Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Allotment Garden Festival

The Estbury Concert Band at last years eventSeven Kings and Goodmayes Allotment Society
are holding
Goodmayes Allotment Gardening Festival
on Sunday 31st August from 1-5pm.

You'll be able to see the "kestrel" wildlife area with newly created pond. There are lots of other attractions including Eastbury Concert band, Morris dancing, city farm, vegetable competition and stalls from Ilford Horticultural Society, East London Organic Gardeners and community groups. All for just 50p admission (Accompanied children free! ) Sorry no parking on site but find the allotments behind Poole's Court flats in Goodmayes Lane. Sadly, this magnificent site is still under threat of sale.

Roger Backhouse


Photographs from last years event


  1. Yes All of the Allotments in Redbridge as well as many of our Parks and Open Spaces as still under threat of sale or change of use we must however, not isolate ourselves to our own area of the Borough but support all Areas equally:
    B21 – I am, as are many clear thinkers, deeply saddened by the route taken by The Redbridge Conversation – even more so when I returned back from The World Conference (in which I was asked to contribute) – where the speak was intelligent, with any political bias being pushed well into the background, and hit on the head by the various chair-persons when it reared its ugly head – one Chairman’s action sums it all up for us all:
    “I have to cut off the political undertones of your speech. I have given you the opportunity to answer one of our speakers who quite clearly made a point regarding the necessity that all Nations should come-together to understand the implications of this phenomenon “Global Warming Causes”. What is clear, is that yours, as many other political arguments; are for the short-term for whatever reason. This conference has an agenda to seek to solve many problems which face us today, not for the time running up to an election, but for all time. This conference recognises that any contribution may involve costs, but many solutions bear no cost whatsoever bar that abundant commodity; Common Sense! Please understand that your contribution has little bearing on our aims. However, if you wish to contribute something that some of us can utilize, please formulate your suggestion which can be included in our last day of conference.”
    Oh! So much better than – “You Only Have Two Minutes to put your question and the Cabinet Member also has Two Minutes.” – In which short time span little can be achieved, and probably less can be understood by all present? While at the same time; at Redbridge Council, Political banter and argument can dominate the time of the Meeting? I await the day when reasoned debate and/or argument prevails here in Redbridge. Where polite reference is given to a Member, but that Member’s contribution is more easily cast aside than recognized as having value. The Party line is, like a tape at the scene of a crime – placed between two lampposts and attached to a fence or vehicle, but once the officers of control are dispersed, and the tape is left remaining for some lesser officer or civilian to remove – it is often snapped by others who realize that the incident is over. Thus the Party line is left dangling, or at best, left fluttering in the wind, the pram wheel or across someone’s garden.

    On my return back to Redbridge I was confronted by an article in the Local Guardian Newssheet attributed to the Deputy Leader of Redbridge Council – regrettably, that article came across as a snub to all residents, but in particular to all who had contributed something towards the Redbridge Conversation or had expressed an opinion on the several shortcomings that were within its walls of ‘speciality’.

    I therefore, offer, and hope that this following piece may indicate a more humane manner in which to conduct and exercise such an exercise. I appreciate that this series may have TV-syndrome quirks, but it will, I trust be more user friendly than the aforesaid Redbridge Conversation, or even the previous Ilford Town Plan. The latter of which, to my mind, is little more than a collection of concrete and glass buildings and paved walkways, an account that will have shortcomings as blatantly noticed when Clements Road was being ‘Tableized’ recently, causing walking distances to become, at least tiring, if not exhausting for the less able.

    B21, I here submit information regarding The Big Town Series:
    “An urban renewal initiative set on improving the town of Castleford, West Yorkshire, is the subject of a major new series beginning in August: Kevin McCloud and the Big Town Plan.
    The last five years have seen a series of different projects across the town, including the design of a new town square, the creation of several new facilities for local children and the design and build of a major new footbridge.
    What's unusual about the project is that it was founded by Channel 4 Television, local community and civic groups and Wakefield Metropolitan District Council. Thousands of local people were involved in setting the project's agenda, and the design and the delivery of individual schemes. Important new work was commissioned from national and international designers and artists. And the initiative has been credited with leveraging over £200m of additional new investment in to the town.
    Because of the innovative way in which it was designed, its extensive involvement of local people and its success in creating a clear, unified platform for the economic development of the town, Kevin McCloud and the Big Town Plan has won extensive praise for its best practice in urban regeneration. The project has also attracted international interest and praise. Progress so far has been discussed and highlighted at events in China the United States, Russia and Europe.
    Why Castleford For Regeneration?
    People in Castleford are unusually committed to making it a better place. The town is easy to get to from elsewhere in the country, close to both Wakefield and Leeds and in the years before this project, had benefited from substantial new investment in housing, retailing and leisure.
    But people in Castleford wanted certain things to change. They wanted a more vital and vibrant town centre and derelict land put to better use. They wanted to sit by the rivers Calder and Aire and enjoy the view. They wanted more people to know about the town and its heritage. They wanted safe neighbourhoods, better health and the skills and confidence to move forward.
    Countless communities across the UK share their concerns. There are also many successful projects and programmes in Castleford to address them, especially in health, employment and social care. Castleford was chosen for this project because of the quality of that work, the unusual pride people in Cas have for their town and their unrivalled commitment to its future.

  2. Seven Kings and Goodmayes Allotments are working extremely hard to promote all allotments in the Borough. We, at the North Hainault Allotment Society are just emerging into the modern world. Hopefully, soon, rather than simply making all efforts to cultivate our sites to the highest degree of good practice we will also have festivals.
    Seven Kings and Goodmayes have given us every support and vice versa. We are totally united.
    ps: We too have a kestrel and we also have more are more (witnessed) sitings of lovely slow-worms, in excellent nick, in different locations! Shame we can't share those protected untouchable lizards.

  3. I agree with 'anonymous' - we are all amalgamating to save our allotment site in Redbridge - however, some sites need a bit more help and encouragement as they often don't have organized committee's etc.
    Our main aim has to be getting one point out of the Councillors Heads - the main sites listed for Sale are PRIME Allotment Sites not sites which are less occupied. Similarly, all but one allotment site in the Borough of Redbridge are in or are part of the Flood Plain and thus play an enormous part in the Borough's Drainage sub-terranean facility. To take these lungs, wildlife areas, and drainage areas out of the system as a whole, and displace any of their area with Concrete Piles or Concrete foundations will terminate or irresponsibly re-direct subterranean water-flows.
    I am saddened that the Council, is so blind to the technical problems that are there, in favour of their determined venture to obtain developers under some 'vague pretext' that we need more housing by such and such a date and over such and such a period. There are many capable business people in the present Council as Councillors - so why can they not do the simple calculation that X number of Acres of land at any given time, diminishes once it is lost.
    Similarly, how short are their memories of the 'extreme conditions' of 2000? The Environment Agency gives figures of 'probability of a re-occurrence of the floods' with the proviso that a flood of the same magnitude could happen at any time.
    So for those Councillors who love quoting figures to subdue any argument - This is Nature we are dealing with - now list your floods which happen wherever and whenever the rains fall out of the normal!
    This is why our Open Spaces, Parks and Allotments are important - to lessen the effects when such happens either on top the ground or underneath the ground (Sub-terranean water tables).
    Richard Cooper of Riverside Concern and Redbridge Flood Forum

  4. The others reasons to keep Allotments, Parks and Open spaces vary but we all know the part each play in many ways for the people of this borough. None are "just pieces of land" as one councillor has mentioned.

  5. Richard or rep,
    Your knowledge is immense and what you write is so interesting (to me anyway!)
    But do you think you could put what you say in 'bite size' because I would say a lot of us do not have the concentration necessary to take in all in.
    And, I am not talking 'Cabinet' only!
    Something which surprises me and I must look into is what you say that only one site is not on the flood plain.
    Something I would like to bring to your attention is that one allotment site, leased to Waltham Forest, (Roding Farm, off Nutter Lane, Wanstead) has not been offered for disposal in the Big conversation. Do you know why?

    I disagree, Richard or Rep must
    share ALL his knowledge, how else do we learn !
    In the past I have often told Richard that his mentionings are beyond normal peoples understanding
    and concentration, but his reply was always the same, "Ron, I'm talking 'Council talk'" His remarks are not aimed solely at us but the people in charge.
    Carry on Ricky, if the chaps in charge had one tenth of your knowledge Redbridge would be great place to live in.
    Ron King

  7. I disagree Ron. The information is out there. You just have to look for it.

  8. "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." - Albert Einstein

  9. Dear Ron King,
    I don't think many people have the same IQ as Richard Rep.
    I was simply suggesting that he could make himself more readily understood by taking things one step at the time. A little bit as cutting up food for infants. It is very easy to assume that other people are as intelligent as you. They are not.
    And please, my name is Sevant. The 'r' was dropped a long time ago by a tetchy English person and I could not agree more: I have no problem doing menial tasks but not if asked to!

  10. B21 - I beg your permission to include the following as a point of necessary Public information:
    “Something I would like to bring to your attention is that one allotment site, leased to Waltham Forest, (Roding Farm, off Nutter Lane, Wanstead) has not been offered for disposal in the Big conversation. Do you know why?

    Roding Farm Allotment Site is not a Redbridge owned Allotment Site, but technically can be used by Redbridge Council in the Redbridge Quota – It can only be used in the official Quota calculation because the allotment site is inside the boundary of Redbridge.
    However, the Statute of Roding Farm is for the use, primarily of Residents of the London Borough of Waltham Forest. This applies equally that Redbridge owned Allotment Sites are primarily for then use by Redbridge Residents.
    Therefore, Roding Farm Allotment Site should not be technically used in the Official Quota of Provision of Allotments for the London Borough of Redbridge.

    A few facts to make the position clear regarding the Allotment Site “Roding Farm Wanstead”:
    Leytonstone Allotment Association (Previously L.A. Society) is one of the oldest Allotment Societies in Essex (then London). It originated in the late 1800’s in Leytonstone and then moved at the turn of the century to Forest Gate opposite Vansittart Road on what is now Wanstead Flats. During World War 2 it was moved to Roding Farm Wanstead between the Beckton Gas Works Clicker-dump and what is now Deynecourt Gardens – as the Vansittart site was needed for Barrage Balloons and Anti-Aircraft gun emplacements.
    Leytonstone Allotment Site has always been “Statutory” and this is the history of its moves and replacement land.
    Roding Farm is not leased to the London Borough of Waltham Forest. LB Waltham Forest own Roding farm under the Statute aforementioned and Lease the Allotment Site to Leytonstone Allotment Holders’ Association, and have so done since the last transfer.
    During the UDP Inquiry, Redbridge Council assumed, as you Anne, assumed, it was Redbridge land, and it was Leytonstone Allotment Holders’ Association (I was part of the committee at that time) who straightened out the assumption of Redbridge Council regarding ownership.
    Redbridge Council actually wished to displace the ancient rights of way of the River Roding and divert them through Roding Farm Allotment Site.
    Regarding the mention of my long-winded comments – I thank B21 for printing my comments – which I trust give some detail to facilitate more clear understanding. It is in my opinion the lack of understanding that causes problems, one of which brought about the exercise The Redbridge Conversation.
    This council are fully aware of the History and Statutes surrounding allotments and open spaces, but, in my opinion have not provided these crucial details in order to allow the residents to make a balanced judgement. As I mentioned to the Full Council – the cost of removing and replacing just one allotment site is in the region £2,280,000 and the costs are still rising – I quoted the most up-to-date allotment removal and replacement – that from the Olympic Construction Site. I feel it is both important and correct that such information should be available to all councillors who have to make such important decisions. After all, we allotment people are poised to challenge any land sales that affect prime or otherwise allotment sites. Are we not?
    Richard Cooper

  11. Richard or rep: A big thank you!
    Before reading your excellent reply, I had emailed the CPCP councillors (who still have to come back to me). One of my local councillor, NH, did reply immediately but not as fully.
    To be honest, Richard, I will have to read your blog again because this is stretching me but, I am obstinate.
    It's interesting that you are adamant that the councillors and the council are in full knowlege of the facts.

  12. Another clear indication that this administration wants little to do with allotments. I wonder if Roding Farm Allotments will be used as a model allotment, forgetting the information that Richard or rep has stated (many thanks for that Richard).

    It appears to me that LBWF are proud of their open spaces. However LBR are just running our allotments down. Calls for repairs have been left ignored for years, leaving the former Vice Chair, present chair, and his wife (and other helpers, forgive me too long to mention), doing the donkey work, and mostly out of either their pocket or the association's coffers.

    I think LBR conservatives should take a leaf out of Harold Wood's and deselect a few Cllrs. They are clearly not doing the job they are elected to do.


  13. to annesevant.Roding Farm Allotment Site has never belonged to Redbridge Council,or in this case its predecessor,Wanstead.The land,then a part of Roding Farm,was purchased by Leyton Urban District Council,in 1934 to provide allotments for the unemployed.It was subcequently leased to Leytonstone Allotment Holders Association,with the provisio that Leyton,(now Waltham Forest )residents have priority on allocation of allotments.I challenged LBR when they issued their UDP some years ago which included Roding Farm within the allotment allocation.The reply was that legally they wereentitled to do this.(legal maybe,misleading definately).Fortunately Roding Farm does not come under the control of Redbridge,and its highly elusive allotments officer Mr Patricks,and that is the way we like to keep it.
    John spears,trustee Roding Farm Allotments

  14. What can I say?
    A wealth of knowledge, a wealth of information.
    I am getting better informed by the minute.
    (Morris, you are not allowed to say, not 'difficult'!)
    Many thanks to everybody and wish us luck!