Sunday, 6 December 2009

Seasons Greetings

Wishing You All
Very Merry Christmas

And a Happy New Year


Sunday, 27 September 2009

SRAGS Childrens Competition Winners!

It was 2pm on Sunday the 27th of September & the excitement was building!
So much so that at 1 minute past 2 o'clock, the judges were reminded that the
prize giving was running late!

Most of the children who had entered, all those months ago, were waiting in the September sunshine for the results of all their hard work.

There were to be prizes for the following catagories:

Tallest Sunflower
In 3rd Place was Oliver Swettenham - Plot 122a

In 2nd Place
Harry Rogers - Plot 101a

And in 1st place
Ella Rogers - Plot 101a who grew a 10ft 10inch Sunflower!

The next catagory was the Biggest Marrow and in 3rd Place was
Daniel Connew - Plot 131

 In 2nd place Emily Graham
in 1st place Amy Graham who managed a really fat 2ft in length marrow!
Both from plot 110

Amy (left) & Emily (right)

Next was the biggest Pumpkin

In 3rd Place was Amy Graham
In 2nd Place - Emily Graham (see picture above)


with a whopper of a 42 inch cirumference pumpkin was
Daniel Connew - Plot 131

Daniel proudly holding his prize trophy and gift voucher!

Last but by no means least was the Scarecrow entry.

Timmy Murhpy - Plot 144a won 3rd place

with his laid back scarecrow lounging on a swing

Gina Hazel from plot 110 got 2nd place with this entry

However 1st Prize was won by Joe Bonard from plot 113 with his Scarecrow,
who was considered by an independant outsider to be the scariest of them all......

This Scarecrow certainly scares me everytime I am working on my plot 121 which is quite close to 113!

So it was a great effort by all the children that entered and we hope that they will already be thinking of ways to get into the top 3 ready for next years competition!

Well done to you all

Some of the Prize Winners

A collage of the entries

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Shed Break In's

On Tuesday night (15th September) a number of sheds on site were broken into and some were severely damaged.

If you have been a victim, even if no damage has been done or nothing taken it should still be reported to the police, ideally in person at Wallington Police Station and a Crime Reference Number obtained.

The non urgent police number is 0300 123 1212.

However if the event is reported a Crime Number must be obtained. This is unlikely to lead to any startling arrests but it will at least flag up in the police records, that we are having problems, forcing them, we hope, to increase surveillance.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Information Board & Benches - Sutton Community Funding

Yesterday, we took delivery of an information board, which is proudly installed inside the main entrance of the site.

We also took delivery of a couple of benches, one for Gill Maynard, in memory of her husband Peter, a former committee member and a stalwart of the allotment society.

The benches will be installed in the garden area in the front, which will be made a feature to the entrance of the site. This area will be a communal area for rest and reflection.

There are also a couple of direction posts to make the site less daunting for new comers and visitors.

These improvements were funded by the Sutton Community Fund, which generously gave us a grant of £2,000 earlier this year, and for which we are most grateful. I hope that members will make good use of these facilities.

Carl Brown - Site Rep
30 July 2009

Monday, 27 July 2009

Carshalton Lavender Weekend

Over the weekend (25-26 July) we harvested the whole field apart from 6 rows which we left as people were busy picking their own there.

We may harvest what's left there later.

Some of what we harvested went straight into our new still and we were delighted that it worked very well. I think our visitors were fascinated to see the whole traditional process carried out in front of their eyes. We got a good yield of excellent quality oil from this - the first distillation on this scale in Carshalton for probably 150 years.

The rest of the flowers we harvested went off to Norfolk to a commercial distiller - we had booked this earlier as a reserve just in case we had any problems with our own still, but in future we plan to do the whole job here.

Much our lavender oil will be sold as before in 5 ml bottles either direct to customers or through various local groups. The rest will be sold to health food shops and other outlets, and some will be made into a variety of products such as those which were on sale at the stalls during our open days. All the proceeds of our sales go to maintaining the lavender field and taking forward our work of restoring the traditional lavender industry.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Carshalton Lavender Pick Your Own Weekend

Our neighbours Carshalton Lavender, are hosting their annual Pick Your Own / Harvest weekend, this coming weekend - 25th & 26th July 2009


both days at
Stanley Road Allotments

Extra attractions:
NEW Lavender oil distillation
Lavender arts & crafts
Local artists at work
Lavender beauty products
Lavender cookies
Speciality breads
Information display
Lavender plants for sale

PYO lavender
Small bunches, £1; large bunches, £2; buckets, from £6

Please bring scissors if you have them, a bag for your lavender and protection from the sun, if it’s sunny.

The Local Lavender Project was established by environmental charity
BioRegional Development
Group, with the London Borough of Sutton, Yardley
of London and Downview Prison. It aims to restore
the world-famous lavender industry of Carshalton
and Mitcham. Enthusiasts from Downview grew and
planted cuttings on vacant Council allotments. Each
summer the public are invited to pick their own
lavender and the remainder of the crop is made into Lavender Essential Oil.

Since 2003, a group of volunteers, ‘Carshalton Lavender’, has managed the field and organised the harvest days at Stanley Road Allotments.

For more information and/or if you would like to help out, please ring 07948 174907. You can also visit

How to get there… (postcode for Oaks Way entrance is SM5 4NQ)

By rail: frequent trains from London Victoria, West Croydon and Sutton to
Carshalton Beeches – 10 minute walk
By bus: 154 West Croydon – Morden: alight in Stanley Park Road
127 Purley – Tooting Broadway:alight in Woodcote Rd at the junction of Stanley Park Road
157 Crystal Palace – Morden: alight in Stafford Road outside Sainsbury’s
Saturdays only- S4 Roundshaw – St Helier: alight in Gaynesford Road

Please come by public transport or cycle if you can. Parking is very limited.

Friday, 15 May 2009


(under 16’s & available to allotment plot holders only)

Categories are:

· Largest Pumpkin – measuring around the circumference (middle bit at widest part)

· Tallest Sunflower (From top to base)
· Biggest Marrow (the judges will decide!)

· Best Scarecrow (male or female) – must be more than 3ft in height

Judging will take place on Sunday 27th September 2009 at 2pm
All entries must be available for viewing by the Judges on Saturday 26th September 2009 on the members plot & clearly marked with entrant’s name
There will be a 1st, 2nd & 3rd Prize for each category including a trophy for each 1st prize awarded

1st Prize – Trophy & £15 Gift Voucher
2nd Prize - £10 Gift Voucher
3rd Prize - £5 Gift Voucher

Closing date for entries – 31st July 2009
Competition Rules
The SRAGS Children’s Competition (under 16’s) open to Allotment Gardeners Children only as entries will be judged on site / plots
These are the following 5 Categories –
(you can enter as little or as many as you wish)
· Largest Pumpkin (measuring around the circumference the middle bit at widest part)
· Tallest Sunflower (From top to base)
· Biggest Marrow (the judges will decide!)
· Best Scarecrow (male or female) – must be more than 3ft in height
1.The decision of the judges and committee must be accepted as final.
2. The committee cannot be held responsible for any accident, loss or damage to exhibitors, spectators or their entries howsoever caused.
3. ALL ENTRIES must available to the judges for viewing on members plots on Saturday 26th September 2009.
4. ALL ENTRIES must be grown by the named child on the entry form and grown on site & plot stated
5. ALL ENTRIES must be available on the members plot (as per entry form) at the time of judging for inspection / measuring / photographs (which may be used on the website or the blog)
6. All entry’s must be clearly marked with child’s name e.g. Sally’s Pumpkin & Peter’s Scarecrow (as there may be more than one child from the same family taking part)
7. All entrants must be there in person at the presentation of prizes on Sunday 27th September 2009 from 2pm onwards to receive their prize. Failure to do will result in the prizes being withheld.
8. All entrants’ parents must be members of the Stanley Road Allotment & Garden Society
9. Cups / trophies to be held for one year only

Saturday, 9 May 2009

BONFIRES - What you need to know

Bonfires - What you need to Know

Although it is not illegal to have a bonfire, it is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to cause a statutory nuisance. This includes smoke, fumes or gases “emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance” and can include nuisance created by bonfires.

In addition, allowing smoke to drift over nearby roads may also lead to prosecution under the Highways Act.

So, before you light a bonfire, please consider whether there are other ways of disposing of the material e.g. by composting it or by taking it to the Council’s recycling facility at Kimpton Road. This would remove the risk of neighbour complaints.

If, however, you decide to have a bonfire, please observe these simple guidelines:

  • Show consideration for the neighbours in the surrounding properties. Ideally, let them know when there is going to be a fire.
  • Avoid burning at the weekend and on bank holidays when people are more likely to be in their gardens. Choose a suitable week-day evening after 6.30pm.
  • Avoid lighting up in unsuitable weather conditions. Smoke hangs in the air on damp, still days and in the evening.
  • Avoid burning when the wind will carry the smoke over roads or into other people’s property.
  • Only burn dry material. Never burn household rubbish, rubber or anything containing plastics, foam or paint.
  • Never use old engine oil, methylated spirits or petrol to light the fire or to encourage it.
  • Do not light fires near a boundary fence or near sheds. Remember sheds may contain petrol and other highly combustible materials.
  • Never, never leave a fire unattended or to smoulder.
  • Before you leave the site, douse out the fire with water. Don’t take a chance that it might rain overnight or that the fire will burn itself out. It might not and residents from a nearby property might mistakenly call the fire brigade on a false errand.

Let’s avoid this situation.
Thank you for your cooperation.

Site Rep - 9th May 2009

Thursday, 23 April 2009


Site Report on Sutton Allotment Group Meeting on 21 April 2009

The meeting was attended by John Bresman and I from Stanley Road. Not surprisingly, the discussion was dominated by the site inspections that have been carried out so far. It emerged that only fully- tenanted sites are subject to periodic inspections, hence this is the first for Stanley Road and Demesne Road Allotments.

Overall, the feeling was that the Council was right to send out a message that given the high demand for allotments across the Borough and the record waiting lists, it was not acceptable for large portions of plots to be left unworked. Bill Wyatt, who carried out the inspection at Stanley Road with Di Wood, accepted that inspections are a matter of judgement even though they tried to be as objective as possible. In carrying out the inspections, they used as a benchmark a recommendation from the London Allotment Officers’ Forum (this is a body to which Local Authority officers with responsibility for allotments belong.)
In December 2008, the Forum agreed that:
“…a plot that is less than 75% worked could be defined as an uncultivated plot. Allotment law stipulates that there should be evidence of at least 25% of the plot should be worked in the first 3 months and 75% of the plot should be worked within the year.”

In discussion, it was accepted by Bill Wyatt and his staff that there could be arguments whether the amount of cultivation on a plot at the time of the inspection met the 75% criteria. He also conceded that the benchmark might be incompatible with the image on page 5 of the Allotment Guidelines of a leisure garden: “complete with a lawn, flower borders, summerhouse, a bench in the sun, a vegetable patch and even a swing for the children.” However, in the latter case, he did say that if there was evidence that the lawn was tended, it would be taken into account. More generally, ‘75% cultivation’ would be taken to mean visible and unmistakeable evidence that the plot has been tilled or worked, dug over or maintained. It was not enough to simply cover over large areas in plastic.
For the first time, the Council also signalled its intention to act against those who brought rubbish onto allotment sites and simply turned their plots into a mini-dump. The council have advised that a "Rubbish Letter" had been issued before to a tenant at Stanley Road.
I hope this clarification may help you to understand the reasoning behind the non-cultivation letters and more importantly what needs to be done before plots are re-inspected.

One other point of general interest is that Di Wood will be leaving the service in the next few weeks. There was a well-deserved valedictory expression of appreciation for the work that she has done for allotments. There will be an interview for a replacement, but it will be a hard act to follow and whoever it is will not be a dedicated allotment officer.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Site Inspection - April 2009

Site Inspection
I understand that a number of people were upset at receiving non-cultivation letters from the Council, following the recent site inspections. These inspections were announced in the Council’s Winter 2008 Allotment Gardeners’ Newsletter and the Spring/Summer 2009 edition noted that the inspections would be “starting shortly” and warned that: “if you do not want to receive a non-cultivation letter, make sure your plot is being worked.”
The Council made it clear that it was acting out of fairness to the many people on the waiting list. The letters had nothing to do with the Society. I understand that the site inspection at Stanley Road was carried out on 2 April. Like everyone else who reads the newsletters, I knew that the inspection was imminent, but I had no prior knowledge of the date, nor had I any need to know.
I recognise that the letters must have come as a surprise, but once the initial shock has died down, please try and put it in perspective.
A site inspection is no more than a snap- shot or a judgement on the condition of a plot on a particular date. With the lighter evenings, and hopefully, less inclement weather in the next few weeks, we are all venturing out on our allotments, so that you will soon be able to catch up and put the judgement behind you. The key point is to make sure that you take remedial action within the stipulated 28 days. If there are extenuating circumstances why you have not been able to work your plot, then let the Council know.
As I said at the recent AGM, we are privileged to have an allotment. We shouldn’t take it for granted.

Site Rep
17 April 2009

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

The Official Opening of the Trading Hut

In glorious spring sunshine, many people visited Stanley Road Allotment on Sunday, 15th March, to see the Mayor and Mayoress of Sutton officially open the allotment Society’s new trading hut.

Also, present were the Leader of the Council, Councillor Sean Brennan and Ward Councillors, Moira Butt and Tim Crowley.

The new building was completed with the help of a £10,000 National Lottery grant from Awards For All and was fitted out by the Society members.

The Mayor said that it was a great achievement for the Society to have secured the National Lottery Award last December, the only group in Sutton to have done so. He also paid tribute to the Society for completing the building in such a short time and he hoped that it will serve the allotment community for a long time to come.
Carl Brown - Site Rep

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Wednesday, 18 February 2009

New Trading Hut - Open for Business!

Saturday 14th February 2009
was the first Trading Day for the new Trading Hut at SRAGS

Headed by Nigel and assisted by Ron & Ali the Trading Hut was cleaned, stocked, manned and open for business from 11am until 1pm which will be the new
Saturday trading hours from now on.

The day was a success with nearly £250 worth of sales, but more importantly the already growing subscriptions membership that has been carefully undertaken with military precision this year by our Subscriptions man John, grew to nearly 150 members over the weekend!

Everyone who crossed the threshold that morning, and those who came on Sunday morning, all commented in a positive fashion........

"Fantastic", "Fabulous", "Bright and Airy", "like a proper nursery shop!" "Bang up to date"

Those who haven't been yet, will have to stop by sometime soon.

Saturdays - 11am to 1pm

Sundays 9.45am to 11.45am

Shelves will continue to be stocked and new lines will be brought in soon, so watch this space for more updates.

***** SPECIAL OFFER ******






Monday, 2 February 2009

The Allotment in the Snow

Photos By Fran Cambettie-Davies

From Plot 93A

Doesn't it all look lovely?

Well done Fran for braving the elements today!

Nigel and Carl
they were spotted in the Trading Hut continuing their hard work
to get things ready for opening day

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Work on the Trading Hut Continues......

Just in case you haven't been to the allotment lately, this is what has been going on since the Trading Hut was erected.
Alot of hours have been put in and alot of progress has been made!
As you can see, Carl & Nigel - along with Ron, Mike and others, have been busy transforming the interior of the Trading Hut by fixing plywood to the concrete walls

They have to be fixed to the concrete using extra sticky bonding which was very green and very sticky! Nigel's fingers looked more like SHREKS fingers - all covered in green!!

These were then painted white by very generous allotment holder volunteers - it was a fun few hours - cold but fun

Ron, who has put in hours and hours and even more hours was there in the freezing cold today painting what will be the counter and a cabinet.
As you can see, Ron is standing in what will be the store room. To the left of the photo you can see the sectioning that Mike has made an excellent job of - the door between the shop and the store room was being put in today also.

Help has arrived!

Others helped by making teas & coffees, supplying doughnuts (jammy ones!)
There was a really nice community spirit at the Trading Hut today!
Keep tuned in to find out more as the weeks progress - only 2 weeks to go!

Friday, 23 January 2009

Tribute to Peter Maynard

With deep sadness, we report the death of Peter Maynard, a long standing allotment holder here at Stanley Road Allotment, a keen member of the management committee and one of the mainstays of the Trading Hut.
His funeral on 15 January coincided with the erection of the new Trading Hut and was attended by members of the allotment committee. The Society provided a beautiful wreath to mark the occasion.
At the subsequent function at the Greyhound public house in Carshalton, John Bresman, the subscriptions secretary, who went to school at Stanley Park with Peter, shared a few anecdotes of their school days, much to the delight of the many guests.
We are very pleased that Gillian, ably supported by Derek, will continue to work Peter’s Plot, near the Trading Hut.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Stanley Road Allotment and Garden Society Update by the Site Rep 18 January 2009

Our allotment was one of 81 groups across London which was successful in the recent round of National Lottery Awards announced in the Awards For All Press release on 8 December 2008 under the heading: ‘Community Groups Strike It Rich After Lottery Awards.’ We were the standard bearer for Sutton. As an indication of the measure of our achievement, the list of successful boroughs included few other outer London Boroughs.

‘A lot of Lottery allotted’, the Sutton Guardian on 18 December 2008 reported:
“One of the most sought after allotments in the borough is set to cash in on its success after receiving a £10,000 grant.
“The Stanley Road Allotment and Garden Society have been awarded the money by the National Lottery Awards For All. "
“The money will be spent on a new trading hut, and the society hopes that it will be a strong focus for help and advice as well as a ready source for garden supplies….”

Yesterday (Saturday, 17 January), the Committee met in the new Trading Hut after it was erected the day before, to consider the layout of the new building. The Committee was very pleased at the amount of hard work that has been put in to delivering the project successfully on time.

The next milestone is completion of the fitting out, in time for opening on Saturday 14th February and for the formal opening by the Mayor, Councillor Brendan Hudson on Sunday 15th March at 11 am - two notes for your diaries!

The Committee would like to thank everyone who has volunteered for their offer of help.

There are some photographs of the construction work which we hope will be of interest.

The first slide show of photographs are of the work involved to get the base in position.

The second slide show is of the Trading Hut being erected.

Carl Brown - Site Rep.

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Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Want to get your plot into shape for 2009?


Dread the thought of all that digging??

Then why not have it rotavated??

Only £45 – Full Plot &
£25 – Half Plot

If interested please speak to
Nigel – Mr Rotavator