The History of Woodseats Allotments And Our Society
Deeds show that the Council acquired land for 88 allotments in 1911. Following the closure of the Hutcliffe Wood allotment site to build the new Crematorium, an additional 31 plots were provided in 1969. The overall size of the allotment has not changed since, although the actual number of plots is currently 131 as some have now been sub-divided. A waiting list indicates a healthy demand for allotments, but plots are still available after a short wait.
The Society was formed in 1912 by local residents, but it might have been in an embryonic state during 1911. The Society became affiliated to the Sheffield and District Allotments Federation in October 1917 and still remain members over a hundred years later.
In 1918 the Society embraced Woodseats, Cartmell Road, Helmton Road, Fraser Road, Cemetery Side, and later Meadowhead Allotments with a total of 182 members. Allotment members paid 1s a year and home gardeners 1s 6d. The annual Society income for 1918 was £89 15s 11/2d.
In 1922 the Society established two huts on a spare piece of land above plot No 50 rented from a Mr Hardcastle for the sum of 6s per annum. In 1965 the Society received a notice from the solicitors of Mr Henry Foster to vacate the plot so the Council agreed that the Society could use part of Plot 2 for its huts. A KenCast concrete shed was erected 1976 and this now serves as our shop [Link to buy page] and was connected to the National Grid in 2015.
In 1986 the allotment Society paid £500 to have two gates manufactured locally at a small workshop on Florence Road for the Camping Lane and Abbey Lane entrances. Padlocks were provided for these gates and keys issued by the allotment society to tenants. These were renovated in 2014.
The Camping Lane community orchard was established over the winter of 2013. Volunteers helped by a Council Ranger cleared the overgrown strip of land and planted fruit trees donated by Josie & Colin Wright (plots 51 & 52) and Sue Lee (plot 57). Nine trees were planted against the stone wall for espalier and fan training and 10 trees planted in open ground supported by wooden stakes donated by Sue Lee
In 2015, work began on developing the Abbey Lane Community Orchard. Twenty-three fruit trees were purchased together with tree stakes and ties supported by a grant from the Skipton Building Society. A Yellow Witch Hazel “memory” tree and a Corkscrew Hazel “wishing” tree were planted. A new snow sycamore fence protects the orchard from passing traffic
The Society took over the management of Plots 64 and 65 in the spring of 2017. It is now used at the hub for Members’ activities and boasts a common room and library. And finally, we now have a toilet!
OS Crown Copyright 1936