Interview With Chris Holmes , New Chair Of Belle Isle And Middleton In Bloom

Belle Isle and Middleton in bloom (5)Interview with Chris Holmes, new Chair of Belle Isle and Middleton In Bloom. Questions by Kenneth Ingram, volunteer reporter for South Leeds Life.

Chris you’ve recently been voted in as the new chairman of the Belle Isle and Middleton In Bloom Group. What do you hope to bring to the group in the next year or so?

First of all as you can see there has been three more planters on Belle Isle Road and Belle Isle Circus. Instaplanta has supplied them and with them how they work is we get the money from every 6th planter so hopefully with that funding that’s a regular revenue so we can get as many planters all the way up in Belle Isle and Middleton.

And get funding from these 6th planters it would be my idea to be able to supply hanging baskets subsidised, rather than asking someone to pay full price.

Instaplanta have recently taken on board some of the planting of containers for the In Bloom Group. Have seen two of these on Belle Isle Circus. Could you please tell me a bit about Instaplanta?

With Instaplanta what they do is actually supply the plant boxes which are around 4ft square they fill it, plant it and water it.Belle Isle and Middleton in bloom (9)

They also search out for possible sponsorship from companies which helps Belle Isle and Middleton look a better, more colourful which then leaves us volunteers at Belle Isle and Middleton In Bloom to do other things such as planting and where we are needed and allowed to plant. 

I would imagine BITMO and BITMOs GATE have meant a lot to you over the last few years before and after you joined the Board. Can you please tell us a bit about your best moments? Including how Julie has helped you in this venture.

I suppose there is no one thing I can say as there is many things that I’ve enjoyed doing. What I have learnt has helped me to come along and do more voluntary work and it’s inspired me to do more and been able to take this back to Julie who I then encouraged to start her Ancestry group.

Wouldn’t know whether she would or not but she said would give it ago. As you know yourself the group has gone from strength to strength. I applaud her whole-heartedly for that.

Belle Isle and Middleton in bloom (1)Please tell us a little about any hobbies you have Chris?

My hobbies? I love cooking and as much as I enjoy volunteering it can be tiring and sometimes stressful so my relaxation is when it comes to cooking.

I take over, nobody is allowed to go in kitchen I have music on and I just cook.

Today I’m making a right concoction. Spaghetti, onions, mushrooms with chicken all coated in curry sauce.

I make my own concoctions as it were, so definitely cooking as well as spending time with the family.

Chris, what is your favourite food and drink?

When it comes to drinking it depends, during the summertime I like to have a glass of cider outside in the sun or go out for a meal, if out to a pub it would be lager and other times I might have a couple glass of wine, white wine.

The food, chips are OK but not much taste. I prefer proper roast meals and Sunday lunches, they’re my favourite, them and stews.

Where in the world would you and Julie like to go on holiday where you’ve never been to before?

There is a couple of places I would like to go that are aboard I think Julie at a push would get on a plane but is a bit nervous, suppose most people are, but finally get on it.

I’m off to Berlin this week, at the weekend, I’ve always fancied going to Germany. The other two places would be Canada and Australia.

Good luck Chris to getting back on the BITMO board at the AGM coming up shortly.bitmo agm 2015 (19)

Have you anything you would like to add to this interview before closing Chris.

Yes I would like to thank you for interviewing me to let people know who I am, and get Belle Isle and Middleton in Bloom out there.  Would also like to add as many volunteers as we can get would be great as more hands make light work, and we would like more volunteers in Middleton itself.

Since this interview Chris has been voted back onto the BITMO Board. Well done Chris.

You can get more details of the group and how to volunteer by going to the In Bloom Facebook page at:


Listen to the interview here: