Chelmsford City Council

Purple crocuses planted to mark World Polio Day

Chelmsford Mayor Councillor Bob Massey and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Janette Potter at planting ceremony in Central Park.

To mark World Polio Day (24 October), thousands of purple crocuses have been planted in Viaduct Meadows, Central Park by Chelmsford City Council and the Rotary Clubs of Chelmsford Mildmay and Rivermead.  

A total of 12,000 purple crocuses have been planted as part of Rotary’s Purple4Polio initiative which aims to raise funds and awareness for their efforts to eradicate polio across the world.  

On World Polio Day, thousands of Rotary Clubs around the world hold events and fundraisers, including planting purple crocuses, to recognise the progress in the global fight to end polio.  

When a child receives their life saving polio drops on mass polio immunisation days in many countries, their little finger is painted with purple dye, so it is clear they have received their life saving vaccine. 

The Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Bob Massey was joined at the planting ceremony by Deputy Mayor, Councillor Janette Potter; President of Chelmsford Mildmay Rotary, Richard Oscroft MBE, Rotarians from both Chelmsford clubs and the Rotary District Governor, Pauline Dean.  

Councillor Bob Massey said: “We are honoured to support the Rotary Club in raising awareness for the Purple4Polio campaign. Thousands of crocuses have been planted by Chelmsford City Parks and the Rotary clubs, which not only supports this wonderful cause but also enhances biodiversity for the area.” 

Richard Oscroft MBE,President of the Chelmsford Mildmay Rotary Club said: “My thanks to Chelmsford City Council for donating corms, making this space available and to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor for assisting with the planting.  

 “In addition to it being World Polio Day, Mildmay’s efforts are largely in memory of Ken Buck who died earlier this year. He was a past District Governor and member of our club who did so much towards promoting the work of the Rotary Foundation generally and the campaign to end polio in particular. 

 “We look forward to spring when we hope to see a carpet of purple to remind all those who pass, the importance of ridding the world of polio.” 

 For more information visit

Tuesday 29 October.

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