Movie legend Caine says hello as Birmingham strikes gold

By on 22/05/2012 in Culture, News

Oscar winning actor Sir Michael Caine made a beeline for Birmingham's own Italian Job at the world famous Chelsea Flower Show.

And this morning the spectacular 'Best of Birmingham' display featuring a floral Mini car scooped a Gold Award at the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society event.

Building on last year's Silver Award, Birmingham City Council joined forces with Retail Birmingham to create the colourful display which features:

  • Mini car
  • Birmingham Town Hall
  • The Bullring bull
  • Canal barge and lock gates
  • Selfridges

Movie legend Caine, who famously drove a Mini in classic film The Italian Job, headed for the display after seeing the floral version of the Birmingham-made motor on TV.

Sharon Lea, Strategic Director, Environment and Culture at Birmingham City Council said: “He saw the Mini and decided to come along for a closer look at our wonderful display.

“To follow that with a Gold award is fantastic. Birmingham has taken over a corner of Chelsea this week and yet again our team has made its mark on a world famous stage.

“With support from Retail Birmingham we've produced another spectacular display that will now add a splash of colour to the city centre and attracting visitors from across the UK.”

Jonathan Cheetham, Chair of Retail Birmingham and General Manager at The Pallasades shopping centre said: “Retail Birmingham is proud to be sponsoring such a wonderful display this year, showcasing the breadth of what Birmingham has to offer on an international stage. From our extensive shopping offer including over 1,000 stores, both big brand names and independents, across the city centre, to the entirely unique and historic Jewellery Quarter, we hope that visitors to the show are encouraged to visit our City to explore these icons for themselves.

“The spectacular result achieved at the show is testament to the hard work from Birmingham’s talented Parks team and we look forward to welcoming the display back to the city later in the summer where it will be displayed in its home surroundings in key areas of the city for all to enjoy during our busy summer of events.”

Birmingham's award-winning display will remain on show at the Chelsea Flower Show from Tuesday 22 May to Saturday 26 May.

It will then be one of the star attractions at next month's BBC Gardeners’ World Live show at the NEC before forming part of this summer's Birmingham in Bloom display.


Notes to editors

Images of the Best of Birmingham display can be downloaded here:

Held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in Chelsea, London, the Chelsea Flower Show attracts nearly 160,000 visitors each year and reaches millions more people through worldwide media coverage.

In 2011, Birmingham's Plight of the Gorilla display secured a Silver Award, while 12 months earlier the council's Road to Recovery garden received a Silver Flora Award.

For more information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

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