East Antrim asked to celebrate ‘best blooms’

Celebrating the launch of the 2017 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competiton Awards were (from left) David Brown and Bill Pollock, Brighter Whitehead, Frank Hewitt, Translink Chairman, Cllr Paul Reid, Mayor of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Moira Rodgers, Brighter Brighthead, Ald Freda Donnelly, NI Local Government Association Vice President, Gerard McAatarsney and Brian Goodfellow, Translink NI Railways.
Celebrating the launch of the 2017 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competiton Awards were (from left) David Brown and Bill Pollock, Brighter Whitehead, Frank Hewitt, Translink Chairman, Cllr Paul Reid, Mayor of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Moira Rodgers, Brighter Brighthead, Ald Freda Donnelly, NI Local Government Association Vice President, Gerard McAatarsney and Brian Goodfellow, Translink NI Railways.

The 2017 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition was officially launched during Northern Ireland’s Bus and Train Week (June 5 – 11).

The awards encourage cities, towns and villages right across Northern Ireland to look their best, boosting civic pride through beautiful plant and floral displays.

Jane Murphy launches the 2017 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition. Picture by Brian Morrison

Jane Murphy launches the 2017 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition. Picture by Brian Morrison

The 39th year of the annual horticultural competition has attracted 128 entries representing all local council areas as well as 32 bus and train stations.

Competition categories include: Small Village, Large Village, Small Town, Town, Large Town, City, Roses in Towns, Special Awards for Outstanding Presentation, Ulsterbus Tours Community Champion, Community Rail Halt, Floral Station and Most Improved.

Speaking at the launch, Translink Chairman Frank Hewitt said: “This year’s competition launch is one of our flagship Bus + Train Week 2017 events and we’re pleased to have all council areas supporting both this competition and our week-long celebration of public transport – encouraging more people right across Northern Ireland to give the bus or train a go.

“Public transport plays a vital role in the success of Northern Ireland supporting economic growth and social inclusion while offering energy efficiency and ‘low carbon’ mobility. It’s very encouraging to see more people choosing the bus and train – over 1.5 million additional fare-paying passenger journeys were made last year. And like Ulster in Bloom, we remain committed to building a more sustainable society, respecting the natural environment.

“We would like to thank all councils, businesses and community groups for taking part in the competition and look forward to enjoying their beautiful displays over the summer months as they make our cities, towns and villages more attractive places to live, work and visit.”

Alderman Freda Donnelly, Vice President, Northern Ireland Local Government Association, commented: “It is my pleasure to be with you all today at the launch of the 39th year of the Translink Ulster in Bloom competition and to convey the Associations admiration, appreciation and encouragement to everyone involved.

“Ulster in Bloom celebrates the successes that can be achieved when councils, “Bloom” committees, residents and businesses, get together to take pride in the places where they live and work, creating a better environment for everyone to live in and share.

“As your Local Government Association, NILGA represents, promotes, sustains and improves local government on behalf of all councils. The Association fully supports Ulster in Bloom and we are delighted to have each council represented again this year.

“To all our participants and everyone involved, thank you for leading by example, and congratulations on your achievements to date and in the many years to come.”

Translink is asking the public to celebrate their ‘Best Blooms’ by simply tweeting photos to @Translink_NI #ulsterinbloom highlighting where they were taken and they’ll be included in an online album of all the beautiful displays blooming across Northern Ireland. The top ten photo entrants will also win a week’s free Translink travel. For more details, visit www.translink.co.uk/ulsterinbloom/.