Allotment Society News 2008

Newsletter - Winter 2008

The end to another “funny” year! Seasons are staying open longer – autumn raspberries being picked into October – but with rain and dull weather there was delayed ripening to some crops, particularly tomatoes.

Scores were close in our autumn competition and the Gardener of the Year was decided on the basis of those who made the best of the spring season. The autumn results were –

1 Geoff Faulkner 57
2= Peter Topliss 55
2= Ted Killick 55
4 Neil Crump 53
5 Mrs Strange 45
6 Jim Harvey 41

Gardener of the year was Ted Killick and we were delighted to be able to send him that message as he came round from his heart operation at Glenfield Hospital. We all wish Ted a speedy recovery and return to the plot next year. We also hope that Geoff Faulkner soon recovers from his illness (as one of those who can give Ted a run for his money!)

Our annual social evening and prize-giving, proved to be another enjoyable evening. We are grateful to Rolleston club for their facilities and yet again to Mrs Toon for her now traditional buffet. (Ticket sales would plummet without her!). This year we made Cinderella come to the Ball – she took her pinny off for 5 minutes to present the prizes as Chairman of the Parish Council.

We were also pleased to see the spread that Graham Anderson had in “Garden News”. We all watch Graham’s hours of work and meticulous attention to his own bred varieties of gladioli which have made him a worthy national champion exhibitor.

Newsletter - Autumn 2008

The generally wet weather in June and July has resulted in the site looking very green with less than usual watering required. This resulted in good and close scores in our summer competition – but two ladies at the top of the board! – the “flat caps” will have to re-think their strategies?

Best Plot
1. Mrs Kendrick 69.0
2. Mrs Strange 67.5
3. Geoff Faulkner 66.5
4. Neil Crump 62.5
5. Ted Killick 57.5
6. Peter Topliss 56.5

Best Half-Plot
1. Peter Longbottom 62.0
2. Steve Eszrenyi 47.5
3. Michael Wardell 42.5

Best Crop of Veg. (not on best plot)
Paul Walker Peas

Best Bed of Flowers
Mrs Shaw

Unfotunately we have had to cancel the Society’s proposed trip to Wisley, through lack of support and the distance involved. We will have to look closer to home next year.

Newsletter - Summer 2008

Rolleston’s allotments continue to be popular and in demand. With the resignation of only one plot holder at the year end our waiting list remains long and we no longer accept applications from outside the village. If any Rollestonian is thinking of a plot in the next few years now is the time to get on the list!

Although the weather men tell us that temperatures have been above average, in practice, it has been a long cold start to the season. Most plots have been well cultivated but remain brown awaiting suitable germination conditions.

The slow start was demonstrated in the lower than usual scores in our friendly spring competition. That is, of course with the exception of Mr Ted Killick who seems to have that extra touch for year-round cropping!

1. Ted Killick 76.0pts
2. Geoff Faulkner 57.5pts
3. Peter Topliss 50.5pts
4. Mrs Irene Shaw 43.5pts
5. Tom Martin 39.0pts

The society is using its new affiliation to the Royal Horticultural Society to take its members to the RHS gardens at Wisley this year. The visit will be at the end of August when, in addition to the floral display, a number of crop trials will be maturing – not that this will settle arguments as to the best variety for our conditions!

Newsletter - Spring 2008

At our January AGM our members took the decision to become a “Society Affiliated with the Royal Horticultural Society” and we have just heard that our application has been accepted.

In return for showing that we aim to support and develop community horticulture at a local level, we receive a number of member benefits including low cost insurance, free advice and reduced entry charges to RHS events.

In our own modest way we are renewing a historical association of the village with the Society.

Sir Oswald Mosley the 2nd Baronet was a prominent 19th century horticulturalist. The Society was founded in 1809 and he was certainly a very early member.

In 1817 Sir Oswald gave a paper to the Society “On the Aphis Lanigera, or American Blight with an Account of Various Experiments for the Destruction of the Insect on Apple Trees”. In this Sir Oswald describes his experiments at Rolleston with sulphur sprays and tobacco smoke and finally recommends brushing trees with train oil.

A number of accounts of Rolleston weather and plants appear in the horticultural journals of the time and from 1841-45 Sir Oswald was a Vice-President of the Society with the Duke of Devonshire as President.

In 1841 a Dr Alexander Henderson was appointed Secretary to the Society and we can associate him with Sir Oswald through a book that he wrote on Ann Moore, the fasting woman of Tutbury. Her fraudulence was uncovered by a committee chaired by Sir Oswald.

It has been suggested that the assistant secretary of the time and later Secretary, John Lindley, who gives his name to the RHS library laid out the trees in Rolleston Hall grounds according to their botanical classification.

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Last updated: 19 December 2008