Key Milestones

The Allotments in Pitshanger Park began informally in 1915 at a time of maximum war effort. At this time plots were located not on the present site but in sections of the current park area. The end of the war saw an attempt to end allotments on the park land and return the land to its covenanted use. This was strongly resisted by a group of war time gardeners who formed a committee/ pressure group to ensure the impetus gained by the war years was not dissipated. ( See Mr Hooper’s letter.)

The 1922 Act brought closer local authority control as all councils were required to set up Allotment Garden Committees to bring the informal garden movement under more direct control. Further legislation in 1925 gave stronger protection from any selling off or conversion of designated allotment sites for other purposes.

As Park land could no longer be used for gardening, the pressure was on to find an alternative site close by. Eventually the council agreed to allow the use of the current site which was considered to be
too water logged to be of much alternative use. ( Mr Hooper q.v.)

The first plots on our current site were let out in 1927. At this time rents were paid directly to the Town Hall. This proved difficult to enforce and many tenants failed to pay up. This led to the task of rent collection being delegated to a member of the Pitshanger Allotment Committee who acted as link between plot holders and the Town Hall. In exchange for his services he was paid 5% of rents collected. ( Mr Hooper q.v.)

The Second World War saw a large part of Pitshanger Park again used for food production as part of The Dig for Victory campaign. (Mr Buck describes his family’s involvement at this time.)
The 2 decades following the end of war saw the Dig for Victory plots gradually fall into disuse and the site to retreat to its present boundaries.

A further Act in 1950 extended the rights of plotholders to keep poultry and other domestic animals on site and also to build sheds and other appropriate structures.

The next big change in the status of Pitshanger Allotments occurred in 2000 with the successful bid for self management. (Doig Simmonds describes this process and the benefits and responsibilities it has brought.)