Danetree Homes offer for site

1988 Season 

At the AGM, the subject of the Danetree Homes offer was raised by Mr Bossom who proposed that a working party be set up to meet with Danetree Homes and discuss the interest they had in the site. The motion was rejected 22 to 11.  Apparently, there were rumours that a number of people in favour of selling the land had been persuaded to take allotments to help swing the decision in favour of selling.

Author – Several members recall an Extraordinary General Meeting taking place to discuss the subject although no record of this appears to exist and no reference appears in the committee minutes. The proposal to sell the site was defeated.

A newsletter was produced in April by a Mrs J Milner and was well received by the membership.

1989 Season

The owners of No 276 Lower Farnham Road be were granted right of way for a period of One year on payment of £500 plus legal costs.

1990 Season

An Extraordinary General Meeting was proposed by a number of members regarding the setting of plot rents.  As it was close to an AGM, the members were asked to put their proposal to the AGM instead.

At the AGM after some discussion, the membership agreed that the elected committee should have full responsibility for the management of the Associations affairs including the right to set plot rents at a suitable level.

A Rule change was also agreed Rule 10d to read “Where the member has been required to pay an annual subscription, the non-payment thereof for a period of one month after it has become due” instead of 12 months.

The current 2008 Rule book does not show this rule as being formally adopted.

1994 Season 

Mention of Associate Members at £5.00 per annum rather than having Honorary Members.  Committee thought this was a good idea.

1996 Season

Maintenance working parties were used to get work done around the site. To encourage volunteers to turn up to the working party evenings a £5 surcharge was introduced which was refunded if the member took part in a working party activity.

Consideration was given to getting an electricity supply to the stores building. An estimate for wiring the stores building of about £311 was received and the electricity board quoted £4325 for getting electricity to the stores. A Financial Assistance grant of £600 was obtained from Rushmoor Council towards this work and the committee agreed to spend up to a further £2000 on the project.

Plumbing for the ladies toilet was complete.  This was at the end of the road between plots 61 and 64 and constructed of breeze blocks.  It is no longer in use as a toilet (2010).

An entertainment sub committee was formed, a BBQ was organised at the Cricket Hall for the 28th June. Cost £6.50 per person.

1997 Season 

Committee agreed not to renew membership of the Hampshire Federation of Horticultural Societies.

Rushmoor Borough Council started a new event called Transport and Environment Day, a fairly small event held in Farnborough Leisure Centre.  The main aims of the event were to raise awareness of a wide range of environmental and social issues, to highlight and support the work of voluntary groups and ‘green’ businesses, to promote cultural diversity, to raise awareness of local initiatives and provide an opportunity to engage with the Council.

Since then it has grown and in 1998 the vent moved to the Princes Hall and Princes Gardens in Aldershot.  There have been several name changes from Green Family Fun Day and Flower Festival, Green Family Sunday and then Green & Global.  In 2011, due to budget cuts it became a biennial event held at four locations in Aldershot and were then renamed as Go Green. It is planned to hold the Go Green event in alternate years with Victoria Day in the future.

The Association has had a presence at every event.

1999 Season 

The owner of 68 Church Road required access to his site and a fee of £2500 were charged for this right of access.  As a result of this sale, the allotment land deeds were registered with the HM Land Registry Title No HP574176. The monies from the sale were used to get an electrical supply to the stores building including installing lighting and power sockets.

Mr Pollard, the tenant of plot 71 requested permission to keep bees on his plot; this proposal was rejected by the committee and permission denied.

After much discussion of the Rule relating to financial deregulation, the Rule Book was updated and registered with the FSA to reflect changes to the requirements for audit.

2000 Season

The main doors to the stores were blocked up, with a small door between the two sections inserted.  An office was created by partitioning off part of the room.

A building survey was carried out on the stores and it was recommended that underpinning would be the solution to the subsidence problem.

2003 Season

A website was constructed with the initial domain name www.allotments.rushmoor.org.uk however this was later changed to https://aldershot-allotments.co.uk/.

2004 Season 

A new cup was presented by Mr Bill Harratt bearing the inscription “Presented by W.Harratt 2004   ADAM CUP, Aldershot & Dist. Allotment Socy”. BEST ALLOTMENT”. See Fig 17. The cup is awarded to the best new plot holder in the year.

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Figure 17 Adam Cup

A sub-committee was set up consisting of  Mr J Gove, Mrs H Williams and Mr P Jenner to deal with the construction of toilets. Three quotes were obtained and a quote of £7200 from Messrs T.J White was later accepted. A grant from the Lottery ‘Awards for All’ scheme for £5000 went towards the cost.  Two toilets were constructed within the stores building one with disabled access and a cess tank installed to receive the waste.

2007 Season

Flooding of roads around the Boxalls Lane end of the site was blamed on the ditch along the footpath.  Efforts were made to improve flow and amongst other things, some large vegetables were found stuck up the pipe of the footbridge towards the top end of the site causing backup of the water.  The ditch flows from our site into a private garden and under a garage and there is some restriction to flow and this is probably the main cause of the flooding.

2008 Season 

The AGM was held in the TS Swiftsure and the ended with the first of two EGM held to ask the membership to agree to Rule changes 12, 15 & 57 and again in June for several other Rule changes 9 and 60.  The NSALG agreed to all changes except 57.  All changes were submitted to the FSA and a new Rule Book published.

A complaint was received from a lady who reported that she would not attend the AGM at TS Swiftsure as the car park was dark and she did not feel safe.

Peter Cathie was our auditor. The FSA had problems with our Annual Return, apparently we had reported that we needed a full professional audit but our auditor was not properly qualified. An investigation revealed that we did not need an audit at all provided that we ticked the correct part of the Return and annually requested the membership’s permission to disapply the requirement to undertake a full professional audit for the financial year. An EGM was held in September to obtain this permission for the year ending 30/11/2007.

2010 Season

As the meeting room at TS Swiftsure was no longer available, the AGM was moved to the Connaught Leisure Centre and a much increased turnout was experienced. The subject of sheds was raised and a proposal to allow sheds in future was approved by a slight majority. The committee produced a shed application form showing rules on size and location.

2011 Season

At the AGM in the Connaught Leisure Centre, a presentation on the keeping of bees subject was given, however, a proposal to allow bee keeping on the site in future was rejected.

A BBQ was held in September with some 25 plus members attending.

The Association won an award of ‘Level 4 – Thriving’ from the Royal Horticultural Society ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ competition organised in association with South & South East in Bloom.

The Internal plot competition was changed from ‘Retired’ and ‘Weekend gardeners’ to ‘Best 10 Rod plot’ for which the Selbourne Challenge Cup would be awarded and the ‘Best 5 Road plot’ for which the Jarvis Cup would be awarded.  The Adams Cup would continue to be awarded for the Best New Plot Holder.

2012 Season 

Numerous bonfires were used over the winter to try and reduce the amount of rubbish on site and a few bays were set up so that members could deposit scrap metal in one and plastic waste in the other one.  Unfortunately members started to abuse this with green waste and other rubbish starting to appear and the practice was abandoned. The price of skips to remove the waste was £200 per time.

Ted Higgins, our President since 1999 died.

Edward Higgins B.E.M or “Ted” as he was affectionately known was born in 1933.  He was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1982 in the New Year’s Honours list for his service in the Aldershot Fire Brigade, of which he was Sub Officer. Just the mention of one or two of his activities, he gave assistance at the bombing of the Aldershot Garrison by the IRA in 1972, and was also active in saving the life of an 18-month-old baby from a house fire in 1975 at Ash.

Ted joined the Aldershot Allotments Association in the early 1970s and was a prominent member and gardener of excellence from the start, winning the Aldershot Allotments annual competition for the best allotment no less than 14 times in succession from 1978 to 1991, a remarkable feat to achieve.
Ted’s wife Maureen and family presented the Association with a new cup to be known as the “Ted Higgins Cup”.   This will be presented to the winner of the new ‘Produce’ competition to be held in August each year.Ted’s plot was maintained in pristine condition and was the envy of many of his colleagues on neighbouring plots. In 1981, his excellence was highlighted by winning the Federation of Hampshire Horticultural Societies Cup having come second several times. This trophy Fig 18 is awarded to the best allotment in the whole of Hampshire and to this day, Ted is the only person in the Aldershot Allotments ever to have won this award, another wonderful achievement.

Ted’s wife Maureen and family presented the Association with a new cup to be known as the “Ted Higgins Cup”.   This will be presented to the winner of the new ‘Produce’ competition to be held in August each year.

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Figure 18 Ted Higgins Cup

The Association re-joined the Hampshire Federation of Horticultural Societies with some seven members taking part in the Hampshire Cup competition.

2013 Season 

There were 150 members in total with 45 people left on the waiting list.

Whilst some 80% of the plots are normally kept in good order, some were considered as not being cultivated at all. Attempts at evicting members from these plots were challenged and the Committee felt that it was necessary to provide a framework for carrying out plot inspections. A new Cultivation and Allotment Use Standard Policy document was prepared and sent out with the invoices for 2014.  This requires at least 75% of the plot to be cultivated throughout the year.

The first Produce Competition was held with eleven members providing entries. The entries were judged by Mr Les Waldren of the Hampshire Federation of Horticultural Society.  The winner, Mr Pat Ellis was awarded the Ted Higgins cup by Mrs Maureen Higgins.

A BBQ was held on the same day together with a raffle that managed to raise £110 to be sent to the local branch of the Parkinson’s Society.

There had been a Japanese Knotweed infestation in the hedge at plot 17 and attempts to weed kill this have taken place sporadically each year.  A more concentrated effort was made during 2013 to try and prevent it spreading to neighbouring houses.

2014 Season

The Association has been entered for the South & South East in Bloom competition for the last five years and achieved a certification for the ‘Thriving’ level for the last three year.   It was suggested that for a few more points we could receive an ‘Outstanding’ level certificate and that have training sessions, etc., would get us these additional points.  As a result several training or discussion sessions were organised, for instance ‘How to grow successfully’ and ‘Winemaking’.  This proved successful and the Association were awarded Outstanding.

Brian Davis – Plot 47B remembers going with his father to their allotment before the war which he says was by the sewage works in North Lane, this must have been the Oldhurst Moor site. His father must have transferred to the Greenwood Close site in 1947 when the Oldhurst Moor site was closed and then again to the Park Road site in 1965 when Greenwood Close site was sold. Brian remembers both moves.

2015 Season 

Two cups were presented to the Association by Barry Dickinson and it was decided to use them for our Internal Plot competition, the 10 rod and 5 rod sections would be split into two parts Weekend gardeners and Retired Gardeners. The cups are called the George Gladding Trophy Fig 18 and the A Harvey Cup Fig 17.

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Figure 17  A Harvey Cup

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Figure 18  The George Gladding Trophy

2016 Season

Numerous volunteers carried out lots of work in the stores building to prepare a better meeting room and this enabled members to offer tea/coffee mornings every Sunday morning.

Hampshire County Council insisted that the outside hedge along the footpath on the ditch side was cut.

Appendix 5 – Public Footpath No.106, Hedge and ditch responsibilities 

During 2016, the Association was required to cut the hedge after a committee member and county councillor had discussed the matter with Hampshire County Council.

During 2017, it was decide to challenge the Hampshire County Council regarding who was responsible for maintenance of the hedge.  Research in the Association committee minutes found the following entries.

Minutes dated 24th June 1957

Mr Hamilton reported having met the surveyor and as a result of their deliberations agreement had been reached as follows; that the Council accepts responsibility, that the ditch would be piped at its full length in 1958, that allotment refuse must not be dumped in the hedge or water course and that the responsibility for maintenance of the hedge on the allotment side would be the Associations’. 

Minutes dated Tuesday 3 August 1971:

Secretary read a letter from the council to the effect that they had no obligations to maintain the hedge. Secretary instructed to seek clarification.

Minutes dated Tuesday 5 October 1971:

A Letter was presented from the council quoting from a letter dated 5 July 1957 from the Borough Engineer accepting responsibility for the hedge.

Public Footpath No.106, Hedge and ditch responsibilities

At a meeting on 22nd August 2017 it was acknowledged by Hampshire County Council that the hedge did not belong to the Aldershot and District Allotment Association Ltd.

Ref: email from Andy Aitken, Senior Countryside Access Ranger

Additional evidence from minutes of the Association dated 3rd August 1971 and 5th October 1971. Also from minutes of the Association dated  24th June 1957.

Dear Helen & Rob

Thank you for seeing us today on footpath 106.  It was good to meet and get things resolved.  From the evidence you have provided I can confirm that the Allotments Society does not own the hedge line in question, and that your boundary is the outside edge of the drainage ditch.  As for the future maintenance of the footpath, we will send our own team out later in the cutting season (approx. mid-late September) where we will cut both the ground vegetation and footpath side growth from the hedge.  While it no longer concerns the Allotment Society, we will look to enforce the hedge cutting maintenance on the borough council in the future as evidenced by your paperwork.  From 2018, we will also add 106 to the annual cutting list.

If you have any further queries do let me know.

Kind regards

Andy Aitken
Senior Countryside Access Ranger
North Area
Countryside Service, CCBS
www.hants.gov.uk/countryside

 

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