I have been an allotmenteer for approximately 6 years now and I absolutely love it. I first decided to take on an allotment when a very close friend of mine died – I needed to get active again, breath some fresh air and get away from my ground floor flat where we had both lived and shared so much and tending an allotment seemed the way forward.
I remember ringing the Town Council enquiring about the allotments and if there were any available. They gave me the telephone number of George, the chap in charge of renting them out and I contacted him immediately.
I remember worrying about what the rent would be but George advised immediately that there were plots available and it was £3, I asked “Per week or month”, hoping he wasn’t going to say “Per day!” and he said “No - per year!” I just couldn’t believe it. We arranged to meet on the allotments at 10am that Saturday. I met George who was in his 80’s and quite a character. He explained that it was best if I had just half a plot (known as a 5 pole) to start with to see how I get on so he allocated me half of plot number 3 and said it was mine immediately. I couldn’t believe it, my own patch of land to grow some veg and a few flowers on.
During the following week George rang me and I remember him shouting angrily down the phone “They’ve put the bloody rent up, it’s bloody ridiculous how they can get away with it?” He ranted for quite a while and all the time I’m worrying whether I can afford it as it was sounding unlikely. When George gasped for air, I asked him “How much is it now then” “£8 a year - it’s a bloody outrage”. It was such a relief to me though.
George had been kind in allocating me an allotment that had recently been tended, although the weeds were still very prevalent, the soil was easy-ish to dig.
More to follow -