The purpose of this site is to provide a central information service to all allotment holders of the above association.  Please explore the site and if you have any feedback please go to the contact page and speak to the author or the secretary.

Contact email:  opfgha.secretary@gmail.com

Coffee Morning

Winnie will be hosting a “Coffee Morning” tomorrow 3rd of July from 11am til 1pm.

In addition to refreshments that are provided free of charge, she will be putting on “Bacon Rolls” for a small charge of 75p each should anyone feel a little peckish.

Beaver’s visit

Wendy Thomas brought a troop of Beaver’s to site on Friday 17th June, you will see from the images that they got stuck in to working over a raised bed and enjoyed some seed planting.



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School visit

Last week a number of gardeners and myself hosted our first visit from a local school, The Jubilee L.E.A.D Academy, and going on the email that I received from Gillian Brent, I have attached it below, I can assume it was a success.

So a BIG “THANK YOU” to everyone that helped make it a success, and those who gave produce for sampling.

Dear John

Thanks so much for hosting and facilitating the two visits by children from Jubilee LEAD Academy. The children really enjoyed seeing the allotments, meeting the gardeners, seeing the plants that produce fruit and veg and tasting some of the produce. It was really well organised so the children got the most out of the short time they were there. Thanks too for providing water; that was much appreciated by the thirsty children!

Will you pass on our thanks to Jane, Kay, Gill, and all the other gardeners who showed us their plots and to Steve for talking about bee-keeping. You were all very generous with your time and knowledge, and with sharing your produce. It was great for the children to meet members of their local community who they might not otherwise come in contact with and to make links between the school and Old Park Farm Garden

I hope we have encouraged the children to think about growing their own fruit and veg when they grow up and to eat fruits and vegetables that they wouldn’t normally think they liked.

I have copied in Riley Walker, the teacher who accompanied the children today so that he has your contact details. He may well bring more children next Summer when they are studying the same topic again.

Best wishes

Gillian

In the AGM minutes it was noted that Barry Mitchell had proposed a vote electing a Vice Chair.

I would like to correct this, its was actually Winifred Beck that put the proposal forward.

John Stooke

MINUTES OF COMMITTEE MEETING

29 th May 2022

Present: John Stooke, Simon Hudson, Jane Bowden, Wendy Thomas,
Charles Dewa, Winnie Beck, Roy Lawson, Ray Bauser. Mick Tagg
Apologies: Mark Robinson, Tom Hutchinson
Observer:
Meeting opened at 10.45am
The minutes from the previous meeting held on 20 th February, 2022 were
accepted without changes. Proposed by WT and seconded by RL.
Matters Arising
 FCA: Accounts are to be submitted to FCA
 Water leak/Lease: The quotation for the work has been submitted
to the Council and the work will be done on 31 st May. Only when it
is complete will we look again at the new lease and management
agreement. There seems to be a problem with a loose telegraph
pole, but it is expected that this will be looked at by the contractors.

Treasurer’s Report
 Current financial situation: We currently have about £1716
available for spending (the rest is required for liabilities such as
key deposits, water bill) until the end of September. This means
we are in a reasonable position. SH and RB proposed and
seconded the Treasurer’s report.
 We could spend some of this money on a compostable toilet.
Secretary’s Report

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 Car park by the railway: There is a problem with the surface
following rain. Rather than using road stone to cover the area, JS
proposed spending approximately £320 to put in 30m 2 of plastic
gridding. This was agreed although RB will provide some
information from an alternative company. (JS)
 School Visits: These will take place on 15 th and 17 th June. The
children will gather in the polytunnel and will be split into 3 groups
of about 9 plus teachers and other adults. They will visit various
plots spending about 10 minutes in each looking at what is being
grown and asking questions. JS will organise a potting/planting
activity in the polytunnel and will put together a booklet of
information about allotmenting and the site. The organiser from
the school felt that the lack of a toilet would not be an issue as they
could visit Harvey Haddon en route and use their facilities. This
led to a discussion about the provision of facilities on site. JS
explained that a full size basic portaloo toilet would cost about
£600 to £700 but the monthly cost of cleaning would be at least
£50 per month. The cost of getting a proper toilet linked to the
grey water system was prohibitive. All agreed JS should buy a
very basic chemical toilet for £56 plus the chemicals. This would
only be available on particular occasions such as the BBQ or
school visits and could only be used for urination.
 Meeting with Barry Mitchell and Jane Bowden to consider issues
relating to new documents: (The meeting had taken place in order
to consider the issues which Barry had raised. It was difficult to
get the full Legal Team together with BM due to other
commitments.) The Model Rules (6.1.2) refer to ‘joint associate
members’ which JB had believed was anomalous. However, JS
confirmed that we do in fact have such members and it was
agreed that tenants who have friends or relatives who regularly
help them with their plots should be encouraged to register these
people as joint associate members of the association. If an
Associate Member (Tenant) then wished to leave the Association,
then the Joint Associate Member could be offered it. This
addresses the issue of people wanting to ‘bequeath’ their plot
when they want to leave the Association. JS to put this option
tenants when new rent bills are sent out. This covering note

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should also include some key rules relating to fires, the gate and
water usage.
 Barry had also questioned whether there needed to be a maximum
number of people on the Committee as stipulated in the Model
Rules as he felt that it limited democracy. After discussion it was
agreed that this could be changed (but retaining the minimum
number) but that the Model Rules will need changing with the FCA.
(JS). It was confirmed that for a meeting to be quorate, there must
be at least 5 people present including 2 of the officers.
 Barry had suggested that where there were changes to the rules or
constitution proposed at the AGM, then ‘postal votes’ should be
issued to all tenants in order to satisfy the ‘majority of members’
part of the new lease document. There was general agreement
that the AGM is open to everyone and as it is only for a few hours
once a year, it is reasonable to expect Members of the Association
to attend in person or, if this is impossible, to send their views in in
writing. If there is a contentious issue, then it is important that
people hear the arguments before casting their votes.
 Communication: There was general agreement that the website is
currently difficult to navigate. Minutes of Committee meetings are
on the Home Page whereas AGM minutes are under the tab
‘Meetings’. Some policies have not been put on the website and
accessing the members only section is impossible. JS agreed to
contact Steve Medcalf to try to find out how to change the website.
He would change the Meetings heading to AGM meetings or
similar to make things clearer.
 Coffee Mornings: These have not been advertised as very few
people responded to the Secretary’s request for volunteers to run
particular dates. It was agreed to reduce the planned sessions to
the first and third Sundays of the month. SH offered to take on
running this part of the social plan and those who originally
volunteered to participate in the Social Group would reply to him
with their availability for those dates.
 Jubilee celebration: Karol had suggested that we have a ‘do’ for
this but hadn’t got back to JS with any further plans. WB agreed to
chase her up and to propose next Saturday 4 th June, but it was felt
unlikely that we could do anything in such a short space of time.

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 Trees: Those near Hillary’s have been cut back by RL and RB
who’ve done a good job resulting in allotments getting more light.
They agreed to open the lane next week (RL and RB).
 Plot 3: The plot is severely contaminated with glass and has been
rejected by several prospective tenants. Suggestions about
introducing raised beds and turning it into a community allotment
were rejected as the glass issue would remain. Also, it was felt
unfair on other tenants who had had to work hard to clear their
plots of contamination, if the Association did it for a new tenant.
Winnie had indicated that she would be prepared to take it on and
given the exceptional circumstances it was agreed to look at
making an exception to the Lettings Policy rule of no further
multiple lettings until the waiting list was empty. Currently the
waiting list has decreased markedly as things return to normal post
lockdown. Winnie withdrew while the rest of the Committee
discussed the proposal and then took a vote. It was agreed by a
majority (7-1) to offer Winnie the plot subject to no further buildings
being erected (a polytunnel or greenhouse was acceptable) and
both plots (including hedges) must be maintained to an acceptable
level. There would be a probationary period till the end of this
season and, as the plot had already been paid for, it would be rent
free until the next rent period started. Winnie accepted the
proposal.
 Policies: See matters arising
Any other Business
 Possible break in or trespassing: MT reported that his orchard
plot had been entered, a lock removed, and a shed broken into.
This was concerning as there had been no reports of forced
entry to the site and therefore it could be a tenant. MT now had
a camera to survey the plot. Others were asked to be vigilant.
 Bringing materials onto site: Once again there had been some
issues with people bringing materials onto site that had been
taken by others. JS clarified that the ‘rule’ is that if items are
placed in one of the bays, then it is available for everyone. If
materials are brought onto site for individual use and are placed
outside a plot, then the owner must move them onto their plot

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within 24 hours unless there are good reasons for being unable
to do so. This must be explained to the Secretary.
 Burning: RL once again asked for the burning day to be
extended to a weekend (Saturday as well as Sunday) as he felt
it would reduce the amount of smoke produced. JS explained
that the rule had been introduced because of complaints from
neighbouring properties and there was a risk that we could be
banned from all burning.
 Security: A white van had been seen on a number of occasions
letting 4 males onto the site and then driving away. Efforts will
be made to find out the registration number.
 Chickens: RB once again asked about keeping chickens on
plots and stated that the law gave allotment holders the right to
do so. JS pointed out that the welfare rules on keeping
chickens were very strict. He agreed to contact RSPB, and 2
other organisations to ask them to visit the site to advise on
whether plots were suitable. JB was concerned that some plot
holders currently fail to abide by the rules of the Association and
that the Committee could have to take on additional
responsibilities for checking that the animal welfare rules were
being followed.
 If rules on burning, chickens and inheritance were to be
changed then these would need to be voted on at the AGM.

Rolled over items
 Keys to the hut (SH)
 Strategic/Financial Plan: JS to organise a meeting of the group
(JB, JR, MR and SH) – ongoing
 Sub committees: JB had drafted some terms of reference. To be
considered at a further meeting.
 Noticeboards: JS is still working on the design of these.
 Stock Control sheet for the shop: JS/MR to devise something
 Following the inspection, RB had been readmitted to the
committee. However, the plot remains in an unsatisfactory state
despite assurances. JS/SH/MR
 Website: Awaiting information from Carol

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Date of next meeting: To be confirmed
Meeting closed at 12.55

School visit

A group of around 29 school children from the Jubilee L..E.A.D Academy will be visiting site today Wednesday 15th and Friday 17th of June. The visit will last for around 2 hours, during this time they will be touring the site in 3 smaller groups with the aim of meeting our gardeners.

AGM 2022

Minutes of AGM held 24th April 2022

Present: Simon Hudson SH, John Stooke JS, Mark Robinson MR,Kay Graham KG, Adrian Robins AR, Barry Mitchell BM, Diane Yorke DY, Steve Yorke SY, Wendy Thomas WT, Michael Graham MG, Tom Hutchinson TH, Charles Dewa CD, Winifred Beck WB, Ronnie Gayle RG, Dave Kirkham DK, Mick Tagg MT, Steve Williams SW, Ralph Yorke RY, Jocelyn Yorke JY, Teresa Nason TN, Roy Lawson RL, Ray Bauser RB.

Apologies: Jane Bowden, Carol Briar.

The Chairman opened the meeting at 10:35 welcoming, and thanking everyone for attending.

Minutes from last year’s AGM held on 1st August 2021 were read out by the Chairman. These were proposed by Kay Graham and seconded by Ronnie Gayle.

Treasurer’s Report:

The accounts for 2021 had previously been presented to those present, and Mark Robinson confirmed that these had been audited by Perveen Hussain, and that a donation had been made to the Trussell Trust, a charity chosen by Perveen.

There had been a surplus of £958, this was due to the rent bill from the council arriving late, it didn’t arrive until March 2022.

Mark advised that the balance at the bank is currently around £6400, of which £1900 is available for projects.

He considers the Association to be in a sound position financially.

Barry Mitchell raised a question with regards to annual charges to the FCA, John advised that there are no annual charges, although Mark advised that there may be, as and when the accounts are submitted, clarification will be sought.

Roy requested funds to buy razor wire to be fixed to the top of the fence on the lane at the back of Hillarys blinds, no objections were raised, Roy and Ray to advise of cost before purchasing.

Kay queried whether not grids could be purchased and placed on the grass car park down by the railway line. John advised that the grids are extremely expensive and roadstone would be the most cost effective.

Winnie raised the issue of the Association Insurance not covering garden holders, John Advised that it would be too expensive for the Association to provide cover for each individual member’s plot and went on to advise that a discount is offered to individual plot holders wanting to take out cover on the NSALG website.

Secretary’s Report:

John advised those present that sadly one our members had had passed away earlier in the year. Ian Eady was the son of Pete Eady who was also a member before his passing.  Wendy Thomas enquired whether it was usual for the Association to send flowers, John advised that flowers had been sent in the past after the passing of a member, but on this occasion they had not as he wasn’t aware until around 4 or 5 weeks after.

Secretary’s Report cont:

Security:

John advised that when he was working on the area around the polytunnel he had asked Martin Spilsbury if he could use the roller that he had to roll the chippings that had been put down. Believing that the roller would be safe he left it in the Association Garden overnight, unfortunately he admits he may have been naive in believing that it would still be there in the morning.  John later learned that the roller belongs to Roy Lawson. John Accepts full responsibility and has agreed that he will replace the roller but has also said that if and when he finds out who took it, if it is one our members whom we should be able to trust not to take other people’s belongings, they will be given notice with immediate effect. Theft will not be tolerated.

A few weeks ago, a person or persons entered the site on an evening, and it is believed they gained entry by climbing the fence on the perimeter at the back of the cafe on the industrial estate. Roy Lawson & Ray Bauser have been working hard at clearing the extensive amount of foliage and dead/overhanging tree branches used to assist in climbing over. Ray advised that he had spoken with Hillary’s who said that they would look at repairing the fence that accesses there site which would then restrict access to a large part of our perimeter fence. Hillary’s also said hat we could have access to here cctv footage if required.

Tom Hutchinson enquired about the possibility of installing dummy cameras on site, John added that he had looked into solar powered cameras that have a sim installed, he agreed he would look onto both options further.

Water:

On the 12th April Steve Yorke and Simon Hudson met with Jo Tarrant and Richard from Avon water services at site. Although some repairs have been carried out it is apparent that the leak hasn’t been fixed, and we are still losing a significant amount of water. Avon water services have advised that they believe the leak is between the top and main gates. They will provide Jo Tarrant at the council with a quote for a sleeve to be fitted inside the existing pipe.

Steve Yorke went on to give the following figures: –

In 2020 our 889 cubic metres of water passed through our metre, and it was calculated that 141 cubic metres were lost from the leak.

In 2021 789 cubic metres of water passed through our metre, of which 202 cubic metres were lost to the leak.

In the first two weeks that the water has been turned on in 2022 we have had 40 cubic metres pass through our metre, this is quite a significant amount, therefore Steve Yorke will monitor it over  the next few weeks and report back with his findings.

He also advised that 67 cubic metres had been lost during the repairs.

Dave Kirkham asked for clarification on what we should be using water for, John replied, for watering plants and not for washing cars or filling ponds.

Coffee mornings:

It was agreed that coffee mornings would resume as of the Sunday 1st May 2022 and then on every 1st and 3rd weekend of the month. Winnie requested that signs be put up, John agreed to take care of the signs. Roy suggested that we might hand out a questionnaire at the coffee mornings asking members for their thoughts on how we could improve things around our site. It was agreed that this was a good idea, John will sort.

First Aid:

John advised that he has the accident book previously requested along with a large selection of First Aid items kindly given by Wendy Thomas and Simon Hudson. It was agreed that a small selection of these items would be placed in the polytunnel with the rest to be stored in the hut for replenishment. Tom Hutchinson raised the idea of members keeping a small basic first aid kit on their plot as he and a few others do.

There are a few members that are trained in First Aid, John will make a list of them, with their permission and put it on the notice boards, so should anyone be unfortunate enough to have an accident they can seek assistance. Steve Williams added, if a member has an accident that requires more than basic First Aid, they should call for an ambulance.

Steve Yorke suggested a marker board by the main gate that can be used to show who is or isn’t on site, i.e., Officers, First Aider and Committee members, John will look into this.

Transfer of a plot:

A request had been previously made for the clarification on the procedure for family members taking over a plot from a member that has sadly passed away. John advised that each instance be considered case by case as the circumstances in each case will vary, but he confirmed that in all cases when a family member takes over a plot a 6-month probationary period will apply as a standard measure.

Plastic

A plot was recently vacated, and although the plot wasn’t overgrown there was a large amount of plastic left behind. Steve Yorke advised that this plastic was removed over a period of two weeks and disposed of. Tenants are to be advised that they must take plastic such as empty compost bags, broken plant pots etc home and put them in the recycling bin.

Vacant plots:

We currently have 3 plots vacant and coming vacant within a couple of weeks, John advised that he will arrange to meet potential new tenants as soon as possible.

John advised that he had received a call from Michael Thompson advising him that he had sold his polytunnels to Roy and Ray and that he has given them his permission to enter his plot to remove them, he hasn’t confirmed yet when he will vacate his plot.

Roy suggested splitting plots to accommodate prospective new tenants that would prefer a smaller area to work, John advised it will be something to consider in the future.

Winnie stated that she would still like another plot, but John advised until we get to a point that there is no one on the waiting list he cannot accommodate her request.

AOB:

Winnie suggested a competition with a financial reward for the best garden, it was discussed by those present, and I financial reward wasn’t really accepted by the majority, John advised a competition sounds like a good idea but with the reward of a cup/rosette, rather than a financial reward. He would look at may be arranging something that could run on the day of the barbecue when he meets with the events team.

Barry Mitchell raised the point that all our members are entitled to a vote and should be given a chance to vote on changes to be made. It was put to Barry by Mark Robinson that all members do get the opportunity at the AGM but choose not to attend. Barry went on to say that within the rules that we follow it states that all members shall be given a postal vote. John advised Barry that at some point, sooner rather than later, that Barry, Jane, himself and any other member that would like to be involved in the legal side of things will sit down and go through our policies and rules to confirm where changes need to be made.

Ray raised the question of allowing members to keep chickens on plots, during which the question was raised about the Bee Garden and public liability. Steve Williams confirmed that he has public liability relating to the keeping of Bees. Roy once again questioned why we can’t have a burning weekend rather than a burning Sunday. John Replied to both Ray and Roy requesting that they put their questions on paper or email so he can put their requests to the Committee to consider whether or not members should be sent a postal vote on both matters. John also added that a consultation with local residents may also be required with regards to burning days.

Ray asked why he had not been given a key to the hut to allow him to store tools/machinery although he had been told previously that he could. Simon initially agreed to get a key cut for Ray but was opposed by John on the grounds that there isn’t enough space for storing tools/machinery. It was agreed that Ray would get a quote for a steel door/gate for the building on the lane by the railway. This building would only be used to store tools/machinery that are used for Association site work.

Election of Officers and New Committee

The Committee, including the Officers, stood down and the following members were proposed, seconded and elected:

Officers:

                                                            Proposed by:                   Seconded by:

Chair         – Simon Hudson                  J. Stooke                          W. Thomas

Secretary – John Stooke                      S. Williams                        W. Thomas

Treasurer – Mark Robinson                  J. Stooke                          C. Dewa

The position of Chair was contested by Winifred Beck and after a show of hands Simon Hudson won by a significant majority.

Committee:

                                                  Proposed by:                   Seconded by:

Jane Bowden                             T. Hutchinson                    S. Williams

Carol Briar                                 R. Bauser                         R. Lawson

Tom Hutchinson                        J. Stooke                          S. Hudson

Wendy Thomas                         J. Stooke                          S. Hudson

Ray Bauser                                J. Stooke                          S. Hudson

Charles Dewa                            J. Stopke                          S. Hudson

Winifred Beck                            R. Bauser                         J. Stooke

Roy Lawson                               C. Dewa                           J. Stooke

After the election of Officers and Committee was finalised Winnie suggested that we have a Vice Chair in the unfortunate event that Simon wouldn’t be able to carry out his duties as Chair. Steve Yorke commented saying that if an event should occur the Committee has the power to second a member to fulfil his role until such a time that a new Chair can be elected.

Barry proposed that we should have a Vice Chair and John advised him that he should put this proposal in writing for it to be put before the Committee.

Dates for the diary:

It was agreed that this year’s BBQ will take place on Saturday 10th Sept.

The 2023 AGM will take place Sunday 26th March 2023 at 10:30 am.

Close:

Just prior to the closure of the meeting, Adrian Roberts stood and proposed that the Officers and Committee be given a round of applause for the work that they do. This proposal was was seconded by the majority by the clapping of hands.

Meeting closed at 1pm.

AGM 2022

Good evening gardeners.

Just a reminder that we will be holding our AGM this coming Sunday 24th of April.

It is scheduled to start at 10:30am in the polytunnel, so please arrive 10 mins prior to the start to allow time form you to sign in and collect any relevant documentation for the meeting that will be handed out.

I look forward to seeing you.

John stooke – Secretary