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Beyond Housing customer Nick Gallon has scooped a Gold Spade Award as a category winner in the prestigious Whitby in Bloom competition, at his very first attempt.

87-year-old Nick, who has lived with his wife Pam in their Sleights home for the last 53 years, entered the Best Kept Rural Garden category of the competition after spotting a newspaper advertisement earlier this year, but didn’t give his entry a second thought until an unexpected visitor from Whitby in Bloom told him he had won.

Nick said: “It was a real surprise – especially as this was my first time in the competition.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d win anything like this!”

Nick collected his winner’s certificate at a presentation ceremony at Whitby’s Metropole Hotel, along with a commemorative plaque which now holds pride of place on the wall next to his front door. “I think it looks very nice up there.” he said, “I’d like to thank the Beyond Housing tradesman who fitted it for me while carrying out a small repair at our home”.

The judges commented on Nick’s garden saying, “A beautiful display of colour-coordinated geraniums around a well-edged manicured lawn, bordered by well-groomed hedges, the formal garden is immaculately kept.”

After 53 years living at the heart of the village Nick has become a well-known figure in the Sleights community. He has always enjoyed his gardening hobby but during the winter months he is regularly spotted clearing snow and gritting footpaths so that local children can make their way safely to school.

After winning the award at his first attempt, Nick will be entering the 2019 competition in a bid to retain his title.

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