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).