Today’s blog starts with a picture of a delightful allotment plot in Prague, Czech Republic, this copied from the Allotments site on Wikipedia – this site focusses on allotment allocation around the world, giving the whole issue a global perspective.
Continuing the 20th century history of English allotments (s.p.b.) we come to the important Land Settlement Facilities Act of 1919. Although not dealing directly with allotments it provided the framework whereby physically able demobilised soldiers from the Great War could be provided with land and facilities for smallholdings thus re-establishing the principal that those disadvantaged in life should have access to land, perhaps as a form of compensation, this only if they wanted it and were physically able to cope. Thus the Shorter Oxford Dictionary’s definition states that allotments were for the ‘poor’, a factor no longer applied rigidly.
An Allotments Act of 1922 established some of the rights of allotment tenants – however at this moment I need to find out more about the Act’s details.
The Allotments Act of 1925 stated that a local authority had to provide statutory sites which could not be subsequently built on or sold-off without ministerial permission, so certainly from this point allotment sites became landscape features in urban and many rural communities.
The Allotment Act of 1950 apparently amended section 2 of the 1922 Act by its sections 2,3,4 and 5 but again more research needed on my part.
The National Allotments Society, as its name states, covers the whole U.K. and its website deals with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland where the system varies from England, this partly a result of devolution as with the 2018 Act for Scotland, for example.
The standard size of an allotment plot in England was/is about 250 square yards, but this is flexible these days and allotment associations and local authorities often halve, even quarter, plots to accommodate people/families who do not want to take on too much.
(to be continued)