Ardee was named Most Improved Town at this year’s Louth Looking Good Awards last Thursday – and the Fair Green area, main shopping streets, the Railway Walk and De La Salle Crescent were among the spaces celebrated by the judges who visited the town.
‘We don’t know what happened in Ardee this year but whatever it is, you should bottle it as you produced one of the best cleanliness ratings in the county!’ the report read. The adjudicator described Ardee’s kerbside weed control as ‘superb’ and the litter control as ‘excellent’.
The Fair Green park area was lauded in the report with the visiting judges celebrating the well maintained green areas, seating, trees and exercise equipment – calling the park ‘most appropriate for an age friendly town’.
‘The main shopping streets present a bright, breezy, vibrant summery atmosphere as a result of the constant presence of floral displays which were profuse, colourful and produced a real welcoming razzle dazzle that couldn’t fail to impress,’ it continued.
The Railway Walk was earmarked for praise, being called a ‘wonderful amenity’.
Among those businesses singled out for positive words were The Ferdia Arms. The report read, ‘The exquisite colour scheme and high quality paintwork is embellished by the most magnificent floral displays we have come across.’ Muldoon’s were said to ‘delight’ while Moods produced a ‘riot of colour’. Finlay’s sweetshop was described as ‘an absolute delight.’
In conclusion, the report read ‘Wow! A sparkling, joyful presentation in Ardee where it is immediately evident that residents and traders in the town support the efforts of possibly the longest serving Tidy Towns group in the county.
‘This type of partnership has ensured that you are back to where you belong among the main prizewinners in Louth Looking Good and that you live up to the motto on your street banners – “Open for Business – Caring for your Environment.”‘
In the Category D awards for housing estates, De La Salle Crescent was the highest scoring Ardee estate scoring 450 out of 500 marks, receiving it’s highest scores for General Cleanliness and Landscaping of Open Spaces – 93. That mark was enough for them to secure third place in the Category D competition behind Church View in Dromiskin and Beechwood Drive in Dunleer.
The estate was praised for it’s landscaping programme and its entrance. ‘Your discreet name sign is pleasingly displayed to an engaging backdrop of copper beech,’ the report read. The adjudicators said the estate’s greens were ‘immaculately manicured and edged’ with public seating and speed signs all maintained ‘to a high standard’.
Points were lost for dog fouling and cigarette buts while points were split when it came to the presentation of individual houses and garden. The report said the standard ranged ‘from exceptional to quite poor’ and said it was ‘definitely the area with most room to improve’.
Particular praise was reserved for De La Salle’s 18, 19, 20, 80 and 91. The adjudicator called their visit to De La Salle ‘a delight’.
The Adjudicators Award in 2017 went to Ferdia Park. The estate was praised for it’s cleanliness and landscaping maintainance while the report marked a ‘noted improvement in the number of good individual presentations’. Number five was called ‘a showstopper’ while special mention was also reserved for numbers eight and nine too.
The report remarked that the judges were unanimous that Ferdia Park should win the adjudicators award, citing their ‘continued sterling efforts!’
The other Ardee housing estate to pick up an award at Thursday night’s award ceremony was Cappocksgate. They took home the first ever Merit Award. Such was the impact of Cappocksgate’s efforts in 2017, Louth Tidy Towns Together partnered with one of their sponsors to request an additional prize to acknowledge their work.
The adjudicator stated that in any other category – Category D was for housing estates across Louth with 40 or more houses – Cappocksgate would win Most Improved. Community projects including their play area and herb patch were lauded while the approach and entrance to the estate was called ‘pristine’.
The report also noted that ‘more and more residents are taking pride in their individual presentation of their properties.’
Ardee featured heavily in the Shop Front Awards section – Marios, Brian Muldoons, The Ferdia Arms, Moods, Moorehall Lodge and Sizzlers all received Shop Front Awards. Their properties were adorned with attractive and colourful hanging baskets during the judging process. Elsewhere, Reaghstown was handed a Endeavour Award.