Dazzling Driffield in East Yorkshire

PUBLISHED: 12:25 13 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:17 20 February 2013

It is market day in Driffield every Thursday

It is market day in Driffield every Thursday

Chris Titley explores a bright and blooming Wolds town in East Yorkshire<br/>Photographs by Neil Holmes

If you're looking for a splash of colour to brighten up a drab autumn day, head over to Driffield. The Thursday market is a kaleidoscope - oranges, glossy red tomatoes, sunny yellow grapefruits, and every green from the pastel shades of an iceberg lettuce to the deep hues of the kiwi. And it's not only the fruit stalls which dazzle. Rails of colourful clothing, wrapping paper and - inevitably at this time of year - Christmas cards and decorations are all on sale under the striped canopies.

The shops competing with this regular rainbow have responded with admirable gusto. Some have opted for stylishly bold fascias. With others it's the chromatic window display which catches the eye. But the biggest splash of colour amid this riot of primary shades is provided by the flowers.

On my visit the wonderful results of Driffield In Bloom's hard graft were evident everywhere: under the Millennium Clock, down narrow alleyways, attached to shops and all over the town's railway station, offering the most vivid welcome to the town.

The group has just taken the Silver Gilt Rose Award at the Yorkshire in Bloom finals, following gold three years ago, and the prize was thoroughly deserved. While Driffield Town Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council played their part in this success, the beautiful displays are mainly thanks to the dedication of the 10-strong Driffield in Bloom committee.

They raise money for the cause all through the for the displays year with car boot sales, coffee mornings and similar events, and the flowers are bought from local garden centres.

'We seem to neglect our own gardens to do the gardens in the town,' says chairman Shirley Franklin. 'But it's our privilege to do that. We love it. We just enjoy doing it for the sheer pleasure of seeing how nice the place can look.

'You appreciate that Driffield is a working town. It isn't like Beverley which has architectural beauty and nice little corners - it's just what it is, two or three straight roads with plenty of businesses that are busy, but it's not a beautiful place.'

The bright hanging baskets 'lift the spirits', Mrs Franklin adds.

'We do get a lot of comments and people do enjoy them.' She has lived in Driffield for nearly 50 years and says the town has changed in that time. 'It's expanded. I know a lot of people having lived here a long time but there's an awful lot of strangers, and sadly a lot of them live on the big estates, work out of town and shop out of town.'

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