Bounded on two sides by mature woodland containing some magnificent specimen trees, and with open views over rolling farmland, the allotment site must surely be in one of the most favoured sites in East Staffordshire.
The site was established in 1976 by the Borough Council in conjunction with land purchased to create a cemetery on the edge of the village. Present day members of the Society have much to thank the original "founder members" who set about turning a bare field site into organised allotments.- marking out plots, creating the driveway and working to improve the soil. A prefabricated concrete garage was obtained, moved to the site and adapted to become the "sales hut"; giving members a convenient opportunity to purchase gardening products at competitive prices. At one end a small covered bench area was made to provide welcome shelter from passing heavy showers!
Being situated on what at one time would have been part of the Mosley estate, still has its influences on the site. The old estate trees provide shelter from north winds. The soil condition varies from plot to plot over the site, but in the corner beside the old estate stable building, now in a poor state of repair, the soil is very light and fertile. It is thought that this area must have been part of the stable "muck heap"!
Another feature of the Allotments is the abundant range of wildlife with which we share the site. For example, who cannot be impressed by the sight of a flock of beautifully coloured goldfinches descending on the hop pile to pick through for food during the winter months.
Over the years there has been diversification in the use of plots. This was reflected in a rule change in 1994; expanding the aim of the society "to encourage the growing of food crops and /or flowers" Recently there have been trends towards growing on raised bed systems and members appear to be putting more of an emphasis on producing "organic crops". There also appears to be a developing trend towards a preference for smaller plots..
The Society holds its own competitions and participates in plot competitions organised by the East Staffordshire Allotment Federation. Bulk seed orders are organised for the benefit of the membership and coach outings organised to gardening events.
Although allotment gardening trends may have changed over the years and the scope of the Society expanded, the main benefits of membership remain the same; the advice, help and friendship of other members.
At Rolleston we have had an excellent record of keeping plots let and cultivated; showing that they are a popular and important recreational facility for the village
Graham Anderson. Secretary.
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© This site was created by Richard Bush
Last updated: 5 April 2000