About Us – History of our Society

2005

In March I started to advertise to find other families who wanted an allotment plot in the Village. April, a Committee was formed and we joined the National Allotments Society. Request for a Village site was sent to the Hawkinge Parish Council and 3 possible sites all owned by Shepway DC discussed,  none available. PC said they were aware of the Legal Rights. December, 25 families paid £5 to go on a waiting list. Bank Account opened, Constitution adopted.

2007

Meeting with the Parish Council to discuss 3 possible sites again, none were suitable. Started fundraising events and a Newsletter to keep families abreast of our progress. Asked National for help as its a legal requirement for Councils to provide Allotments. Their Legal Officer wrote to the PC for us.

 2008

In January decide to bombard local officials, wrote to our MP, our 3 DC and all members of the PC about lack of progress. In June Shepway DC gave permission for us to have field 2.3 Acres which they owned in Stombers Lane, on a 30 year Lease. In August our Committee and PC visit Folkestone Allotments together. In September we formed a  Steering Committee of 3 to work with the PC and a Car Survey was done to establish the size of Car Park required.. Grant applications were begun with the help of Rural Kent. We started to make a plan of the field and take important decisions for our Planning Application December waiting list upto 53 families. PC granted us £10K from 106 Funds.

Allotment Site 2008

2009

Fundraising continued. In April Planning Application sent to Dover DC for 45 plots with sheds. Clubhouse and Car Park with main gates into Stombers Lane. In May we were allowed onto the field, we sprayed the nettles on the boundary’s and in June, removed rubbish and temporary fencing. This done we had the grass cut. In June & July working parties took place twice a week and gangs of of helpers came, we burnt all the brush and the fencing was used later for large compost bays. Over 2000 hours were spent that summer to get the field ready for ploughing in October. December 66 families.

October 2009

2010

Planning permission given in January after comprehensive soil tests for contamination. The Lease was granted in March, after months of dispute with KCC and Shepway over their field boundary fence. Contractors started working on the Car Park, removing Sycamore trees and laying water pipes. The Site was opened on 1st April with the contractors still working to complete the perimeter fencing, entrance drive and car park in May. In June the Clubhouse was erected and the Eco Toilet installed. In the summer members laid a patio in front of the clubhouse and moved soil to make the Raised Beds. September Local Farmer moved the last of the soil and made last of the 5 raised beds. November the paved walkways round the raised beds were done by a contractor. December a Portacabin was given to us by the Parish Council. 86 Members a total of £41865 was given in Grants for this project.

April 2010

May 2010

2011

March members fenced “The Woodland” to reduce the Rabbits, The Portacabin was decorated by 2 Members. 104 Members

Eileen Blythe Chairwoman 2005 – 2013

2013

Eileen Blythe retired as Chairwoman at the AGM and the previous Site Manager & Treasurer Ray Ashdown, was elected as the new Chairman. Eileen became the President in a new role for of the Society. Dawn Wolley was duly elected as the Society Treasurer.

A Web Site (www.hawkingeallotments.org.uk) was developed and introduced which  improved the overall communication and information available to the membership. Two new fun competitions (Sunflower & Pumpkin) were set-up to compliment the  existing Top Ten competition and our entry to the Kent Allotments competitions where we continued to win Best Small site in Kent.   Two members of the society with approval, successfully  introduced  Bee Hives to their plots which later caused some ‘controversy’ around the membership.

Karen & Ella with their prize winning sunflower
Karen & Ella with their prize winning sunflower

2014 Pumpkin Comp entrants

 

2014

The summer of 2014 was a very busy time for the society with the competitions, usual open days and with the addition of the HAS to the NGS.

_MG_2017

Following a proposal from Nick Lord and acceptance from the NGS the gates were opened during July and over two days monies were successfully  raised for many charities.

Ray, Helen, Nick & David
Ray, Helen, Nick & David

 

Sunday morning and the mist starts descending

 

A Terry & Carole with their framed winning print.photographic competition was organised and the best submissions were used as a banner on the web site during the following year.

 

 

RHS Wisley Team 5th July 2014. (43 members & friends had a great day)
RHS Wisley Team 5th July 2014. (43 members & friends had a great day)

 

The social events during the year were numerous, well attended including a very successful  the trip to RHS Wisley by coach.

 

2015

The previous Chairman Ray Ashdown retired from allotment life and Nick Lord was elected and took the helm as Chairman for the Society. The Society again did well winning the Kent Allotments Associations best small site in the year which saw the closure of this organisation.   Inclusion in the NGS scheme was again successful albeit over one day and inclement weather on the open day.

 

8 thoughts on “About Us – History of our Society”

  1. Ray, you have done a very good webpage for the Society, which gives a good overview of HAS from the begining, and was never given much effort before.

  2. I agree with Eileen. Very good and comprehensive site and I shall be sending you recipes and photos in the future.

    Glad to now being able ot get on and grow some veggies after what has seemed like an endless Winter.

  3. 22nd August 2014 – I’ve enjoyed welcoming Eileen and Alan Blythe at my small guest house this week, and now I am getting extra pleasure by exploring your website. I loved the stunning photo of the sunflowers on the Home Page”, and after reading the “History” section. I also wish to compliment the Society on its years of determination, . I’m off now to savour the rest.
    Thank you, Barbara Hodgkinson

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