The Week in the Life column with Keith Tordoff

I have been discussing plans for this year's Britain in Bloom with Tim Ledbetter (left) Chris McSherry.
I have been discussing plans for this year's Britain in Bloom with Tim Ledbetter (left) Chris McSherry.

Another busy week with talks, TV appearances and planning for Pateley Bridge in Bloom 2019. Last Friday morning I was at the Cairn Hotel in Harrogate giving a talk to over eighty members of the U3A group.

This group is made up of people who attended university later in their lives and is called University of the Third Age.

Sunday evening and the Channel 5 TV programme ‘Britain’s Favourite Sweets’ was shown. This two-hour long show had anticipated viewing figures of around two million! The show included local children Reuben, Freyja and Georgia Thompson appeared on the programme with myself.

On Monday which was a cold winters day, you might not expect too many visitors in Pateley Bridge but the TV programme the night before clearly had an effect.

Visitors kept coming into the shop during the day and saying they had decided to have a run out to have a look at the shop having seen it on TV. Many had never been to Pateley Bridge before, including a couple who had made a special trip from Hastings.

Last week I met Jane Thomas and her son James who live in Pateley Bridge.

Jane speaks a number of languages and runs from her home a translation and interpreting service. James her son who is 17 is an amazing artist who produces his work from discarded scratch cards and tickets. James is studying art at college but has already had an exhibition of his work on display at the National Coal Museum.

James has recently been commissioned to produce a piece of art work for Pontefract Racecourse using the entry tickets that racegoers throw away.

With the connection to horse racing, although I am not a gambling man, if I was to have a flutter I would have one to back James as a future famous artist. James has very kindly agreed to do some of his art work for the Pateley Bridge in Bloom group.

Talking of Pateley Bridge and it being in the Britain in Bloom contest this year, Kirsty Shepherd, Tim Ledbetter, and I met up with Chris McSherry from Harrogate Borough Council to discuss the competition.

It is through working with various partners and members of the community that Pateley Bridge will soon be having its flower borders planted out and various displays put up around the High Street.

The discussion with Chris centred around colour themes and the route we will take the judges around Pateley Bridge.

The judges will be coming on behalf of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in late July or early August. The meeting was extremely useful and Harrogate Borough Council and the Pateley Bridge in Bloom group have decided that in view of the UCI Road World Championship coming through Pateley Bridge, the colour theme for planting out should be the UCI colours.

The colours are green, yellow, black, red, blue – the same colours that appear on the rings of the Olympic flag. For the black flower this is usually replaced with a dark purple one which looks black.

For the Britain in Bloom contest it is always good to come up with something a little bit different or quirky for judging.

I got an idea this week when I went to give a talk at Lister House which is run by the Royal British Legion.

Outside the front of Lister house is a large aircraft propeller and a Saracen armoured vehicle which both have flower displays around them including of course lots of red poppies. Armoured vehicle ‘now there’s an idea’ anyone got a spare tank they can let me have?