Sadly, there won’t be hanging baskets in Hadleigh high street this year. We’ve put them up for the last 5 years but this year we were unable to raise the money we needed - nearly £7,000 - in the time we had to do it. We couldn’t start fundraising until our insurance cover from Hadleigh Chamber of Commerce was confirmed in mid-January. We needed the money in place before contracting with our suppliers at the beginning of March. Although many residents and traders were keen to contribute, we still had a shortfall of about £3,000 - and no time left to find it. For this reason we made the decision to have a break this year and use the time to set the finance in place for 2016.
For this reason we will be returning cheques already sent, and asking everyone to carry their pledge over to next year’s hanging baskets. To simplify the fundraising we hope contributors will agree to set up a standing order or direct debit for the beginning of March; we will be in touch with the relevant details. It’s worth pointing out that it is the community and not the councils which finances the summer baskets; Hadleigh Town Council pledged £150 towards them this year but Babergh District Council has never been a contributor. High street traders, town associations and residents are the people to thank for the annual flower baskets.
And we have our contractors to thank for the amazing displays we have had and we hope they will work with the scheme again next year. Ray from Hollywood Landscapes has done an outstanding job in the maintenance of the baskets over the years and we hope we can retain his services in the future. John from Claremont Nurseries in Hadleigh has been with the scheme from the start and we hope he will continue to bring his horticultural talents to planting and preparing the baskets.
The basket brackets, which are owned by Hadleigh Chamber of Commerce, under whose auspices the whole scheme is run, will stay in place and be safety checked as usual, so they ’ ll be ready for next year.
But the future of flowers in Hadleigh rests with the contributors and setting up a fundraising system which is efficient and effective. We ’ d be happy to hear from anybody who can help in this respect and urge contributors to help by setting up an annual contribution.
If we do this together, then we can get the flowers back into the High Street next year.
Guy Ormes, Ron Jenkins, Cyndy Hilton, the Hanging Gardens of Hadleigh volunteer team.