Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Environmental Fair - Carshalton 25th August 2008


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!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

SRAGS Open Day 10th August 2008

Allotment Open Day supports Mayor’s Charity and - A ‘Gunners’ Supporter gets his Reward

The Stanley Road Allotment & Garden Society celebrated the start of National Allotment Week in style by inviting the Mayor and Mayoress of Sutton to attend the Society’s first ever Open Day on 10th August. A crowd of well over 100 people attended.

As the Chairman, Mavis Peart said, “We are celebrating for two reasons; first, because nationally there has been a huge increase in interest in home grown produce and allotment cultivation and secondly, over the last year there has been a regeneration of our own site with many enthusiastic newcomers of all ages and nationalities, so that now all 204 allotment plots are taken.”

The Mayor, Cllr Brendan Hudson then paid tribute to one particular ‘allotmenteer’, Derek Cozens. As the Mayor said, “He has been responsible for clearing all the overgrown plots, many with brambles 6 feet high, so that when new people came along they were not put off from taking a plot on. The Mayor, on behalf of the Society, then presented Derek with a framed Arsenal shirt, autographed by all of the team, in recognition of all his hard work, help and encouragement. After Derek thanked the Society for his wonderful present, he was cheered by everyone present.

The Mayor and Mayoress enjoyed walking round the allotments and were impressed by the enthusiasm of everyone they met. As they left they were pleased to accept a box of freshly picked vegetables.
The Society also raised over £200 for the Mayor’s Charity from visitors as they too went home with bags of vegetables. It was a truly happy and successful event.