Floral roadworks spring up in Oakham

From l to r,  Oakham in Bloom members, Chris Morten chairman,  Craig Howat, vice chairman and Pippy Woodley. Submitted.
From l to r, Oakham in Bloom members, Chris Morten chairman, Craig Howat, vice chairman and Pippy Woodley. Submitted.

A town which has won several accolades for its floral decorations will be showcased on a new BBC television series.

Blooming Marvellous highlights the work of 15 Britain In Bloom towns around the country and will examine the cooperation between volunteers from the groups, the community and councils.

Oakham in Bloom's decorations.

Oakham in Bloom's decorations.

The news that the town, which won Britain in Bloom in 2007, is set to feature on the show coincides with Oakham in Bloom’s announcement that it will be decorating the town in a roadworks theme - in an effort to cheer up residents who have been frustrated by a project to improve electricity facilities in the town.

Chris Morten, chairman of the group, said: “This [featuring on the BBC] is a fantastic opportunity to nationally advertise what a small town can achieve.

“We are excited that we have been chosen as one of 15 locations out of the whole country. It can only be good for business.”

BBC filming is in three stages, with the first taking place outside the library in the town on Sunday at 10.30am - the day in which Oakham in Bloom’s first ‘Big Summer Planting Day’ starts.

Due to a £400,000 electricity project by Western Power Distribution, a one-way traffic system and roadworks has been installed along the High Street and Market Place and the work has frustrated residents in the 
town.

To help lighten the mood, Oakham in Bloom has teamed-up with Rutland group, Men in Sheds, to create a floral theme for the town entitled ‘Bloomin’ Roadworks’.

As part of the project, equipment such wooden planters, wheelbarrows, hard-hats and road cones will be purchased by Oakham in Bloom and then decorated with flowers.

Oakham Brownies will also be lending a hand by decorating wheelbarrows and triangular shaped road signs that will hang from trees.

Oakham in Bloom are also in talks with Western Power Distribution over the firm decorating its own equipment such as diggers.

Chris said that the roadworks project aims to give people cheer and make sure the town continues to look its best.

“We are going flat out to make sure it looks beautiful in spite of the roadworks,” he said.

“The concept was applauded by the film crew [from the BBC] and we feel sure it is one of the reasons why Oakham was 
chosen.”

Those attending The Big Summer Planting Day are asked to bring hand tools, kneelers and friends.

Residents who want to appear on the BBC programme are advised to avoid wearing clothes with logos and brands or anything white or with stripes - people who don’t are asked to inform Oakham in Bloom so they can arrange for them to-do work out of view of the cameras.

Blooming Marvellous is expected to air sometime in 2018.