Old Lincoln allotment photos

2015: Vintage Lincoln allotment photos come to light!

During April 2015 a Gainsborough listener to BBC Radio Lincs remembered the brief slot about the history of Lincoln’s allotments broadcast in early 2015 by both Lincoln City Radio and BBC Radio Lincs as part of a collaborative programme illustrating their different approaches to local community radio. Mrs Linda Grocock then sent The Survey of Lincoln two photographs which included her mother Mrs Joyce Jackson (born 1920) as a young adult on the Blundy allotment plot off Wragby Road, Lincoln.

One photo is dated 1939, the other is undated but is pre-1946. Apart from wartime air photographs, these are the oldest photographs I have found which show a Lincoln allotment plot – the Lincolnshire Illustrations Index has several from the 1960s and I have seen some from the 1980s.

Even better, Joyce Jackson has been able to recollect a little about the photographs and the allotment plot – and both Joyce and Linda are eager that the photos are available to anyone interested. Linda has also prepared a biography of her mother who moved to St Giles as a baby, living at Lamb Gardens and working at both Boots and Ruddock’s. Crops grown included potatoes, carrots, cabbages and cauliflowers – any others have been forgotten. In the mid 1930s Joyce and a Masie Preston made some curtains to adorn the allotment shed. Cousin Leo, then a young lad who used to go "ratting" with his Grandad Sam, remembers that they would have their pig slaughtered at the end of the year and then get a piglet and start again. Stan Blundy used to be responsible for collecting pig swill - vegetable peelings etc., from the family and neighbours and have to go and feed the pig. This would give the family ham, bacon, offal, brawn and liver which would be kept in a shed outside but had to be covered in a lot of salt. It would turn green and brown and look very unappetizing. Layers would have to be sliced off before you could get to the edible meat which was delicious when cooked.

Brian remembers going approx. 1945 to the allotment and there were grass verges to separate the various allotments for walking around. They were very well attended by the owners and were not neglected in any way. There was a lot of pride in their produce. He remembers going down the ten foot, opposite the school to the area and beyond this there was Rustons Sports Fields - 5/6 bowls fields, the cricket field and the tennis courts at the opposite end that had a style that brought you back on the road and the area was parallel with the prison, opposite the County Hospital. Brian can remember him and his dad - Stan sometimes after having Sunday dinner going to help his granddad, Sam and if Rustons first cricket team was playing Brian would go and watch and sometimes help with the score boards.

Linda sent another set of photographs, showing other allotment plots in use at the Yarborough Road site. Three show Stan Blundy in the 1960s or 1970s at Yarborough Road, as Stan lived in Ely Street. They would be later 1970's.

There is also a photo of Stan's other allotment at the Long Leys Road site - Linda thinks that he may have been a Secretary of the Long Leys allotment association.