History of the Allotments
We cannot be certain as to when the allotments were started in Kencot, we know that the land was originally part of a legacy left to the Village by Amelia Carter for the building of a village hall for use by the village of Kencot. When the building of the Hall was completed recorded minutes show that “steps be taken to let the unoccupied part of the ground”, this was in August 1913.
At a meeting held in August 1914 it was decided that the land belonging to the Institute be let for use as allotments “cottagers of Kencot to have preference” and at that time it was agreed that a Hedge should be planted along the roadside and that a Fence should be built around the boundary of the allotments.
At a meeting held in April 1917 it was agreed that a Mr W. Oakey be authorised to cut the grass and weed the gravel surrounding the Institute at a cost of 4 shillings (20p) per year that being the rent for his allotment.
The rent stayed at 4 shillings a year until 1970 when it was raised to £1 to offset the cost of providing rabbit proof fencing around the allotments.
From these facts it would appear that the allotments came into being sometime 1913 and 1917.
It is fairly certain that the ground has been cultivated by many Kencot residents over this period and is still being worked to the present time.
For many years it is believed that there were only 3 allotments on which every thing grown would have been feeding the families of the allotment holders.
One man’s history with allotments
My own involvement with the allotments only go back to the mid 1960’s when I took over a half allotment. At that time there were five people working the ground.
On my own “patch” there are Gooseberry bushes that are believed to be 100 yrs old and still fruiting. A well-known former resident and allotment holder told me that as a boy he would scrump some of the fruit.
Today the allotments are broken down into smaller units and we have 9 people working the ground producing a diverse array of vegetables and flowers.
Over the years the annual rent for the allotments has increased from £1 in the 1970s and then to £5. I cannot recall when this was instigated, but the current rent of £10 was introduced in 2017. This covers the cost of providing a green weely bin for disposing of green waste.
The allotments participate in the National Garden Scheme and open to the public at Easter every year. Although Easter is not perhaps the best time of the year to see “allotments” we do get many visitors who take great pleasure in looking to see how other people manage their allotments an take the opportunity to ask questions, some of which can be awkward and embarrassing if you do not know the answer!
Renting an allotment
There are currently only two people on the waiting list for an allotment.
If you are interested in the idea of renting an allotment, and would like further information, please contact David Chapman (firstname.lastname@example.org), who will add your name to the list.