Make Marlborough beautiful for 365 days every year proposed Val Compton, and start it off by making Marlborough ‘Fit for a Queen’ to coincide with the forthcoming Platinum Jubilee in early June. Val set out her ideas to the Town Council at last night’s meeting (10 January) of the Amenities and Open Spaces Committee.
“This is about taking pride” explained Val. “It’s about our neighbourhoods, where we live and/or work, our street, our garden in a condition that makes us all proud.” she added, giving the very simple and memorable idea that we could all think ‘what would we do if the Queen popped down our street for a visit?’
That really summed it up, whilst making people realise that it isn’t an awesome time-consuming major job, it’s about making where we live tidy, but importantly bedecked with flowers, and flowers that reflect each and every time of the year.
Val sees this as following on from the very successful series of ‘Marlborough in Bloom’ campaigns where the town has done progressively better each year. “But let’s make Marlborough look as it can every day” she explained, adding that whereas Marlborough in Bloom focused on a single day in July, when the judges arrived and toured around – but to a very pre-determined route – the 365 day scheme is about keeping the town and where we live like this all the time.
If we thought about what we would do if the Queen actually did pop in for a cuppa, we’d probably get everything tidy and clean first, then – depending on how much notice we’d been given – plant an attractive array of flowers and make every part of the house, the street, and where the Queen would pass to get to that all-important cuppa exactly as we would want. It’s all about the pride in where we live.
‘Marlborough in Bloom’ has paved the way for this. The town looked superb, at its best for that single day every July when the judges paid a visit.
“We’re not going to get it all perfect, immediately” said Val. These ideas, intentions and projects take time, as do flowers to bloom. “We can start with small ideas and grow organically (excuse the pun) over the years, as some things will work – others won’t” she added, pointing out that something that looks great takes less time and effort to keep in top condition than it does to start from scratch.
Val’s idea is to also run a series of events, such as a one-day flower market, a Marlborough Flower Festival, involvement of key local groups such as ARK (Action for the River Kennet), Transition Marlborough, Wiltshire Wildlife, the Town Council and more, to play a part in getting the town ‘spruced up’ and keeping it that way.
Val summed it up by emphasising that it is about total inclusivity of local people.
“It’s not about committees” she stated. “It’s about us keeping our gardens, frontages and neighbourhoods as we want them to be, and in a condition that makes us all proud”.
So this isn’t a recipe to follow, no written down formulae as to what is right or what isn’t, it’s about making where we live look great. So if and when the Queen (or any other member of the Royal family, for that matter) does pop down the street (as Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall did recently to the new Parade Cinema), the place will be perfect for that cuppa…