The Association has the following aims:
- To manage the Dickerage Road allotment site, under the terms of the lease from the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames.
- To encourage the full, productive use of the site.
- To enhance the all-round gardening experience of allotment holders.
- To promote and coordinate social events.
- To cooperate with representatives of other allotment sites and gardening associations in matters of mutual interest.
Dickerage Road and the surrounding area was built on farmland during the 1930s. We think that the allotment site was intended to be a sports field. It is adjacent to a council building which has an extended roof to provide a small covered area for spectators. This now gives us a welcome shelter in the rain.
We also believe that the site was converted into allotments as part of the “Dig For Victory” campaign in World War Two. A communal air raid shelter was also built and that part of the site still has stony soil to this day.
The allotment site has space for 16.5 full allotments. It is a rectangular area bounded by the Council building and by gardens on the other three sides. This gives a very peaceful setting, somewhat detached from the noisy world outside.
Management by the local council was very patchy through the early 2000s. There were lots of problems with admin, and the site was not as well used as it should have been. In 2007, after more than 60 years of council management, allotment holders got together to form the Dickerage Road Allotment Association. The move to voluntary management was completed on 1st January 2009, with much help and encouragement from the Kingston Federation of Allotment Gardeners (www.kfag.org.uk) and the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames.
Voluntary management has worked well. We have been able to spend money to greatly increase security and neglected land has been re-let. We inherited a waiting list of over 40 people and have let quarter allotments to new people, with the opportunity to increase their holding after showing that they can manage their land.
We currently have 29 plot holders and a growing waiting list. There is a good atmosphere at the site and the future seems bright.