Yorkshire in Bloom
Yorkshire in Bloom is a competition that is run within Yorkshire by the Royal Horticultural Society. It is for communities, community facilities (such as parks), charitable organisations, businesses and tourist attraction, and encourages them to make a positive and lasting improvement to their local environment for the benefit of local people. It is not just about planting flowers and hanging baskets, but also seeks to encourage more general environmental awareness. Entries are assessed by local judges, and are awarded either Gold, Silver Gilt, Silver or Bronze standards.
The Middleton Railway comes in the category for Tourist Attractions, and in 2022 we won a Gold Award, as we did in 2019 and 2018. The competition did not run in 2020 or 2021, as the corona virus pandemic meant that judging could not be organised.
Here is some of what the judges said about the railway in 2022. “Indoor and outdoor accessible areas were maintained to a high standard“. “All planted areas were of a high standard … with obvious thought & consideration had gone into the selection of plants“. “The volunteers clearly cared for the railway and their pride shone throughout … from the spotlessly clean Engine House & all the local history information to the immaculately kept engines & exhibits in the museum“.
In 2019 the judges had obviously enjoyed the whole of their visit, as they said “What an experience this was, the passion of the team is absolutely infectious. the history and heritage is wonderful. Well organised, fantastic interpretation.“. For the floral displays themselves they said “The planting around the station is wonderful, well cared for and all adds to the overall experience.“. They particularly liked the newly planted area in front of the entrance to the Engine House, and the fact that we had implemented the suggestions that they had made in 2018.
2018 was the first time that we had entered the competition, and the judging was due to take place only two days after the setback caused by the fire at a neighbouring builder’s merchants. Fortunately the judges made allowances for this, and in particular they said “The platform is the WOW factor to this entry, filled with colourful planters and hanging baskets. The planters have been made by a local school and are of a good quality and have been looked after year on year. The platform fencing is well kept and in keeping as is the fencing on the boundary..”. They also made some useful suggestions for how we might improve things further.
Child Friendly Leeds
One competition was for the “Child Friendly Leeds” awards. These are made at the beginning of each year, and for 2019 we were nominated in the category for “Best Place in Leeds for Children and Young People”
These awards are sponsored by Child Friendly Leeds, which is run by Leeds City Council, and this was the sixth year in which they had been made. More details of these awards can be found at Leeds City Council’s page for the Child Friendly Awards (which will open in a separate browser tab or window).
Day Out With The Kids
Another competition was for the “Family Favourites” awards, and is run by the organisation “Day Out with the Kids”. For 2018 we were one of six finalists from Yorkshire in the category “Best event at an attraction”. This recognised the success of our event “Walk in the Woods”, which ran in that year on Sunday 6th and Monday 7th May.
More details of these awards can be found on the website for Day Out With The Kids, at their page for their Family Favourites Awards (which will open in a separate browser tab or window). These awards could obviously not run during the coronavirus pandemic, and details of the 2022 awards are still awaited.