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Open Day 2014

The Howden Allotments Open Day was held on Saturday 26th July this year.  A good range of attractions was on offer, a vegetable stall, tombola, tea and other refreshments and the home-made wine tasting in Keith Lockwood's shed.  The scarecrow competition was for traditional scarecrows this year and, as usual, divided into a 12-years-old  and under and over-12 categories.  There were many splendid entries and some are shown pictured below.

A vegetable and flower display competition also took place inviting entries from all plot holders.  Judging this year was undertaken by Josie Tipping as Bert was unwell.  We understand he is improving but we all wish him a full and speedy recovery.

There were awards too for the plots of the Best Newcomer and Best Mature Plot.  Judging was undertaken on the Friday evening before the Open Day. The Best Newcomer award was judged by the Committee while the Best Mature Plot was judged by Tony Featherstone, an experienced judge from Swanland.  The Best Newcomer award went to Andrew and Wendy Morrin and Best Mature Plot went to Andy Leighton.

We were also graced by the presence of five real-life scarecrows in the guise of Sue Wiggins and friends.  The girls looked splendid in their costumes and make-up but we did notice a little colour fading after their (prolonged) visit to Mr Lockwood's shed!!  Keith himself was absent this year, and much missed, as it was his grand-daughter's wedding but he still managed to deliver several gallons of his much-feted home-made wine, including a splendid black grape.  This particular brew was made from fruit picked (with permission!!!) from Tommy and Monica's plot.  Let's hope the grapes are as successful this year and Keith can produce more of this classic vintage.  It does travel well; it came successfully from Thorpe Avenue all the way to the allotments!!

There were many visitors on the day who enjoyed the good weather and a leisurely walk around the site to view all the plots and the attractions on offer.  Many positive comments were received about the good condition of the site and how much improved it now is under self-management.  There were also many positive comments about the quality of the vegetables that were available!  No artificial additives, no GM, no pesticides or insecticides here.  All are organically produced.

All in all it was a splendid day and it only remains for us to thank all those who gave their support and donated gifts for the tombola stall.  Arthur and Eileen are pleased to get their house back!  So many of you gave your help on the day and are really too numerous to mention but the support is so gratefully received, both allotment holders, family and friends.  Thank you all.

After expenses a profit of £613.98 was made on the day, about £180 less than last year.  The monies taken are detailed below with last years figures in brackets:

Tombola: £340.53 (£449.90), Produce: £227.02 (£273.64) and Refreshments: £108.43 (£167.28).

Although the Open Day was well attended numbers were down on last year.  This was probably due to the very good weather we experienced as people tend to take advantage of this and journey further afield.  Last year the weather held but it did threaten rain early on, which would keep people nearer to home.  Keith Lockwood's helpers raised around £180, half of which is donated to the Minster and the other half given to the Candlelighters cancer charity.

Other prizewinners on the day were: 

Pat Mullarkey Trophy for 3 globe beetroot - Des North.  Bert Tipping Cup for most points gained in competition - Andy Leighton

Scarecrow Competition:

12 years and under: 1st Madeline and Lewis Thackeray, 2nd Sophie and Alex Blee and 3rd Connor Silletoe

12 years and over: 1st Julia Newsome, 2nd Paul Thornhill and 3rd Dave and Pat Blee

Once again thanks to all helpers and supporters, thanks to all visitors, thanks to "Sue and the Scarecrows!", thanks to the judges and competitors and to everyone else who made this such a successful day.  Now here's to next year!

Mike's Mange-Tout

Mike was sent out list in hand

Of veggie stuff to buy.

So down he came from Meadow’s fair

To our Allotments Open Day!


His Maggie said “get all these things,

A lovely meal I’ve planned.

And don’t come home until, my dear,

You have all in your hands".


He came upon our veggie stall

With varied fare to see,

He took his time and scrutinised

And then he asked of me:


“You have some superb things today

And everything I see

Is on my list here in my hand

That Maggie gave to me.


“But first, and foremost , tops my list,

One thing I cannot view;

I cannot see the one I need.

I cannot see mange-tout”


Mike, you may be disappointed

All this we offer you,

We’ve spuds to spare

And beans to share

But sadly, no mange-tout.


The fellows here have leeks and sprouts

And offer them to you,

We’ve carrots clean

And all things green

But, sadly, no mange-tout!


To Maggie:


Off went poor Mike with saddened brow,

His hearts delight not there.

He’d no mange-tout to bring to you

Though he had veg galore!


But worry not, he’ll soon cheer up,

He’s on his way to Tesco,

They’ll have mange-tout to bring to you,

You’ll dine in style – al fresco!!



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