I’d like to begin by welcoming the new plot holders who have joined us since last September and hope they are enjoying their plots. Although many people are being careful all Covid restrictions have now been lifted and I’m glad to see we are returning to life as it was before the pandemic. The allotments are invaluable to all of us for regular exercise and fresh air.
There continue to be fewer incidents of tenants’ sheds being broken into and damaged than we’ve had in the past. Rough sleeping and vandalism has also been less of an issue. We’ve reported all of these incidents to the police. Thanks to our secretary, Patrick McMahon, we were able to put our most persistent rough sleeper in touch with the St Mungo Trust to help him find somewhere to live. Please be vigilant and let us know of any incidents of theft or vandalism. Other allotment sites have similar problems, so we are not exceptional in that regard.
Brighter news is that following a dry winter and spring the site is now coming back to life. All plots are let and we have a long waiting list for plots as they become available. Plot holders are already harvesting broad beans, peas, shallots and courgettes. Early potatoes are almost ready and soft fruit is looking prolific.
The working party of volunteers led by Charles Vaughan Jones continues to clear unused and vacant plots, prior to reletting them. The hedging whips we planted along the northern boundary are now getting established and flourishing. The southern boundary hedge is now very well established. The bait boxes around the edge of the site are regularly replenished to control the rats. The site communal paths are also being kept cut by Charles Vaughan Jones and Tom Lafferty. A big vote of thanks to Charles Vaughan Jones, Patrick McMahon, Tom Lafferty and to all the other volunteers who’ve helped with the work. This all helps to foster the community spirit on the site. I’m also pleased to say our site drinking water supply has been restored in the spring after many months of us chasing Ealing Council to get it put back on.
Once again please can plot holders refrain from accumulating unnecessary items on their plots as PACA have to pay for their removal! With the lifting of all the coronavirus restrictions bonfires or barbecues are allowed on the site, but please don’t light bonfires until after 7pm during the summer, which applies from 1 May until 31 August. Please also abide by our bonfire rules, which are displayed on the noticeboard.
With the lifting of all restrictions we have been able to organise social events and visits. We’ve already had a Plant and Seedling Swap on 14 May and a big thanks to Monica Booth and Edith Rambure-Lambert for providing cakes and coffee. Our Summer Produce Show will be on Sunday 4 September. Tanya White is organising it as before, so please look out for more details on our notice board and in the Trading Hut. We also arranged for Year 3 children from North Ealing School to visit the site on 8 July, which they enjoyed. Thanks to all those plotholders who showed the children what they were growing during the visit, and gave them some of their produce.
Just a reminder that we currently hold contact details for all our tenants and associate members. To comply with the Data Protection Regulations, the spreadsheet on which the details are held is password protected and only accessible to PACA Officers. The details are used by PACA for Association business only and never passed to any third party. If you wish us not to hold your phone or email details let us know and we can remove them. However we still need to have your address so we can contact you when necessary.
Our website at www.pitshangerallotments.org is still being kept going by Stefan Jasinski. It’s recently been updated but if anyone else can take on keeping it up to date please let us know. We’d be very grateful for your help. If you want to get in touch with us please note our contact email address remains firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Special thanks to Robert Reynolds and all those who have helped him in the Trading Hut again this year. Please support the trading hut by buying your seeds, tools and garden products there. If we don’t use the hut then Robert won’t be able to keep it going. And thanks again to Maggie Simpson and her team of ‘weedathugs’ for keeping Sheila’s garden and the area around the toilet tidy and weed free.
Finally the Annual General Meeting this year will be held on Sunday 18 September at the Brentham Club. It is your chance to have your say about the way that the Association is run. But do please remember that the Committee are volunteers giving up their time to run the Association. You can offer resolutions for changes to be made in the site management. These have to be notified to us and supported by another association member. You may also feel that you or another plot holder should be on the Committee. I’m aware that the Committee Officers are not getting any younger and we need new members on the Committee to take the Association forward in the years to come! Your nominations should be sent in and need to be supported by one other association member as well as yourself. If recommending a person other than yourself please make sure they agree to stand! A brief description of the principal duties of officers and committee members is set out below.
Nominations and Resolutions should be submitted to us by early September. Meanwhile we hope you all have an enjoyable summer on your plot!
David Housego – Chairman