A COMPETITION that urged locals to take pride in their gardens to brighten up the area could be widened to the whole of Darwen.

Awards were handed out last night for the first Whitehall In Bloom competition at a ceremony at the Whitehall Hotel on Tuesday night.

Now councillors responsible for the competition will suggest to the town council and the borough that there is scope for it to go further.

There were five categories: best small garden, yard garden, school voluntary group, hanging basket and large garden. An independent judge chose the winners.

Whitehall town councillor John East said: “It is a great way to put a bit of pride into the local area. We would like to widen it out and I will be speaking to the town council and the borough council.Some of the rural areas in the borough are ideal for this sort of competition.

“It really helps to tidy the area up and it is simple and cost-effective.” Coun David Foster said they could create a competition between the town’s different wards.

He said: “If we could do it for each area and then have an overall winner for Darwen, that would be interesting. We need to keep it local so people take pride in their area.

“It is a good way of recognising people who do take pride in where they live and giving them a pat on the back.”

Small Garden:

Highly commended - Olga Fitzpatrick, Harold Heys and Paul Taylor, Debbie Beresford, Ann Lamont, Ian Grosvenor.

Joint Runners-up - Claire Birchenough, Dorothy Singleton, Rita Johnson, Elaine Duckworth.

Joint winners - Catherine Waddicor, John and Renee Priestley.


Yard garden:

Highly commended - John and Renee Priestley, Kim Graham.

Runner-up - Betty Ennis.

Joint winners - Irene Wickers, Vicki Cronshaw.

School volunteer group:

Winner - Ashleigh Primary School.

Hanging basket:

Highly commended - Catherine Waddicor, Kim Graham, Elaine Duckworth.

Third - Irene Wickers.

Second - John and Renee Priestley.

First - Stuart Standing.


Large garden:
Highly commended - Mrs Theodorou, Catherine Waddicor, Leni Whittle.

Joint third - Geoff Ormerod, Barry Coward.

Second - June Taylor.

First - Steve Duncan.