Thieves steal up to 30 new plants from floral displays in Harborough - just weeks before East Midlands in Bloom judges come to town

The huge blow has now been branded “shocking” by Barbara Tallis, the chair of Harborough in Bloom

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 3:57 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 3:58 pm

Thieves have stolen up to 30 new plants from exquisite floral displays in Market Harborough town centre.

They have ransacked the bedding plants from spectacular mini-shows in The Square just weeks before the town is judged in the prestigious East Midlands in Bloom competition on Monday July 12.

The huge blow has now been branded “shocking” by Barbara Tallis, the chair of Harborough in Bloom.

Harborough in Bloom volunteers with the floral displays - before they were stolen.
Harborough in Bloom volunteers with the floral displays - before they were stolen.

“This is so annoying and has left both me and all of our hard-working volunteers so disappointed and angry. It’s absolutely shocking,” said Barbara.

“I’ve been involved with Harborough in Bloom for seven years – and this is the first time we’ve had this sort of incident.

“We have had one or two plants taken in the past and kids damaging them.

“But to have up to 30 plants worth about £100 in the shops pinched has come as a massive shock.

“We just can’t believe that people in our lovely town of Market Harborough would stoop so low as to do such a thing.

“The culprits have obviously spotted our plants, liked them and systematically targeted them.

“They must be growing now in their back gardens,” added Barbara.

“It’s such a shame, especially coming just before our work in Market Harborough is judged in the East Midlands in Bloom competition on July 12.

“Our brilliant team of volunteers have been working so hard in the heat over the last few weeks to inject dazzling colour and floral vibrance into our town.

“And someone just comes along and steals our plants.

“It’s unbelievable.”

She said the unprecedented crime had struck a raw chord with outraged residents.

“We’ve been out planting by the church in the town centre today and so many people have told us how shocked and sorry they are.

“They have been coming up and offering us a kind word as well as any support they can give us,” said Barbara.

“These generous people have shown us the other much better side of human nature after this setback.

“We are still out planting about 3,000 plants altogether – at the railway station, the cricket club and around the old Grammar School.

“We take the annual in bloom contest very seriously – our town’s pride is at stake here.

“And we clearly want Market Harborough to look much better and brighter at the same time.

“We don’t normally bother with minor stuff but we have reported this crime to the police this time,” said Barbara, whose group is self-funding.

“CCTV cameras do sweep The Square right in the heart of town.

“So we can only hope that the people who did this are caught red-handed on the footage.

“I can’t even go and have a look at what’s been stolen yet because it’s too upsetting.

“But we will go back in the next week or two and replace the plants that have been taken.

“We are determined to carry on and make our displays better than ever.

“These thieves will never get the better of us, we will march on!”

If you have any information about the theft of plants you can call the police on 101 and quote Crime Reference Number 21000 329 466.