'Everyone can be involved in Bury in Bloom' says new co-ordinator Stephen Moody
The new co-ordinator of Bury in Bloom says he wants to involve the whole community in this year’s floral campaign - with conservation among the projects being explored.
Stephen Moody, a Bury tour guide as well as a duty manager and steward at the Theatre Royal, is aiming to build on the legacy of his predecessor Melanie Lesser, who led the town to gold in Britain in Bloom.
For the former charity manager, the roots of the Bury Society organisation should reach and inspire the entire community.
Stephen, 53, said: “I want to be really inclusive - doing your bit at whatever level. It’s about everybody getting involved .
“It isn’t just the town centre. I want to get out onto the estates.
"It doesn’t mean you have to be a horticulturist but it’s about using everybody’s skills to the benefit of Bury St Edmunds.”
The role is a natural fit for Stephen, who grew up in the town and has been events secretary for the Bury Society for about four years.
A familiar face around Bury, he can often be seen dressed as a monk during the town’s ghost tours.
He is BBC Radio Suffolk’s retail analyst after being in charge of scores of shops as manager of WHSmith at Stansted Airport and regional manager for charities Cancer Research UK and Scope.
“All those things has allowed me to meet people of influence in Bury and work alongside them,” he said.
“I’ve always been passionate about Bury.”
Working with Melanie, he was instrumental in the Lark and Linnet trail, which saw pupils’ artwork decorate bollards across Bury celebrating the town’s two rivers.
I’m very open to suggestions or ideas. Let's put them all in a pot from all over Bury and see what we can do together - Stephen Moody
Stephen says a new trail is on the horizon for 2019 and they are working on feedback from In Bloom judges.
“We’re the ones held up to be the example of what Britain in Bloom is looking for,” he said.
“They couldn’t give us top marks because we can’t be perfect.
“We’re as near to it as we possibly can be but one of the things they picked up on is conservation.
“That’s a great project we can pick up on to start looking at what we’re using and how we’re using it.”
This includes reusing green mulch and filling all their hanging baskets with peat free compost.
To help ‘beautify’ the town centre, he is considering window displays for empty shops.
They are looking to spruce up the Stamford Court area with planting, which is linked to the Bury Society’s efforts to refurbish the nearby Ouida memorial.
Stephen also wants the community to feed Bury in Bloom ideas to help sow the seeds of further success.
“People take a pride in Bury. Just having a nice environment really does make everybody feel better and it does lift the place.
"I’m very open to suggestions or ideas. Let's put them all in a pot from all over Bury and see what we can do together.”
More by this authorPaul Derrick