By Pat Wing
Britain In Bloom 2009 resulted in being a bumper year for Balsall Heath.
Two pupils, Rukhsar and Akhsar from Tindal Primary School returned from the Britain In Bloom presentation ceremony in Pershore with a Silver Gilt award, a major improvement on last year’s Silver award. In addition Balsall Heath received two special achievement awards. The first for litter management, and the second to Tindal Primary School for school involvement. These awards are a testament to all the hard work and commitment of local residents, schools, business and local housing associations who sponsored this event.
Although all of Balsall Heath was covered in colourful plants throughout the summer the Balsall Heath In Bloom entry only covered a small area taking in the Moseley Road by Lidl, Edward Road by the police station and George St. The hanging baskets, which are planted with non-stop begonias are still in full bloom. The judges also heard of the re-cycling work done by St Paul’s Community Development Trust, the early work of a group called Balsall Heath is our Planet, which is looking at environmental sustainability and the recycling, which is managed by the Council. The judges were taken on their tour of the area by pupils from Tindal School and also visited the carbon free footprint house which is being developed in Tindal St, the new front entance to Tindal School, the Clock PH, George St park. Along the way they saw the many hanging baskets outside the sheltered accommodation in Edward Road and the housing association properties in Homer St, Nursery Ave and George St. At the conclusion of their tour the judges returned to Tindal School, where they met pupils from Nelson Mandella School, Heathmount School, Clifton School, Percy Shurmer School, Ladypool School, Anderton Park and Tindal School. Each of the schools had prepared a brilliant display of the vegetable produce, which they had grown. After that the judges were treated to a meal, again prepared from produce grown by the pupils in the schools throughout the neighbourhood.
The end result is that Balsall Heath won three major awards! This year the Balsall Heath In Bloom project has been sponsored. Thanks must go to our principle sponsor Moseley and District Housing. They were supported by Friendship Housing, 20/20 Housing, Balsall Heath Housing Co-op, Midland Heart Housing, Harden Housing , Birmingham City Council Housing department and West Midlands Police.
Next year we must try and achieve the top award of ‘Gold’! A huge thank you to all those people who were involved this year. Balsall Heath is a more attractive neighbourhood as a result of your work.