17 September 2019

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Mr Farron is celebrating another blooming success for Penwortham Priory Academy – but next year he will be judging rather than showing!

Gardener, Mr Farron, has transformed abandoned parts of Priory into educational and colourful areas and has won a number of awards.

He has been entering the school for Penwortham in Bloom every year since 2015 – except one year when building work meant it wasn’t possible - and has been rewarded with school and community titles.

This year again he was in the prizes as Priory was awarded first place in the High School Category for Penwortham in Bloom 2019.

The school will now go onto the South Ribble awards and also North West In Bloom in Southport – the latter award has only been won once in Lancashire, and that was by Priory in 2016.

“It’s always an honour to win awards,” said Mr Farron, who started working at Priory as a volunteer around five years ago when he retired.

“I am proud and it’s a privilege to work at Priory. It’s taken two years to do what I wanted to do in the Quad and I am currently on phase two. There are four phases and we have some ambitious ideas. I am lucky as I get total freedom from headteacher Mr Eastham.

“I am pleased to get such praise off my peers but it’s really for the staff and the students. The big thing for me is seeing the students’ interest in the gardens, asking about colours, flowers, species and genuinely being interested in what is going on.

“I was almost apologetic when they said Priory had won again and they asked if next year I would step up onto the judging panel for Penwortham in Bloom.

“It means Priory can’t enter the competition but work will be ongoing and I will have the chance to see other gardens in Penwortham and perhaps get ideas off them!

“The gardens are important at Priory, we will be bringing the community in to see them and holding coffee mornings so everyone can appreciate them.”

Headteacher Mr Eastham said: “Chris has transformed the gardens, it’s completely different to how it was and both students and staff comment on it. I think visitors are gobsmacked when they come in and see the work which has gone on and we want the community to appreciate it as well.”