In Bloom judges witness unveiling of plaque

In Bloom judges witness unveiling of plaque

Britain in Bloom judges Roger Burnett and Jon Wheatley were among the people watching the unveiling of a plaque commemorating Samuel Owen, by Arne Sundstrom, at Norton in Hales Village Hall recently. This was the culmination of a tour of the village that the Royal Horticultural Society judges had made, examining the village’s floral displays and meeting villagers.

Samuel Owen was born in the village in 1774 at Norton Forge, and later emigrated to Sweden, where he became famous as the leading engineer and industrialist of his time in that country. Amongst other things, he built the first steam powered, propeller driven ship. It was fitting that Arne Sundstrom, who has written a book on Owen, should have journeyed from Stockholm to perform the ceremony. In the evening, Mr Sundstrom gave an illustrated talk on Samuel Owen to a packed audience. Whilst in the village, he was introduced to members of the Owen family who had travelled from other parts of the UK and Australia for the event, and they all then visited the site of Norton Forge -  where they were shown round by the current owners, John and Gwen Lovatt.

The village has to wait until September 29th to find out what they have achieved in the Britain in Bloom competition, when the results will be announced at a function to be held at the Centennial Centre in Birmingham. The opposition includes villages in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Whilst the judges did not give much away, Chairman of Norton in Bloom, Alma Finlay Burrows, said that they seemed to be quite impressed by the community spirit and the large number of people who had turned out.

After the unveiling, the chairman of the parish council, Ron Lucas, thanked Mr Sundstrom for travelling to Shropshire and wished the In Bloom judges well on the rest of their UK tour.

Date Posted: 16th August 2010

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