The LIB Team came into being when a few friends, who happened to be members of Liphook Marketing Panel, were considering how to put life back into the village as, at that time, it looked quite sad.
The conversation continued over a couple of beers (as a lot of good ideas do!) and the project of enhancing the area with flower beds, containers and hanging baskets blossomed forth. The innovators behind the scheme were Terry Burns, Paul Johnson, Adrian Bird and Andy House.
From the outset we liaised closely with the Parish Council staff who were able to give us valuable advice. We found we needed to apply to Hampshire County Council for Permission To Cultivate before we could start work on the gardens or erect hanging baskets. Then the matter of public liability insurance raised its ugly head causing a bit of head scratching. However, a very generous local insurance broker came to our rescue with the sponsorship for this.
We started with no money and very little knowledge but with a great deal of enthusiasm! The word soon spread among local businesses and individuals. Sponsorship started to roll in and other kind individuals came forward to join the LIB Team. We were very grateful for help that came in many other forms too such as the loan of trucks and equipment for taking out the old soil and bringing in new.
Today we have gardens throughout Liphook which are planted up for flowering in Spring and the Summer/Autumn seasons. We have several large 3-tier planters throughout the area and in summer Liphook is awash with superb hanging baskets.
And we are big on recycling and environmental issues. Nothing is wasted. Bulbs which are taken out after flowering are planted in verges and distributed to schools and other local places. Our faded summer planting is composted in the large 3-bin compost bay we built specifically for the purpose on the allotments site here in Liphook.
The LIB team has entered Liphook into some regional competitions, which are now sponsored and supported by Southern Water. We have been very successful in winning awards for the people of Liphook village. Our recent achievements include a Gold Medal in 2005, a Silver Gilt in 2006 and a further Gold in 2007. We are fortunate to be able to maintain a very high standard. In previous years we have also been selected for, and entered into the national Britain In Bloom competition.
An annual photographic record has been made showing Liphook blooming at its best during the seasons. The photo collection also includes photographs of the LIB Team at work, past local competition entries and the judging of Liphook’s entry into the South & South East in Bloom competition. These albums are available for everyone to peruse and can be found in the Heritage Centre at the Millennium Hall.
You can imagine that we are a very busy team. We are all volunteers who willingly give of our free time for this wonderful cause. The LIB team currently comprises 20 core team members plus a number of other willing helpers who always turn out at busy times when we need all the hands we can get. The LIB team is also involved in maintaining Liphook’s Christmas lights. There is very little ‘down time’ in our calendar!
The aim of Liphook In Bloom is to make the area attractive for all to enjoy whether they are local residents, those who work here or for people visiting the Parish. We hope to bring a ‘feel good’ factor to everyone and make them smile.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the generous sponsorship and help we receive. This comes from many sources and enables us to meet our goals and achieve many good things for the village. Sponsorship is acknowledged by way of advertising plaques in the flower gardens or posted under hanging baskets as appropriate. But there can never be enough “thank-yous” to everyone who supports us.