Friday, November 24, 2006

In the Beginning...

"Meet me there at 12pm" She said.
She being Mrs. Baldwin, Anita to some, somehow I don't think I'll ever call her that.

Mrs. Baldwin is in charge of all the allotment sites in Gloucester, the Hawthornes site was the only one to have any available plots on it. I arrived in plenty of time and took a minute to look over the gate into the field that is in front of the allotment site. Hawthornes is a locked site so I had to wait for Mrs. Baldwin's arrival.
When she arrived she unlocked the gate and we walked into the field and started to walk towards the hedge and the opening that divided the allotments with this field.
Suddenly Mrs. Baldwin stopped and started to tell me that certain plots had been taken and certain ones hadn't, I thought she was just preparing me for the site before we walked into it but oh no, I quickly caught up and realised that we were talking about the field that we were stood in!!! The wild, overgrown meadow that she was calling 'Allotments' !
There really was no evidence that this field had ever been an allotment site adjacent to the other one, it was just a field. The developers are hovering apparently , it hasn't been used for digging in 4 or 5 years from what I can gather. There was however such an outcry from locals when it was going to be developed that apparently the council said something along the lines of use it or it goes, so it seems that they are trying to encourage people back onto this site.
Now, call me lazy or shortsighted maybe but the thought of trying to dig a field over didn't really excite me, we carried on walking up the track into the next field, this is still cultivated. This is 'Hawthornes' and the other one is 'Tredworth Fields' (rather apt!) now here was a site that I could see me being on, it's unruly, shabby, tin huts in some places and that is just the sort of allotment site I had envisaged!
Plot 28a (to be renumbered at some point though) totally overgrown but I just had a feeling and it also had a shed, well some would call it a shed, originally a wooden shed that is now clad in corrugated iron, for some reason I find it really cute.
The door is missing and the floor is rotten, one freecycle request later and I have a door waiting to go on and I've pulled up the floor in preparation for a new one...and I thought the field plots looked like hard work!

A Gloucester allotment

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