A JUDGE in the ‘in bloom’ competition was given an unexpected reason to like Ludlow.

Gareth Manning was making his way to the town to join his colleague Simon Long to judge the 2019 bid for gold.

The gardener and horticultural consultant from Shrewsbury was making his way to the town down the A49 when he had a problem.

“The number plate on my car was coming off,” said Mr Manning.

Unable to continue his journey Mr Manning did not know what to do.

But Ludlow Motors came to the rescue and saved the day as well as giving a very positive impression of the town before he had even looked at a single flower.

“I asked if they would help me and they could not have been more helpful,” said Mr Manning, who moved to Shropshire a couple of years ago after living in London where he was involved in judging the London boroughs in the capital’s ‘in bloom’ competition.

“The job involved more than might have been expected as the plastic screws had broken, and they had to drill out new holes for metal screws. It took about 20 minutes.”

The judge said that his experience had made a great first impression of the town and the friendly and helpful nature of the people.

This is especially important as ‘in bloom’ is about much more than the town looking good on the day.

There is now a great emphasis upon the general impression that is given to visitors and this is enhanced by a positive experience.

Mr Manning described the community involvement element that he experienced in Ludlow as ‘wonderful.’

The town now only has to wait a few weeks to discover if it has been successful in its bid to secure another gold as the results will be announced in early September.

Only three times in nearly two decades has Ludlow failed to win the top accolade and win gold from the judges.

If it does so again the garage will have played an important part.