Newark has finally struck gold in the annual East Midlands In Bloom contest.
The success in this year’s large town category was announced this lunchtime at an awards ceremony in Boston Stump.
The secretary of Newark In Bloom, Mrs Gillie Wilkinson, said she was stunned, but delighted.
“We couldn’t really believe it,” she said.
“An awful lot of hard work was put in this year and we are so pleased we have finally got gold.”
The town had been awarded a silver gilt for the past three years and last year missed out on gold by just two points.
This year there was plenty to cheer about with a score of 175 points — seven more than last year.
The judges said they were particularly impressed with the town’s colourful main shopping area.
They also made special mention of four five-tier floral towers in the Market Place.
The judges were impressed with the allotments on Hawton Road and had enjoyed visiting Bowbridge Court Care Home; Eton Avenue allotments; Sconce and Devon Park; the Clay Tavern pub garden; the sensory garden at Newark Town Lock and the National Civil War Centre.
'Keep up the good work'
“Now we have got gold we will have to ensure we keep up the good work to get it again next year,” said Mrs Wilkinson.
“We have already got some good ideas that we will start working on.”
The chairman of Newark In Bloom, Mr George Wilkinson, was at the awards ceremony, along with the Mayor of Newark, Mrs Rita Crowe, and her consort, Mr Rob Crowe.
Mrs Crowe said she was thrilled Newark had been awarded the gold and thanked everyone for their efforts.
The leader of Newark Town Council, Mr David Lloyd, said: “We have worked hard with the bloom committee and other partners to deliver this highest standard.
“I would particularly like to thank the businesses that supported the hanging basket scheme and helped the town look fantastic throughout the summer.”
Holy Trinity Catholic Academy, Newark, won the title of best wildlife garden in the East Midlands for a second year and also won gold in the best school garden section.