Haddington: “In September 2013 a meeting was arranged in Haddington Town House to discuss the possibility of forming a group to enter Haddington into the Beautiful Scotland annual competition.
“After a good discussion regarding what would be involved, it was decided to take the first step onto the ladder of our ‘Bloom’ journey. Our first committee was appointed, with a good representation from various organisations, such as the business association, Knox Academy, Amisfield Walled Garden, Friends of the River Tyne, St Mary’s Pleasance, Rotary and East Lothian Council.
“Our first objective was to name our group ‘Blooming Haddington’, form our constitution and open a bank account. The local press was very helpful by doing an article to publicise the formation of our group which helped to raise our profile in the community. Stan da Prato (Beautiful Scotland judge and North Berwick in Bloom member) was very kind and generous with all his advice and experience to Blooming Haddington during our first early steps.
“We then started to work on gathering material for our first entry into the 2014 Beautiful Scotland competition. As we started to put together our first portfolio, we began to realise what assets Haddington had, and that Blooming Haddington was bringing it all together under one umbrella to showcase at a national level. In just over three years, Blooming Haddington has achieved great success by winning best Medium Town in Beautiful Scotland 2015, and then going on to win a category award in the UK RHS Britain in Bloom finals in 2016.
“This success has been achieved by having a great core group of passionate, dedicated volunteers and Blooming Haddington developing a very good working relationship with East Lothian Council. We are now a valued and respected group within the Haddington community and, when looking for support or sponsorship, we find that doors are opening a little easier.
“Blooming Haddington would encourage any community thinking of starting a ‘Bloom’ group to go for it and take that first step onto the ladder. There will always be doubters in your community but until you take the first step you will never go anywhere.
“Good luck from everyone at Blooming Haddington, we are sure that you will be well rewarded for your efforts and gain great satisfaction and a few new friendships along the way.”
22 February 2017