Radcliffe on Trent Local History Society

This website is managed by Radcliffe on Trent Local History Society

Allotments and Gardens in Radcliffe on Trent

25 Years of Lees Barn Allotment and Garden Society

The Society was formed to take over the lease of the allotments from Nottinghamshire County Council in 1991. An inaugural meeting was held at the Black Lion function room on 24 October 1990.

Previously, individual plot holders paid rent directly to NCC under a tenancy agreement - in 1990 the annual rent for Plots was around £15-£20. At its November 1991 AGM the Society unanimously agreed to obtain the lease of 25 plots from the Council for an annual rent of £100.

A lack of water supply to the site was an early problem and a letter from the newly-formed Society to the Council in November 1990 outlined the difficulties.

“There is a lot of concern over the lack of water in the well. By July the well was completely dry and members were carrying large quantities of water to their allotments from home in order to save their plants.”
Correspondence continued for a number of years and finally, with the help of Radcliffe on Trent County Councillor Kay Cutts, in December 1996 the NCC Head of Estates (Disposals) wrote:
“I am writing to confirm that the County Council is prepared to carry out the necessary works to provide a water supply to the Lees Barn allotments. I am not sure at this time as to when the works will actually be carried out but can assure you that it will be done before the Spring.”

In 1992 there were concerns that the proposed A52 Radcliffe on Trent to A1 (Grantham) Improvement Scheme would impact on the site. In answer to the Society’s comments the Department of Transport replied:
“ Our understanding is that the allotments to which you refer are non-statutory The Department would not therefore be empowered to provide an alternative site for the allotments, should the land be required for
the proposed improvements.” Fortunately for plot holders the scheme did not go ahead.

Fly tipping and litter continue to be a problem as the site is visible from the A52. In April 2000, Rushcliffe District Council, supporting the Tidy Britain Group’s National Spring Clean, collected litter and rubbish from the site for disposal. In his letter thanking them the Secretary wrote:
“If the council are to participate in the Tidy Britain Group’s National Spring Clean in April 2001, please let me know. We have already had a clothes drier from Joe Public to start our collection.”

Plots have changed hands many times over the past 25 years, in 1997 only two of the original 25 members remained and they both still cultivate their allotments today.

An annual Pumpkin Competition has been held in October since 2007 and, although increasingly competitive, has also become a social occasion with entries from the ‘Something with a Pumpkin’ category enthusiastically consumed. The Society have also been actively involved in the recent Radcliffe on Trent Village Shows held in September, both running and competing in the Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Classes.