Quiz night at the village pub, Spring 2009. I think it was Rick or possibly one of the Chrises who said that if 6 people in a parish requested an allotment the council have a duty to make land available. The Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 confirms this. http://www.opsi.gov.uk/RevisedStatutes/Acts/ukpga/1908/cukpga_19080036_en_1
I know that every village has at least one idiot but where would they find 6 people in our small village who were daft enough to toil on the land, fight the pests and battle the elements for the sake of a few spuds and onions?
I have never been much of a gardener. My gardening CV consists of planting a few borders and mowing the lawn when I can get round to it but over a period of about 5 years I had been quite successful in cultivating a vine in my back garden from which I was making 5 to 10 gallons of reasonably palatable wine each year. It even won a second prize at the Epworth and District Agricultural Show.
Sadly my vine did not survive the cold Winter of 2008/9. I was still coming to terms with the loss of the vine when the allotment talk started again in the pub and in a moment of weakness, through the Bombardier blur, I saw a vision of the future with rows of vines on my very own allotment and a shed with a comfy armchair and so I asked Rick to add my name to the list which he had already sent to the Council. I think he had probably already included my name on the list in any event.
The Parish Council did their duty and acquired a field in the village. An allotment holders association was formed. The field was cleared of vegetation and then paths and a water supply was installed and in September 2009 I signed a tenancy agreement, paid £65 rent and then a couple of months later took possession of one of 32 brand new allotment plots.