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!
Jim began his career in horticulture straight from school as an apprentice gardener with his local council parks department. He then attended Cannington College in Somerset before continuing his career in local government at various locations.
He enjoyed a short period in the private sector working as a gardener at a villa on the banks of lake Zurich, in Switzerland, before “hiraeth” took him back to his native South Wales and eventually to a 25 year period with the City and County of Swansea parks department, taking early retirement in 1997.
His involvement with ‘in Bloom’ began in the early 1970s as a participant preparing entries for the competition, and he has now been involved on the judging side as a Wales in Bloom judge and Foundation Committee member since 1999.
Andrew began his horticultural career as an apprentice gardener with Gateshead Council in 1983 and trained at Houghall College, Durham. In 1990 he moved to City of Durham Council and held various posts with the authority including Horticultural Officer, Grounds Maintenance Officer and Technical Manager. Following local government re-organisation in April 2009 he was appointed Technical Support Manager with the new Durham County Council Neighbourhood Services Department. In this role he is responsible for a wide range of streetscene technical services including the development of parks and open spaces.
Andrew is a passionate supporter of the ‘Bloom’. He sits on several local ‘in Bloom’ groups and helped steer Durham to national success in 2005. In the same year he received an Award of Commendation from the RHS for his involvement with the competition over a number of years. He is a trustee of Northumbria in Bloom.
A Fellow of the Institute of Horticulture; Andrew has been an active member of its Northern Branch and also nationally.
OTHER: Loves tulips. After the long dark days of winter, the colour of tulips, like a tonic, gives him a boost and encouragement for the gardening year ahead. Andrew is a big fan of musical theatre – Les Miserables is his favourite.
Andrew has always had an interest in gardening. He used to watch Blue Peter and once sent a letter about an Italian sunken garden they had just created – Andrew received a Blue Peter badge, which he still has!
With work commitments, his own garden, involvements in Northumbria in Bloom, RHS Britain in Bloom, the Institute of Horticulture and several local ‘in-bloom’ groups, he doesn’t have time for much else but does enjoy going to church and taking his Labrador dog for walks!