At the AGM, a proposal to amend Rule 5 regarding the rights of honorary member’s e.g. no vote and no right to attend meetings, was approved.
Work on the shed extension due to commence in June, had not started and the contract with Messrs Budd and Brooks was cancelled. Further quotations were received from a number of contractors. Messrs Budd and Brooks requested to be allowed to tender again. A tender of £500 was to hand with the promise that the work would be completed by September, this was accepted and the work completed by the end of September. Some difficulties with building drainage were experienced.
The Association were members of the Hampshire Federation of Horticultural Societies and their Quarterly Bulletin No 24 dated 24th January 1970 contained the following article by the our Association’s Secretary, Mr Reginald G Havard.
Editor’s note: We heard through the grapevine that the Judges of the County Allotments Competition were very complimentary of the layout and management of the site administered by the Aldershot & District Allotments Association Ltd. Always on the look—out for a story, we thought readers might be interested to hear more about this site, so we asked the Secretary, Mr. R.G Havard to expound. We are pleased to publish his contribution with our thanks to him for his co-operation.
In the year 1923, a desirable plot of land was on offer and the Committee of Management of that day embarked on its purchase by organising whist drives, jumble sales, etc. as well as by the sale of shares in the Association, The records show that many of the leading citizens and businessmen of the Borough took up shares in varying amounts, all of which have long since been fully paid up.
The land, which was approximately six acres, was named the Park Road Allotment site and was sub-divided into ten-rod allotments, most of which were rented by the householders whose properties backed on to the site from four directions. The plot rent was set at 6s 8d per annum and remained at that price until 1960 when it was increased to 7s 6d, this increase not to be applicable to members who were Old Age Pensioners. So the original members, of which a few remain, pay the same rent as in 1923.
Prior to the war years, further small parcels of land were purchased, but after the war a lot of this land was required by the Local Authority for housing projects, for which they gave alternative land and additional small areas. During 1965, having been threatened with a Compulsory Purchase Order, the Association sold its only remaining site to the Local Authority, realising a considerable sum from the sale. Since that time a policy of major improvements to the Park Road site has been pursued.
Concrete roadways, together with car parking areas have been laid. New chain link boundary fences and gates have been erected. A new building which serves as a combined tool shed, store and shop for the use of members has been built and we are at present negotiating for its extension so that we may embark on a project of bulk buying of fertilisers, etc. for the benefit of members. A rotovator is kept at the site and may be hired by the less energetic members and a mowing machine is kept for the upkeep of footpaths and other areas not concreted. Wheelbarrows are also provided. Unsightly individual structures are not allowed on the site and members wishing to erect tool sheds or boxes must submit applications to the Committee and have their specifications and siting’s approved by the site stewards. Tool sheds may only be sited adjacent to the site boundary hedges.
The site is now in a residential area and, by present day standards, is a very desirable and valuable plot of land, but with the inception of the Town and Country Planning Act, no time was lost in having the area zoned as Statutory Allotments. The Association is very proud of its site and sets a very high standard of cleanliness and cultivation. There is always a waiting list of prospective tenants and many of the adjoining property holders, appreciating it as an amenity, are members of the Association although not plot holders.
There was a case of coal dust being dumped over the hedge from the rear of Allen’s Paper Shop, Church Road.
A pair of seats were purchased and installed. Lower Farnham Road entrance was fitted with a gate and padlock with keys being issued to any members that required them.
A fire policy with the Co-operative Insurance Society Ltd for cover fire was renewed in December to cover the stores building at a cost of £3 9s per annum. The Secretary lived at 67 Belle Vue Road at the time..
The Rule book was updated and the Association affiliated with National Allotment & Gardens Society Ltd, 22 High Street, Flitwick, Bedford, on the 17th October 1971. The registered office was described as 67 Belle Vue Road, Aldershot
After the AGM, an EGM was held to discuss Rule changes. The Secretary remind the meeting that he had agreed to the amendment of one of the Association Rules but since that time the NSALG had advised because of recent government legislation it would be necessary to amend several rules and suggested that it would be better to adopt the model Rules which had been approved by the Registrar of Friendly Societies.
This proposal was approved. 300 copies of the new Rule book were printed at a cost of £38.50.
Membership was apparently closed to anyone not taking up a plot.
A gate with concrete posts was installed on the Council footpath entrance along the Coronation Road side
A complaint was received regarding water pressure to the water butts. There were 22 people on the waiting list.
There was overflow of water from the ditch onto the Council pathway, plot holders adjacent to the ditch were instructed to keep the ditch clear. A quote to concrete the path to the Council footpath at a cost of £132 was considered but not acted on.
Allotments at Roberts Road – the President had offered the Association a 10 year lease on a parcel of land in the Roberts Road area consisting of about 9 plots for £5 per year but an inspection reported unfavourably on its general condition and the lease was not taken up.
The Council presented an estimate for replacing the hedge along the Council footpath with wire but this was thought too high and that the responsibility for cutting the hedge lay with the adjacent plot holders being a condition of the tenancy of these plots. The tenants were also asked to fill any gaps in the hedge.
In December, there was an EGM requested by members where a new secretary Mr R.V Luker was elected secretary, other matters discussed were reinvestment of fund, Management expenses, some £412 was not fully accounted for, increase in plot rents and Deeds and Ownership of Park Road site. The meeting was assured that the site was owned by the Association.
Messrs Blake & Davies wished to rent or buy the footpath leading from Lower Farnham Road adjoining No 274. An offer of £100 plus legal costs was received but committee decided to ask for £150 plus legal costs. This offer was made but the committee decided not to sell and to reopen the footpath.
This was a very hot dry year and watering restrictions were put in place. Watering restricted to take place after 6pm at night and on specific days shown below:
Plots 1 to 45 – Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays
Plots 46 to 77 – Wednesdays and Fridays
Plots 78 10 101 – Mondays and Thursdays
There was a maximum of 10 rods allowed to each member.
A Mr Farmer from the NSLG attended and spoke at a meeting of the committee but no minutes were taken.
Pat Ellis first appears on the committee.
The replacement value of the stores shed was agreed at £4800 for insurance purposes.
There were problems at the site entrance with motorists parking across the entrance, the Council were asked to put double yellow lines across the entrance.
A new challenge cup called the Jarvis Cup was first awarded in 1977 according to the inscriptions. Mr E.T Jarvis, a member for many years and tenant of plots 93 & 94 was renowned for being hard to beat at competitions. At the AGM in 1977, Mr Jarvis addressed the meeting to state that he has won the internal allotment competition for 9 of the last 13 years and that he would like to see some other members taking first prize and it is understood that he presented the cup to the Association for this purpose.
Figure 16 Jarvis Cup
A path was built between plot numbers 4 and 5 to the Council footpath by Messrs King & Fisher Ltd for £160 including a charge of £30 for shuttering.
Mr E.T Jarvis died in January 1978.
An EGM took place to discuss the case of theft of produce; Mr Luckhurst had been seen several times by more than one person leaving other peoples plots with produce. He was given 7 days to clear produce and tools from the plot and leave.
An EGM was held to discuss the legality of the AGM, some members had complained that they had not been given sufficient or any notice as required by Rule 20 which requires a minimum of 7 days’ notice. A notice had been placed on the notice board as well as being sent out. A vote was taken and 27 members said they had received sufficient notice whilst three did not. The AGM was declared legal.
It was proposed that the remuneration of the officers would be increased by £25 each and therefore the secretary would receive £150, the treasurer £50 and the Store man £75. Rents were £3.00 per 10 rod plot and £1.50 for a 5 Rod plot with an additional charge for water.
Ted Higgins won the Hampshire cup from the Hampshire Federation of Horticultural Society.
Rushmoor Borough Council enquired about the Calvert Road site and was informed that the Association still cultivated this ground.
Due to the gates being left open, a courting couple were disturbed on the seat outside of the stores.
Grass cutting was seen as a problem at the AGM and the committee decided to employ a Mr Withe to do this at a cost of £240 per year.
Mr D Bossom resigned as secretary in July. A Mrs Downs offered to be secretary; however, the October minutes record a Mrs Angela Leonard as secretary and that she was made an honorary member of the Association.
A letter was sent to members whose plots were adjacent to the ditch to ensure that access to the ditch is possible and to move structures such as sheds if appropriate.
The owners of 274 Lower Farnham Road requested that the Association sell of the pathway that runs from Lower Farnham Road to the Allotments. This was rejected.
An officer from the Health Department visited regarding fires on site and said these were not allowed and legal action would be taken at the next occurrence and that any relevant Bye Laws would be automatically overridden by the Health Authority.
A letter was received from Danetree Homes offering to purchase the allotment site and the secretary was instructed to write and tell them that the Association were not interested.
At the AGM, the subject of the Danetree Homes offer was raised through the Chairman’s report. After a heated discussion, a proposal was put forward to hold an Extraordinary General meeting regarding the matter. The motion was rejected and a vote of confidence in the committee was proposed and carried.
The Calvert Close tenants were informed of cessation of membership as the Association was no longer concerned with the management of the site which belonged to the Rushmoor Borough Council. Plots at the Church Road site had been offered previously.
Several gates were in existence from the properties on Lower Farnham Road only one of which belonged to a member. A letter was sent to each property informing them that they had no right of way.
Correspondence was received of a planning application for No 276 Lower Farnham Road with the applicant, Dr Joiner, claiming a right of way on the footpath adjoining his property; however, the Association owns the land. Apparently, the Council had incorrectly assumed they had right of way. It was established that no right of way existed.
The developers asked to be able to put footings under the path.
Mr Kennedy of No 274 Lower Farnham Road asked to rent the path from the Association, this was refused.
A member of the committee admitted stealing money from the cash box held in the stores and also admitted to stealing produce from other plot holder’s allotments. He was told to repay the money and was evicted from the Association as an alternative to being reported to the police.