Page last updated at 17:36 GMT, Friday, 21 August 2009 18:36 UK

Young inmates' flower show prize

Chaplin garden
The young offenders' garden scooped two awards

A group of young offenders stole the show with two awards at one of England's leading horticultural shows.

The detainees at Thorn Cross Young Offenders Institution, in Warrington, Cheshire, scooped the trophies at the Southport Flower Show.

Judges praised their garden, dedicated to Charlie Chaplin and his character The Tramp, as having the "wow" factor.

Governor Sue Brown said the offenders were delighted to win a gold medal and the prestigious Brockhouse Trophy.

Thorn Cross won because it had the wow factor
Chris Arnold, judge

She said: "This was a real team effort and they have been working for the last four months in art classes, the gardens and workshops to design, prepare and produce this display.

"They are delighted and proud to have won the trophy."

The Southport Flower Show is the UK's largest independent flower show and is celebrating its 80th anniversary.

Organisers of the 2009 show chose the theme of the roaring 20s for entrants.

Judge Chris Arnold, secretary treasurer of the Guild of Horticultural Trade, said: "The Thorn Cross garden was excellent and received the top marks in the show.

"Thorn Cross won because it had the wow factor.

"It was a very close competition all round, and the judges deliberated for some time before coming to the final decision."

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