May 2017 Allotment News

Happy Centenary

Centenary of our Society

It is exactly 100 years since our Society was registered (21 April 1917)

Back then, the First World War was still raging in the trenches. The United States had just declared war on Germany and was preparing to send millions of its young men to France. Events were soon to unfold in Russia leading to the end of the Tsars and the Bolshevik revolution. The British Army under General Allenby was invading Palestine setting in motion events in the Middle East that still resonate now…

…Meanwhile in Kettering, the boot and shoe factories were working flat out to make boots for the Army and an allotment society was registered.

To commemorate our centenary we are launching a Memories Project. If you or anyone you know have memories of allotments over the years please send them to us. One of our committee members will be compiling these memories and publishing them. If you have photos or any other items please scan or send copies.

Projects for the Year 2017-18

Apart from the Memories Project, the committee has agreed to pursue the following projects for the 101st year of the the Society…

  • Northfield Avenue – improve security with additional fencing

  • Margaret Road – purchase mower for the ridings

  • Scott Road – clear vacant plots formerly used for chicken runs and cover vacant plots with weed control fabric

  • All fields – remove carpet and other non-compostable waste (skips may be needed)

There are one or two other possible projects in the pipeline that we also hope to announce in due course

Comments and Suggestions please

If you have any suggestions for other projects or would like to comment on how best we can achieve the ones listed above, please contact us.

Thank you Monica

One of our members has kindly donated a petrol lawnmower to the Society for use on the paths on Scott Road allotments. Our previous mower (also generously donated) had broken and as beyond repair. Many thanks for this generous act that will help keep one of our fields tidy and saves the society the cost of purchasing a new one.

Skips away – learning from previous mistakes

The Society hired a skip at Scott Road last month. We were able to remove several carpets, concrete rubble, broken window glass and other non-recyclable and non-compostable waste. Please note that carpet is no longer allowed on our allotments. (see rules 38 and 25) We expect any old carpet to be removed as soon as is practicable. In years gone by carpet was allowed as a way of smothering weeds, but we have found it causes many problems and now needs to be removed. Many thanks to all the members who helped with loading up the skip. Much of the waste was found on a vacant plot that was formerly used for chickens. The old chicken runs and structures were built before our current rules, so this is another example of us learning from previous mistakes and improving our allotment fields.

skipUsing Weed Control Fabric on vacant plots

At Scott Road we have had great success with the above. In previous years vacant plots often became very overgrown and weedy. This proved a real challenge for the new members when these plots were re-let and was often quite disheartening. This year we have been putting 5 metre wide black weed control fabric on vacant plots. When we get an enquiry the new member is not intimidated by the task of clearing 6-8 feet high weeds (our soil is very fertile!) before cultivating. This is cost-neutral as the new members pay for the fabric when they first rent the plot.  More details on this method are shown on this link. Contact us if you want more information.

reveal the soil