Britain in Bloom judging is happening over the next 2 weeks with the judges working in teams of 2 and visiting the 76 finalists. So let’s meet the teams!
Sue’s horticultural training began at Writtle Agricultural College in Chelmsford with a further stint at Thomas Danby College in Leeds. Her initial roles as a gardener were with Sheffield Recreation Department and then the Department of Environmental Services at Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council. She then moved to East Lothian District Council’s Department of Leisure, Recreation and Tourism where she was involved with various external works as a technical assistant.
Since 1988, Sue has been with Harrogate Borough Council – initially as the Parks Technical Officer for 12 years where her responsibilities included designing and preparing bedding schedules for the whole District and then she became the Community Liaison Officer, for 7 years liaising with eight local “in Bloom” groups across Harrogate District many of which she has supported and mentored in both the Britain in Bloom and Entente Florale campaigns helping them achieve extremely high standards. Her current role is Horticultural Officer which includes designing landscape schemes across the District. Sue has been a judge for Yorkshire in Bloom since 2001 and on the Yorkshire in Bloom Executive committee since 2003.
Jim served as an apprentice gardener with Derby Parks Department, and continued his training at RHS Wisley. He then worked for a major Landscape Contractor to further his interest in landscape construction and design.
He moved to Birmingham in 1970, as Landscape Clerk of Works, and then to West Bromwich (later Sandwell) as Senior Technical Officer overseeing major reclamation works.
He served five years in Manchester as Parks Operational Manager and in 1981 a final move to Cardiff where he later became Assistant Director – Parks. Major accolades were the initiation of the Cardiff in Bloom campaign, and steering the City to success in the 1988 Britain in Bloom competition.
Since early retirement in 1995 he now works as a landscape/horticultural consultant. He chairs a local volunteer conservation group and has judged for Wales in Bloom for 18 years.
He particularly enjoys talking to local groups, and passing on his experience for the benefit of others.
OTHER: Loves Rock’n’Roll. In particular – Glen Miller and George Formby. He has also seen the Rolling Stones live, countless times. Another keen traveller, Jim loves a good train-ride and has been on railway journeys all over the world, including a 10-day trip through Italy. He also enjoys cruises. Once in France he saw the most beautiful floral display of his life – it was ‘flawless.’
Most shocking thing he’s seen when judging, was in Cardiff – there was a big field of yellow flowers with a terrifying metre high gnome dressed in yellow standing right in the centre of the field. Jim hates gnomes.