Allotment Pump Project Plot 164

London's oldest surviving allotment is facing the threat of being built on thanks to plans by its landlord to construct a new housing development on part of the allotment site. 

We desperately need to raise funds to pay for legal and specialist advice to help save our much loved allotments. 
If you can spare just a few pound we would be very grateful for your help and support.

 

https://www.gofundme.com/ealingdean

In early September 2016 the charity, Pathways, contacted plotholders at Northfield Allotments in Ealing to announce its proposal to build on 10% of the allotments. The development would include a five to six story block of social housing and four houses for sale to help fund the development.

Northfield Allotments are the oldest allotments in London. They were given by the Bishop of London to the people of Ealing in 1832, and are held as a permanent endowment. The charity Pathways is our landlord and the site is managed by a committee of seven plotholders. There are 141 plots.

OUR COMMUNITY

The plotholders are a diverse range of ages and nationalities. Twenty nine of our plotholders live in flats – this is their only garden. We have around 50 children who have a safe place to play and learn about fruit and veg and get a chance to see tadpoles, stag beetles, bats and hedgehogs.
There are more than 25 pensioners who have a place to grow their own food and there is always company, someone to talk to. You are never alone when you have an allotment. People are friendly here and we share seedlings and produce.

We have counted 27 different nationalities – the only qualification to getting a plot is a love of gardening and the patience to wait on our waiting list (currently 72 people).

OUR WILDLIFE

The hedgerow around the site is around 900m long and has been designated, by Ealing Borough council, a SINC - Site of Interest for Nature Conservation. It is an important and safe habitat for our hedgehogs, many nesting birds and insects. The allotments are a habitat for stag beetles, which are endangered and protected. With perfect timing the many visitors to our Halloween open day saw our bats flying around the site catching night flying insects.

NO CHOICE?

On the 25th September at a special general meeting, the plotholders unanimously voted to oppose Pathways’ plans to concrete over the allotments.
We understand that social housing is important – but so are green open spaces. It shouldn’t have to be a choice of one or the other. We believe Pathways’ trustees have not fully considered alternatives to their proposal to ‘temporarily’ move 18 residents into what will be a permanent development on the allotments.

We believe a permanent endowment should be permanent.

OUR CONCERN

The original allotments were much larger than they are today: 60% of the allotments were lost in the 1970s due to compulsory purchase by the council and building by Pathways. Our concern is that if planning permission is granted this time around it will be easier to lose more allotment land in the future as the pressure for housing so close to a Crossrail station increases.

When we lose green space we never get it back.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Please write to your local councillors to let them know what you think of the proposal.
  • Write to the Ealing Gazette and Ealing and Northfield forums.
  • Sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with what is going on.
  • We need specialist help, especially once the plans are submitted to Ealing Council. This will cost money. So, please help by donating whatever you can to our fighting fund.

Please help us protect the allotments for another 184 years.

Many thanks for all your help and support.

The Ealing Dean Allotment Society.

I’m going to leave the final word to Fran, one of our plotholders (who will lose her plot if the development goes ahead)…

“My allotment means a lot to me - we live in a third floor social housing flat with no access to a garden of our own. In 18 months my daughter and I have transformed the plot from weeds and brambles to our own little patch of heaven and my daughter has learned so much she never would have been able to before, from where our food comes from to the lifecycle of the frog - and she now wants to be a gardener when she grows up.”


 This plot 164 has had a K3 semi rotary pump installed as a part of the Allotment pump project. The pump is now working and can be used by any plot holder as a water source. All water pumps need a brisk pumping action, a weak pushing of the handle will not be enough to maintain a good water flow.
You need to prime this pump with water to get it to work. To do this unscrew the metal cap on the top of the pipe work. Then use the glass bottle with water in it and pour the water into the top of the pump until it reaches the top, about half the bottle. Then re screw the metal cap and then move the handle back and forth NOT in a circular motion about five times. You will feel the pressure change and water will pour out.

The reason why we have installed a semi rotary pump in this well is due to the wishes of the plot holder "Sim" to keep the metal frame that sits over the well. I thought i was a good idea and believed that a rotary or semi rotary pump is likely to have been used previously when the well was in use. Semi rotary pumps have been found in two other instances on the allotment, on plot 229 and 224 which gives us an understanding that they were used by some plot holders, these two pumps are in fact the only existing "old" pumps to be found on the allotment.

 

The well had been capped with a standard man-hole cover and once removed the internal construction of the well could be seen. The well was constructed with metal barrels similar to the well on 155A that create the walls of the well shaft.The old water pipe was connected into a metal structure which appeared to be a section of old water tank. The pipe work was so corroded that this section of pipework and plate both were replaced with modern 32mm plastic pipe. A new wooden beam was used to allow the pipework into the well. Right Well before work began and once man-hole cover was removed.

 

When the old pipework was remove i found a plastic filter on the bottom of the pipe which also had a stand. The plastic filter was removed and reconnected to the new plastic pipe. The depth of the well is around 3 metres with a depth of water around one metre.
The pump was bolted with M10 bolts to a section of reclaimed wood. We added a section of gas pipe to direct the water into the dip tank. This gas pipe has a T-junction which allows us to pour water into the pump to prime it for use. I did originally fit plastic pipe but this proved to be impractical. Right old and new piperwork with filter

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pump is a K3 which is a medium size pump , K1 being the smallest. Some wells take a little time to get "clean looking" water to appear, this well however had very clean water from the first time i pumped it and has remained clear ever since. Right completed pump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below Martha and Solomon Flemonds on the day the pump was completed

 

I spoke to "Milko" sometime later and he told me that the pervious well owner has a rotary pump which he took with him when he left the allotment.