Submitted by Ian Burge on Tue, 28 Mar 2017 - 13:07.
Last night (Monday 27th March 2017) we took the campaign to save London’s oldest allotments to the bi-annual forum of the councillors of Walpole Ward in Ealing, the electoral ward where Northfields Allotments is located.
In a packed meeting that was greatly swelled by a large number of plotholders from the allotments, Ealing Dean Allotment Society chairwoman Christina Fox gave an impassioned speech as to why we so strongly opposed any further development on the site.
It’s been nearly a month since the Halloween Pumpkin Walk and we’ve all recovered enough to talk about it.
We all did a huge amount of preparation for this, especially Dominic and Fran: there were 150 pumpkins to be carved, plots to be decorated, witches caves to be built, preserves and cakes to be made, the lucky and yucky dips to assemble and lights to put up.
At 3pm, we opened our gates and it seemed that all of Ealing came to visit us, nearly 2,000 people in all.
If you've ever walked past the allotments and wondered what sort of people we are, this is for you. Now there are quite a few of us so as not to overwhelm you, we'll do it one by one. Going first is Francesca, Fran is also one of the brains behind the Halloween Pumpkin Walk on 29 October, so she a good person to start with.
Ealing Dean Allotments have 141 plots and, although we all look after our own plots, the Committee is responsible for the overall maintenance of the site, including the paths, fence and hedge surrounding the site.
To keep on top of this work, we have Volunteer mornings on the first Saturday of each month (except January!) where plot holders, people on the waiting list and interested locals come together to sort out whatever it is that needs doing.
A notice was sent to all plot holders, via email or post, on 1st July 2015, reminding people that using hosepipes connected to the water taps is a breach of the Tenancy Agreement and is also in contravention of the law. It also points out that, if prosecuted by Thames Water, both the tenant using the hosepipe and the site owner (Pathways) could be liable to a large fine per example.
You know sometimes you just like something, and you don’t have to have a good reason why . . . Steelydan comes to mind.
Well Allotment pumps is like that for me. I started the Allotment pump project a month or so ago and i have now completed the installation of two pumps. This is good timing because we have no mains water at this time so it gives us a chance to feel how it was in the days gone by on the allotment when they had no mains water. We have only had mains water for the last 20 years or so for the previous 160 years they had to find water from other sources, the ponds, watercourse and wells.
As usual, we will be running a Volunteer Day on the first Saturday of the month. The next Volunteer Day will be on Saturday the 4th of April (starting at 10 am) when we will be working to restore the 'Long Walk' (this is the central path that runs the whole length of the site). After many years of muddy boots and heavy wheelbarrows it has become uneven and rutted. During winter it was very muddy and dangerously slippery.
So the sand and grass seed has been ordered and turf is on its way! This is our chance to make the path easier to walk along and, more importantly, safer for our older plot holders.
We hope you will join us to help out and feel part of our gardening community!