News from the Glapthorn Gardener's and Allotment Association
For further information please contact the Secretary, Heather Ball, either by phone (273601) or email: Glapthorn Allotment and Gardens Association (GAGA)
Chair – Jeff Knowles
Treasurer – Jane Ivens
Secretary – Heather Ball
Committee Members – Graham Ball, Chris and Len Nowlan, Jane and Carl Ivens, Ang and Frank Mackenzie, Sandra Philpot.
Our AGM will be held on Thursday 8th December at 7.30pm in Glapthorn Village Hall and we hope to have a good attendance.
Angie and Colin Morris have decided to give up one half of their plot at the end of the year. This half plot is going to be taken over by Christine and Paul Grandidge. We would like to warmly welcome Christine and Paul to GAGA.
All is well on the allotments and all plots are taken.
All is well with GAGA with some lovely crops being grown on the plots. The site is well maintained and is very productive, in addition to looking great. All plots are taken with 1 person on the waiting list.
Congratulations and thanks to all those who entered the Village Show this year.
All of our plots are taken and show some fantastic produce being grown. We are grateful to those people on the grass-cutting rota, and in particular to Ronnie Fayers, who, although not on the rota, regularly cuts the grass for us. The complete allotment is looking really good and well maintained.Chris and Monica Crosby continue to keep our manure bin topped up with some wonderful well-rotted manure, which the plants really thrive on!This year we have changed the GAGA classes for the Village Show, so we hope that we will have some GAGA entries.We have made a contribution for the defibrillator to be placed by the Village Hall.
GAGA will greatly miss Wendy Knowles for her enthusiasm, interest and support and her wonderful fundraising initiatives.
We have had some changes in plotholders over the past few months, but we are all hoping for a productive year and hope that we can contribute to the village show with items grown on the allotment.
We held a very successful working party in January, when the compost bins were emptied, turned and some items shredded. Vegetation unsuitable for composting was removed and signs were put onto the bins indicating which ones to use.
Many bags of salt were distributed and we still have some left for next year! Many thanks are due to Chris Crosby for moving the bags from the verge for us. The farmyard manure bin has been topped up with some top quality muck – thank you for this also, Chris.
Once again we have had a very successful year on the allotments with all plots taken. The boundary hedges are now in good order thanks to our volunteers and the plots have been topped with chippings generously donated by a GAGA supporter. Deer were not seen on the allotments this winter although as it was such a mild winter we did not expect that deer would need to search too hard for food. GAGA received a generous donation from The Royal Oak Club for which we are very grateful – we may need to use this for any future deer fencing.
Our accounts have been professionally audited again by Bulley Davey on a charitable basis for which we are very grateful. The grass is growing well and continues to be cut on a rota basis by a team of volunteers using the lawn mower on permanent loan, by a plot-holder. The compost bins on site are being well used and the manure supplied by Chris Crosby continues to be used on the plots. Again our annual water costs have been low thanks to the water harvested from the roof of the communal shed.
The committee decided against the purchase of a rotavator for plot-holders as members have differing requirements – it was felt that should anyone wish to rotavate their plot they could make their own arrangements. We have negotiated a change in the classes open with the committee of the Southwick and Glapthorn Village Show. There will now be classes aimed particularly at members of GAGA.
The Chair said that we have been offered a Wolsey Merry Tiller by Dick Smith who lives on Benefield Road. It is due to be serviced and will shortly be available for use by plot-holders. The involvement of GAGA in the Village Show was discussed and Ursula agreed to take back to the Village Show Committee suggestions for the awarding of the GAGA cups. The Chair thanked all for attending and said that the success of the allotments was something to celebrate. Refreshments were then served. We held a very successful working party session on Sunday 16th November, when 28 members turned up to help with site maintenance work. We also received commitments to help from members who could not attend on this day. The tops and side of hedges were cut back and overhanging branches were trimmed, The grass was cut, paths were weeded and then spread with chippings, the edges of plots were redefined with binder twine, the compost in the compost bins was turned, an offer to tidy the front entrance area was arranged, and, most importantly, refreshments were provided. We are very grateful to Ted and Helen Starsmore for offering a load of chippings for the paths and for delivering the chippings to the site. The pride and interest in our allotments is extremely rewarding.
The Steering Committee stood down at the Annual Meeting of GAGA as their aim to acquire church land for allotments has been accomplished. The chairman thanked Graham and Heather Ball for their hard work in making the allotments such a success. The existing committee stood down and a new committee was formed.
The allotments are now looking fantastic and tenants are working hard to plant up their plots. There are now 25 plots of varying sizes with one plot allocated to Glapthorn School for use by the children. The underground pipe work for the water has been laid and we are waiting for Anglian Water Authority to make their connection on the roadside. The brush from the clearance of the site has been chipped and will be used as a mulch on the paths until they are turfed in the autumn. The communal shed and some individual sheds have arrived and the ground inside the gate is being levelled. This area will be turfed or seeded and the outer two metre perimeter will also be grass seeded. The entrance to the site still requires work. The top half by the gates will have hardcore laid on it, and the lower half will be covered with rubber matting, Grass will grow through the holes in the matting to give a natural, pleasing appearance as well as providing a good hard-wearing surface.
Glapthorn Allotment Gardening Association (GAGA) has been awarded a National Lottery grant of £9,999. This money will be used to regenerate the allotments on the church land opposite the school. The allotments are for the benefit of the village and for use by Glapthorn School who have been allocated their own plot for educational purposes. An agreement has been completed with the Parochial Church Council to rent the church land for the allotments on a long term basis. Thanks to the efforts of Bruce Wilkinson and Chris Crosby the land has now been cleared of brambles and rubbish. Bruce has spiked the land and Chris has allowed waste material to be burnt on his farm.
GAGA was formed approximately 18 months ago with the intention of establishing allotments within the village of Glapthorn. We have access to a plot of land that is owned by the church, this has been in use since 1832 as common agricultural land. The establishment of this land in the village was made during the process of enclosure. We have recently completed an agreement to rent the land from the church and we will, hopefully, during the next few weeks clear the land. Approximately 24 allotments of different sizes and shapes will then be established.
We have virtually a full complement of users but the use of the allotments is open to anybody of any age in the local area. We wish all users to fully participate in the management and running of the allotments. We wish to ensure that it is an enjoyable experience for everyone and to extend the delights of growing plants, keeping bees etc. to anybody who is interested. The location of the allotments is adjacent to the school and the allotment association have given a plot to the school, for use by the children, as we wish to encourage their participation.