Bikes in bloom
Stamford Flower Club members have been working with Stamford in Bloom to brighten the townscape with flower-bombed bicycles, attracting plenty of compliments locally and photographs on social media.
Lincolnshire Life spoke to the chairman of the club, Mary Fenn who explained: “Since April last year, our regular meetings have been on hold and a lot of our members have been or are shielding. The few meetings we have held have taken place outdoors and with restricted numbers.
“When Yvonne Wagstaff, our club secretary, as well as a volunteer for Stamford in Bloom, suggested we could adopt and flower-bomb three painted bikes in town, it seemed a good way for the club to brighten the mood of members as well as the streets of Stamford.”
During the summer, three sites were given floral makeovers at Stamford Bridge, the end of the High Street and outside the hospital. All of the flowers and foliage are grown in members’ gardens or in the case of the sunflowers, on Mary’s family farm. “I grew some in the garden but they rather annoyingly thrived so much more on the agricultural land and they made a stunning display in August.”
The first bike was decorated as part of June’s British Flowers Week and included the wicker basket brimming with a mix of cut seasonal yellow flowers as well as hedgerow foliage. The rear pannier featured a pink themed display.
Members have also become more inventive and whimsical with the displays too as time has passed. Mannequins and figures created with wire and foliage have been integrated into the schemes. A country lady, ‘Josephine’, in her decorated straw hat rode the harvest festival bike with a cornucopia of berries, flowers and produce rising from a pumpkin base. This, the fourth bike to be decorated by club members, won a Pride of Stamford award.
Remembrance Day was marked by a beautiful arrangement of deep red oriental poppies and foliage in the basket of bike 3. Mary and her fellow club members have been delighted by the response locally to the displays.
“We wanted to keep the club in people’s minds as well as find a new way for us to express our own love of flowers and arranging them. It has been wonderful to see so many people stopping to look, especially younger people posing for pictures with the figures and displays.”
The sharp-eyed among the photo opportunists will also have spotted Chunky, the Wire Haired Dachshund, who has become an unofficial mascot for the club. Chunky is owned by Mary’s daughter and he regularly joins in club events including last summer’s presentation of 48 homegrown posies made by club members to the vulnerable and housebound in Stamford.
As part of the Christmas themed displays, Chunky was immortalised as a wire frame and moss pooch, riding the pannier behind a female Santa, with acorns for eyes and a conker for his nose. The bike at St John’s Church had an Enchanted Wood theme while the third bike at the hospital mini-roundabout was laden with presents and a sack-carrying Father Christmas.
During February if you are in Stamford keep your eyes peeled for a Valentine’s themed installation which will utilise the bike outside the hospital. Mary explained that it promises to be red and romantic!
“Our collaboration with Stamford in Bloom has been so successful,” said Mary. “Club members have been inspired by these cheerful projects as well as brightening the streetscape for the whole community.
“We hope that at some point this year we will be able to re-commence our diary of events and hold more meetings in person but until then bike-bombing has given us a tangible way to promote the club and engage our members during the pandemic.
“As an NAFAS affiliated club we are also due to take part in the Lincoln Flower Festival 2021 scheduled for July in Lincoln Cathedral, which we hope will be able to take place.”