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TOWNS' DISPLAYS WOW JUDGES; HEART OF ENGLAND IN BLOOM: Rugby clinches the coveted gold award and Leamington Old Town gets a silver.

Byline: By ANDREW HEATH andrew_heath@mrn.co.uk

PETAL power brought Rugby town centre recognition in the Heart of England in Bloom competition and rewarded the hard work there with a gold award in the small city category.

Rugby town centre manager Robin Richter said: "It really brings some colour into the town and although a lot of people moan and groan about everything these days, everybody says how wonderful our display is."

And this year for the first time, Leamington's Old Town picked up the honours after determined efforts there caught the judges' attention.

Having spent four months co-ordinating community groups, local businesses, and schools, Pauline Haynes was unable to hide her joy after hearing the previously run-down area had picked up a silver award in the urban regeneration category of the 2005 contest.

As chairman of the Old Town Business Association, she said: "I am really thrilled. I was expecting just to get a merit award.

"It is fantastic because we have never done it before and it is the culmination of a tremendous team effort.

"You can see the difference between the area now and four or five years ago and we have pictures to prove it.

"The improvements made by the flowers, hanging baskets and reduction in graffiti is just amazing."

Leamington Town Centre manager Paul Haynes said: "Pauline has pulled it all together and we are delighted for the whole team."

CAPTION(S):

D27657_2. IMPRESSIVE: Some of the beautiful gardens in Caldecott Park, Rugby. Pictures: MARK RADFORD. D27657_9. SNAPPER SNAPPED: Roy Makepeace, from Nuneaton, makes his own record of a visit to Caldecott Park. D27657_4. GATEWAY TO HEAVEN? Blooms provide a colourful entrance to Caldecott Park. D27657_8. HAND IN HAND: A couple admire the gardens and borders in Caldecott Park, Rugby, as they wander through. D27658_7. SEAT IN THE SUN: Passers-by walk through the colourful displays of Jephson Gardens, while otthers take five minutes to just look.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 3, 2005
Words:328
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