Page 60 - ALG Issue 2 20202
P. 60

Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire
Mr Ray How
5 Dalys Road, Rochford, Essex SS4 1RA
07720 719224
  Burnside and Vinery History
Our two allotment sites, Vinery Road and Burnside in Cambridge, are now over 95 years old. They have been jointly administered by a single committee since 1933. Like many sites nationwide, we have had our ups and downs. The last 40 years in particular have seen
a typical pattern of decline followed
by an upsurge in interest, especially this side of 2000. We have a good archive, including leases, accounts, newsletters, photographs, and AGM minutes handwritten by Trevor Taylor, our secretary for well over 30 years (Trevor was also a well-known figure at national level).
The Vinery Road site was established by 1924, in response to local demand, on land bordering a tramway for coprolite works. The exact date at which Burnside was established is not known, but the site appears on a 1926 map, near Vinery, on land purchased by the Council from Cambridge’s oldest college, Peterhouse. The original Burnside rent to the Council was four pounds a year. One of our members remembers tank traps on the Burnside site: these must have been part of the GHQ Line, a national defence system during World War Two, Cambridge
16 plots were, however, given up at Burnside in 1989, when demand for allotments was in serious decline
being one of the few settlements of any size to actually sit on the GHQ line.
Both Vinery and Burnside decreased in size by over half between the 1930s and the 1970s, largely because of housing development. The threat continued throughout the 1980s, but we fought hard to minimise the loss of land. For example, proposals to build a road through Burnside for the Cambridge Folk Festival parking were defeated, while the loss of Vinery land for the building of a school was reduced to half of what was originally demanded, and site improvements were negotiated in return. 16 plots were, however, given up at Burnside in 1989, when demand for allotments was in serious decline.
From the late 1980s to the late 1990s, the situation was at its worst, with many plots vacant or overgrown, and some
being used effectively as dumping grounds or for commercial
purposes. Nonetheless, the Society has remained in
profit practically every year: losses are recorded only for a couple of years in the late
1980s because of low rents. The King’s Seeds scheme,
initiated by Trevor Taylor, probably in the late 1970s,
may well have contributed something to the financial stability
of the Society.
            60 Allotment and Leisure Gardener
Welcome to our new members...
Great Plumstead Allotments
Shefford Allotment and Leisure Gardens Association Harling Parish Council
Northstowe Horticultural Society
Rush Green Allotment Trust
Swallowfield Lower School
Trowse with Newton Parish Council
Wooburn & Bourne End Parish Council
6 Individual Memberships

   58   59   60   61   62