New Marske in Bloom was started in 2005 when a small group of residents got together to tidy up the beds at Kilbridge Close, which was plagued by vandalism.
With the help of the police and especially Kevin Wilson at the Borough Council they managed to get the vandalism addressed and BT decided to remove the telephone box which was one of the main targets of vandals. A logo was produced by Ciaron Rider and is still used by the group today. A small amount of money was raised to fund some oak barrels along Longbeck Lane and some plants for the beds at Kilbridge Close.
The Environment Manager, Kevin Wilson provided some high viz jackets and Kathryn Capstick cleverly copied the logo onto the back of each with a home made stencil and some black car spray paint. Residents sponsored the barrels and could have a plaque on a tub with a message of their choice.
It was soon found that the barrels had a short life of around 5 years so more funding was sought to place large containers guaranteed for 30 years. Another poor point about the oak barrels was that they were easily stolen and there were several thefts until they changed to the large tubs. Each year the group plants up a different area of New Marske with daffodils. Members gather and with help from the Borough Council they usually have several hundred bulbs planted in under an hour. These become a treat to see in the Spring.
Stone planters were donated by the Borough Council, one at either end of the village. These are planted up twice a year at the same time as the tubs. They certainly enhance the village and everyone is very proud of them.
In 2009, the group entered Northumbria in Bloom and were lucky enough to win a silver medal. Again in 2010 and in 2012. After this they decided there were not enough volunteers to help for the work involved in entering so they decided to drop out, although they still plant up the tubs in summer and autumn, keep the beds at Kilbridge Close tidy and continue with autumn bulb planting.
A modest £15 a year is charged to sponsor the tubs. The group also gets an annual grant from Saltburn, Marske and New Marske Parish Council towards costs.
There have been a few hiccups over the years like the time that three tubs were turned over, but luckily they were not damaged. If the vandals thought they had achieved something they were wrong because it brought the community together and the group were overwhelmed with the amount of support they got.
New Marske in Bloom achieved what they set out to do, which was to make the village a more beautiful place to live and work. Grateful thanks are sent to those who help, Parish Warden, Parish Council, Sponsors, Borough Council, Kevin and all those who volunteer.
If you would like to help New Marske in Bloom, please contact Vera Rider on 01642 483234.