A young gardening enthusiast took centre stage as the annual Carrickfergus in Bloom challenge was thrown down on Friday.
Ross Lough, a Year 11 pupil at Downshire School, delivered the launch address after a light-hearted exchange with Alderman May Beattie, chairperson of the Parks, Countryside and Amenities sub-committee.
Alderman Beattie explained it came about while she was chatting with pupils from the school’s horticulture class at the Andrew Jackson Centre event
“I joked would any of them like to help with my speech and Ross said ‘I will do it’,” said Mrs Beattie.
Moments later he found himself at the microphone outlining to an audience of fellow pupils, teachers and community representatives details of this year’s programme, which will see Carrickfergus Council plant out thousands of bedding plants.
The lunchtime garden party in the Boneybefore grounds took place in glorious sunshine to the sounds of the APEX Jazz Band. Praising Ross for his contribution, Alderman Beattie added: “He can always say he spoke in front of 50 people. The school will be proud of him.”
The initiative attracts around 1,800 participants and includes community competitions such as best kept garden, best kept shop, tallest sunflower, painting and poetry contests.
(Full story in Carrick Times, on sale Wednesday, June 4 2014.)