Wednesday, November 14, 2018

In The Sh*t

Saturday we were well and truly in the sh*t, but you could say that we were as happy as pigs in the sh*t! Audrey Johnstone arranged a load of horse manure to be delivered. Derek who delivered it was most helpful and waited whilst people loaded their barrows from the trailer. When it became difficult to get to the manure he unloaded it into the bin and then brought his tractor round and filled the front loader bucket for people to load from the bucket. This load of manure was delivered free of charge on the understanding that users would chip money in to go towards the Poppy Appeal. So don't forget, if you had some manure please make your donation to the Poppy appeal via Audrey. Future deliveries of manure will not be free of charge and will cost £50 a trailer load. As the manure had all gone by Monday afternoon we need to put together some finance to get another load and to make a charge for it that will recoup the cost and make some money towards further loads. My suggestion would be a pound a barrow. I am willing to put £10 in to the fund for the next load in anticipation that I will use ten barrow loads from the next delivery. Is anybody else willing to do similar?

A Spot Of Paint On The Outside

Work is progressing on the Portakabin. A coat of paint has been applied to the body of the outside. I found the tin of Masonry paint thet Robin had used to paint it dark green about ten years ago and the contents of the tin were usable with about a third of the tin. I also had some masonry paint in white that I had bought probably ten years ago and also still in usable condition. Just to make sure I added a quantity of PVA adhesive to the mix resulting in a rather tasteful lighter green which went on very well. It was all done in between showery days when we had some sunshine this week. We now need some black gloss paint to cover over the peeled areas on the metalwork. I'll have to see what I can scrounge up for that job. Once that is done it will just leave the floor. A bid has been put in to YACIO for funding to do that and we hope to hear sometime soon on that.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Association Minutes 22/09/2018

As promised at the association meeting here are the minutes of the September meeting. I'll try and post the November minutes as soon as I have them

Glen Allotment Association

Minutes of the meeting held at Glen Allotments on 22nd September 2018 at 10am

Members Present:    Claire Kennard, Chairperson
            John Harper, Vice- person
            Norha Godfrey, Treasurer
            Tara Mason, Secretary
            Efro Tooms,
            Colin , YACIO member

                Dorothy Godfrey
                Dave Mason
                John Harper
                Dave Matthews
                Margaret Matthews
                Suzie Braithwaite
                Mariela Munoz del Valle
                Claudia Peca

Apologies:         Celina and Les Gee
                       Joanna Mikler-Humble
                Andy Holt
                Stephen Mansfield
                Catherine Macodle
                Audrey Johnstone
Minutes of previous meeting Approved

Claire welcomed everyone to the meeting, including YACIO member Colin.

Treasurer’s report
Norah updated us with the bank details and how much we have in the account. Tara still has to change her name at the bank for the account due to recently becoming married. She will do this one she has her marriage certificate back from the DVLA. Claire to have a paper copy of bank statements each month from Nora.  

Membership updates
During the summer Tara dropped off the membership card at Deans Garden Centre so that members can receive 10% off purchases. Norah has kindly said that she will go to Vertigrow to give them one of our membership cards to obtain a discount too. We have recently had more members signing up to the association which is good news. Norah is to give them their membership cards. New membership forms are needed for Claire Kennard, Audrey Johnson, Joanna Miller. Payments have been received from Andy Holt, Gail Holt, Steve Mansfield, Joanna Miller and Audrey Johnson.

How new members obtain their membership cards
New members contact Norah whos details are on the notice board at the allotment
They meet up with Norah and are given a membership form
New members pay £5 to Norah and are given a receipt and membership card.
The completed form is given to Tara
Tara adds details to the database on google docs
Tara passes information to Norah, who then stores the information securely along with bank details.

Portacabin for meetings
Colin inspected the portacabin and suggested that it could be repaired. It needs a new floor and part of the roof. Colin said that YACIO could be approached to see if they could fund the repairs. It was suggested that Nev, who is a fellow tenant could be asked to see if he could make an initial cost of the repairs. Colin to let Claire know if there was a possibility of using the shed by the entrance as a temporary base for meetings. Current one next to the toilet is too dangerous to meet up in. Claire suggested the use of the grey/brown shed as a possible shop for members to buy compost/seeds from. This needs more research and possibly funding too.

Compost toilet update
Efro has kindly offered to bring a light to add to the toilet. Dave offered to find out about obtaining sawdust.

Bays in parking update
John was thanked for doing a temporary repair.

Notice board
Tara has offered to search for one on gumtree but currently is unable to find one. There was a suggestion that we make ones ourselves. To make it laminated? Members to research this. Dave to ask about Howarth company what wood would be best.

Rat control
To be mindful of rubbish collecting on the plots as this makes for homes for rodents. To use rat poison or traps if necessary. It was noted that Colin may be able to borrow some rat traps for our usage.

Marking of tools
This is to be carried over to the next meeting as a date for marking of the tools was not agreed.

Skip to arrive on the 5th October  and will be here until the 8th october.  Some members said they would help.

Colin stated that we would be getting a lock for the front gate to the allotment entrance. Colin has said that he will include cutting back the hedge by entrance as part of the overall tidying up by YACIO. Colin stated that he would look at the arrangements already in place for community plots.

Manure- It was agreed that we would like a supplier.
Database information on google docs to be available to hair, vice chair, treasurer and secretary. All agreed in earlier meeting just before the main one. All members have signed the disclaimer stating that their information can be saved for the purpose of the association.
Minutes on the gardening blog, to send out to members the link for website - John
Water tap notice to be made - Ann
Colin - Invited all members to the Green Lane Allotments Christmas social event on the 8th December. He was thanked for the invite and will let us know more details soon!
Use of subplots/groups
Report on school children's plots
Any future changes to the communal areas should be discussed with association.

Saturday 3rd November at 10am - Glen Allotments

Monday, October 29, 2018

Refurbishing The Portakabin

Due to neglect the Portakabin had suffered over the years. The roof was damaged and letting in water. As a result, tsections of the fibreboard floor had become soft and was falling apart. To reinstate the roof would cost £1000 upwards. Nev came up with an alternative solution of putting a steel sheeting roof over the existing roof by fixing to the metal frame that surrounded the hut. Material was available second hand for £200 which was paid for by a benefactor. Nev covered the cost of the fixings and put the the new top on the hut on Wednesday afternoon with minimal help from Les and I who were lifting the sheets from the van and passing them up to Nev for fixing in place.

Since then with the help of other volunteers from the association the inner walls and ceiling have been washed down and painted with emulsion paint. Four bucket loads of soil and rubbish were removed along with four bucket loads of dirty water almost like mud from washing the walls. A call for unused spare emulsion paint provide material to put on a coat of pale yellow for the walls and ceiling with a contrasting olive green for the end walls and door.

I managed to find about two litres of the green masonry paint used on the outside and mixed with some white masonry paint I had at home there is just about enough to do the external surfaces in a paler green that is a similar shade to the green contrast walls inside. We are now waiting for a window in the weather for a few dry days to get the outside done.

After a few days with roof on the floor is starting to dry. The inside of the hut is now beginning to look respectable.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Cold Frosty Sunday Sunrise

On Sunday 7th October I happened to be at the allotment as the sun was rising with my camera handy. It was a cold frosty morning. In the foreground you can see my greenhouse with Tang Hall Primary School in the background with wonderful sunrise colours to round the image off. Since then we have had a burst of summery weather taking us back up to 21 degrees C and then cooling with bursts of rain.

The allotment association has recently restarted with about sixteen members. Claire Kennard is Chair, Norah Godfrey is Treasurer, Tara Mason is secretary, Efro is membership secretary, and somehow I ended up as Vice Chair.

I have been going through some of the information that I got on the start of allotments in York. Glen Allotments was created in 1919 from three parcels of land. The three parcels were pieces from Glen Lodge, church land and a parcel of pasture land purchased from a dairy farmer. the pasture field forms a corner of the allotment and a section of Fourth Avenue. Initially the allotments stretched through to East Parade more or less surrounding three sides of Glen Lodge. As time went by during lulls in the desire to have an allotment, sections were taken away to make Glen Gardens, the tennis and basketball courts and Poplar tree gardens flats. By the Millennium only about ten plots were still active. Much of the site was covered in Brambles. A large chunk was about to be appropriated by the council for other uses and a hard battle was fought to preserve the status of the land as allotments. Fortunately interest peaked again and once more there is a waiting list for a plot.

Vandalism has reared its ugly head again. Several sheds were entered recently and tools removed and put on to other plots. Most jumbled tools have been reunited with their rightful owners. I still have two items left that need to be reunited, a screwdriver with a red and yellow handle with a distinctive marking on the handle and a hoe with a reddish brown rubber handle. If these are yours, let me know so I can return them.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Quiet For Some Time

Things have been quiet for some time. People have come and some have gone. The saddest of these was Robin our site secretary succumbing to cancer and finally dying of mesothelioma, also known as asbestosis. Whilst Robin was ill, Darren Lovelace the allotment contact at City of York Council (CYC)  asked for volunteers to take on the site secretary position but then decided he would look after it himself, many have said "not particularly well".

In the middle of last year City of York Council decided to outsource running of allotments to an outside organisation. After discussion and planning during the summer it was decided to form a charitable organisation to run the allotments who would administer the allotments, collect rents, pay a small sum to CYC and and arrange maintenance issues. This brought into being YACIO, York Allotments Charitable Independent Organisation who took over from the council at the start of the year. As was suspected YACIO took over records that in many cases were incomplete and inaccurate. In the meantime YACIO have decided that Glen allotments should have two site secretaries one female and one male. The two site secretaries are Selena Gee and Rob Vassey. Possibly a combination that could prove fairly immiscible, but so far seems to be moving along in a cooperative manner. One of the first tasks the site secretaries have to get in hand is a survey of who is on which plot and determine the plot sizes i.e. full, half or quarter as the current charts just show full plots and not the subdivisions. This will allow for bills to be accurate and to determine whether any plots are vacant and available for renting. The present waiting list for Glen allotments is 15 people.

Stephen and Tina have decided to give up their plot and have set up their back garden as a smaller scale vegetable plot but will probably drop in at the allotment from time to time.

In the next blog to come shortly I'll have some information on the history of Glen allotments. A friend of mine who has a plot at Hemplands has been researching the allotment there and has dug up some information related to Glen allotments related to it starting in 1917 (we missed out on celebrating the centenary).