Desborough Civic Pride Awards honour community heroes at packed ceremony
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Desborough residents who have gone above and beyond to champion the town have been honoured by the Desborough Civic Society.
Representatives from community organisations, businesses, volunteers and specially invited guests gathered for the Civic Pride Awards.
Belinda Humfrey, chairman of Desborough Civic Society, welcomed everyone to Desborough Heritage Centre.
She said: “This year the awards are for people who have been responsible for making our town beautiful and cheerful – all in various forms of innovative public gardening.”
Of four awards, the first was presented to John Kemp, for 13 years as secretary of Desborough Civic Society and founder of Desborough in Bloom.
John, with a wonderful team of supporters, began the delivery of tubs, troughs and hanging baskets of flowers throughout the town centre streets which residents still enjoy. During his tenure the group planted 60,000 daffodil bulbs, won a UK national award and ran gardening competitions. Mary Payne succeeded Mr Kemp has as leader of the Desborough in Bloom group and has maintained and increased planting in public areas. They renovated and added gardens in the town.
Sam Tomkin took the award for the Desborough Central Co-op’s Community Garden. As the initial designer of the community garden, she insisted it was wildlife friendly. The scheme was financed by the plastic bag ‘tax’.
Albany Sheds’ zoo trail was given the final award, accepted by company owner Fred Burbidge. Over the years, the firm has added numerous life-size animals including a gorilla, a giraffe and a bear on their premises that runs down Rushton Road.
Ms Humfrey added: “The civic society major aim is to stimulate interest in and care for the history and character of the town, and to preserve and improve and develop historic features and interest.
"That, in large part, our Desborough Civic Society has certainly achieved, as probably the only civic society to run a heritage centre, an accredited museum – that is of best national standard, including 20 years in this building.
“The overall aim of all civic societies is ‘to inspire a sense of civic pride’. Like others, over years, we’ve supported this aim by the presentation of Town Pride Awards.”