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Forres In Bloom volunteers Vince Lyon and Bert Logie presented with Highly Commended Award by Scotland Loves Local High Street Heroes campaign

By Garry McCartney

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Vince and Bert at work in a greenhouse at Grant Park.
Vince and Bert at work in a greenhouse at Grant Park.

TWO local volunteers have been highly commended as High Street Heroes as part of the Scotland Loves Local campaign.

Pensioners Vince Lyon and Bert Logie are recognised for their tireless gardening work around the town with Forres In Bloom (FIB).

A High Street Heroes Awards spokesman explained that the event celebrates the achievements of those who have supported their communities by going above and beyond during the pandemic.

He said: "Our judges heard how Vince and Bert have been helping to ensure Forres has enjoyed an amazing array of floral colour for many years - but how that work has been more challenging due to coronavirus.

"Their commitment to the community is clear and we are delighted to recognise that with a Highly Commended Award for their work which does great good for the town."

He added: "Vince and Bert are fine examples of those who are determined to keep our towns attractive. They have used their skills to help FIB lift the spirits of those around them at a time when that has never been needed more.

"We hope that this award serves as a special thank you for all that they have done over the years - but especially during 2020."

Bert can be found at Grant Park for around four hours every day of the week apart from Saturday.

He said: "Since March this year, we've small plugged plants in the greenhouses, grown them, cut grass with our new mower, planted out the flower beds and are now clearing the leaves. I love seeing the beds in full flourish and meeting visitors to the town from all over who say how nice they are and what a good job we've done!

"They are great rewards but I feel that all of the other members of FIB deserve commendations because they are all equally deserving for doing the same jobs as me!"

FIB secretary Sandra Maclennan confirmed Bert and Vince are long-standing FIB volunteers.

She said: "Bert carries out all manner of tasks including gardening, building, maintenance etc. We each have areas we look after and one of Bert's is the Sign Bed opposite Anderson's Primary School. He is in charge of Fuchsia production along with Bob Davidson and their plants are to be seen throughout Forres. He and Bob grow many of our plants from seed, cuttings and over-wintering. He is always ready to give advice and to support novice gardeners.

"Vince's main areas are the Victoria Hotel roundabout and Market Green gardens. He is our Dahlia and Polyanthus Man and over-winters dozens of plants. He also helps water all the town container displays. His horticultural skills are a huge asset to the team."

Sandra added: "The FIB team are delighted that our two heroes have been recognised. Bert and Vince work tirelessly, both in front of and behind the scenes, to make sure that our bonnie town continues to deserve its award winning status for the benefit of our residents and to attract visitors to boost the local economy. This year FIB has received many compliments and thanks for lifting spirits through this difficult time."

In a letter to Vince and Bert, chief officer of Scotland's Towns Partnership, Phil Prentice said: "Thank you for your tremendous work. We truly have seen the best of community spirit shine during these most difficult of times."

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