A blooming marvellous effort for Bute’s shot at gold

Iain and Gordon Gillespie of Bute in Bloom at one of the completed lamp posts.
Iain and Gordon Gillespie of Bute in Bloom at one of the completed lamp posts.

Members of the Bute in Bloom committee have already started their preparations despite judges not arriving on the island until the summer.

Two members, brothers Iain and Gordon Gillespie, have been busy working on 16 of the elaborate lamp posts along Battery Place. This carries on their efforts from the 10 lamp posts which were enhanced for the 2018 campaign.

Iain, who is the chairman of Bute in Bloom, is calling on islanders to support the group ahead of the expected visit by Keep Scotland Beautiful judges in August.

He said: “Due to the fact that the points for community involvement have been increased from 25 per cent to 30 per cent we are asking members of the public to support us by donating towards our efforts.

“Collection tins will be stationed adjacent to where we will be working, Battery Place, the Rose Beds along Victoria Street, the Rabbit Garden and around the pier and harbour railings.

“All of the money raised will go towards enhancing Rothesay Town Centre for the Keep Scotland Beautiful Campaign.”

Although peaking in the summer months, Bute in Bloom’s activity is year-round with everyone on the island able to contribute even in a small way towards a favourable assessment from judges every August.

Last year The Bute in Bloom team were awarded the Beautiful Scotland Silver Gilt award, after filling 68 planters to brighten up Rothesay.

The group also carried out community work throughout the year and painted approximately 150 metres of shoreside railings, repaired and repainted 30 benches and planted new roses in the Putting Green gardens.

And local nursery school children also got involved in Bute’s efforts last year with planting pots.

Ian explained how far the Bute in Bloom project has come since its small scale beginnings in 2015.

He said: “It started out with just nine planters around a corner. Then it went up to 15. In 2017 we had 55 and last year we another 13. Those 13 went over the railings. “