We previously reported that we had raised over £200 for the Mayor’s Charity at our Open Day on 10 August. This is the text of a letter from the Mayor’s Secretary acknowledging the cheque:
“The Mayor, Cllr Brendan Hudson has asked me to write and thank you for your very kind donation to the Mayor’s Charity of £215 which was the money raised at your Open Day last week. The Mayor and Mayoress thoroughly enjoyed their visit to your allotments and wish you well in the future.
“This generous donation and [sic] will help towards raising money for the Wolfson Children and Adolescent Unit at the Royal Marsden Hospital.”
We were very disappointed by the lack of coverage of the Open Day in the local newspapers. Therefore, let’s abandon our usual modesty and through the medium of the blog, take the opportunity on behalf of the Society to thank all allotment holders, including the committee, and the many people who helped behind the scene, for their valuable contributions to making the day a successful and enjoyable occasion. Our thanks also go to the local community for their continuing support of the allotment.
John Bresman (membership Secretary) and I were at the Environmental Fair at Carshalton Park on Bank Holiday Monday promoting the Society. This year’s theme was ‘Sutton - Creating a Sustainable Borough’. The London Borough of Sutton had a stand, organised by Mo James of Cheam Court and Surrey Organic Gardening Group, entitled ‘Allotments’. The stand included a display by Sutton Parks about allotment provision across the borough and included representatives of the following allotments: Beddington and Wallington Garden Society, Benhill and of course, Stanley Road. There was information about Gander Green Allotments. The Soil Association and Surrey Organic had nearby stands.
The key message was: here is a success story by enthusiastic growers. It was extremely effective. Some visitors from Wandsworth and Merton with long waiting lists looked wistfully at allotment provision in Sutton. John and I were awarded for our efforts by capturing three new members to the Society and issued many leaflets and membership forms. The next few weekends will determine how many expressions of interests are converted to membership. The exercise was well worthwhile and it was interesting to talk to fellow allotmenteers to realise that we all face similar challenges.
In course of the day, we met the Mayor and Mayoress of Sutton who visited the various stands. They both came to look at the pictures of our Open Day and they both said how much they enjoyed the day and the vegetable box they were given.
We also met Fred Power, a past chairman of the Society, now in his 90s. He was on good form and was pleased to hear of the strides that we were making at Stanley Road. But from what he said, we have some way to match the 700 - odd memberships that the Society had in its heyday. Well, this is a useful benchmark!