Show 2018

Another fun Autumn Show

Our Autumn Show for 2018 was held on Sunday 9th September. There was a big turnout of volunteers to set up the gazebos and tables and to tidy it all away again. At one point one of the gazebo frames looked a bit like a confused maypole dance, but it all came together in the end.

Gazebo maypole dance

There were some really delicious refreshments (thanks to all our cooks!) and another thrilling snail race at the end of the day. Unclaimed exhibits went into the “hedge veg” box by the main gate, and quickly disappeared.

Results of the judging:

Overall points:

  1. Joe Foster       27
  2. Rosie Hall       25
  3. Peter Blakey  15

Best in Show: Peter Blakey’s red cabbage

Joe Maiden Cup: Jo Ann Eisenberg

Joe Maiden Cup:

Some of the winning exhibits were from newcomers – it wasn’t all just the usual old-timers.

Gillian did the judging in our usual informal Hollin Lane way, explaining what she was looking for in each class and giving useful tips about growing and showing things from her own long experience as a gardener and exhibitor.

Gillian judging the squash

Many thanks to everyone who helped make the day a success.

Lots more pictures in the Gallery.

Our Last Work Party

We had a successful work party to finish tidying up the edges of the public footpath

We had a successful work party to finish tidying up the edges of the public footpath on Saturday, 17 March. We managed to fill all the puddles on our bit of the  Meanwood Valley trail with crushed stone which was kindly supplied by the Council’s Park and Countryside division.

There was plenty of  help, including several members of the public who had found about it.   We had our usual high standard of refreshments and jolly company!

New Gates

We have new secure main gates to match the fence, thanks to Leeds Wellbeing Fund from the Inner North West Community Committee.

After our new fence was installed along the bottom of our site there was still one big gap in our security: the old main gates. These were very solidly built, but only about five feet high and easy to climb or to pass stolen items over. Also, they were too narrow to allow large delivery lorries to come through. For these reasons we wanted to replace them with new gates which were taller, wider, strong, and like the new fence. Expensive!

We applied for grants, and Leeds City Council’s Wellbeing Fund from the Inner North West Community Committee awarded us a generous £1370. This was enough for a beautiful new gate from Airedale Fencing, the same firm that did our new fence.

Lottery Funded Fence

We have a new, secure fence along the bottom of our site, thanks to the Big Lottery Fund.

Over the last few years we have suffered many break-ins on the allotments. Sometimes they are just about annoying vandalism, but things can get more serious: thefts of crops, tools, a greenhouse and a polytunnel, and even arson. This has a corrosive effect on people’s morale here. We have seen some allotment sites abandoned because of this problem, and only revived when security was improved.

Part of the problem is the old chestnut paling fence along the public footpath at the bottom of our site. It is only about four feet high, which makes it easy to vault or to pass stolen items over, and it is badly decayed, literally only held up by bushes in some places. Thieves were easily breaking through the rotting palings and stealing some quite large items. We have done what we could, repairing the damage and planting brambles as a deterrent, but this was no longer enough. We conducted a survey of plot holders’ feelings about our security, and about 85% of us felt a new fence would be helpful.

A good, high security fence along the whole bottom of our site was bound to be expensive, so we made a case to the Big Lottery Fund for help. Their generous gift of  £9,128 allowed us to select the best from several quotations, and the work was finished by Airedale Fencing just this Thursday, 26 Oct 2017. So, big thanks to the Big Lottery Fund!

Thanks also to our volunteers, and to Leeds City Council Parks and Countryside, who turned up to help clear the space for the new fence. 

Here are a couple of Before and After photos of the fence:







We will encourage the blackberries and sloes to grow through the fence to soften the look of it from the public footpath, as well as planting some spring bulbs and bee-friendly flowers along the base.

AGM 2017

Our Annual General Meeting this year is at the Meanwood Institute on Green Road on Tuesday 24 Oct. Start time is 7:00pm!

Our Annual General Meeting this year is at the Meanwood Institute on Green Road on Tuesday 24 Oct. Please note the earlier start time of 7:00pm!  The meeting will begin with a talk on “The Plight of the Bumblebee” by Dr Catherine Coombes. Our usual business meeting will follow with reports on 2017,  election of officers for 2018, and prizegiving.

Please try to come!

Plant Bring & Buy Sale 2017

We had our annual plant bring and buy sale on Sunday, 4 June and it was a huge success.

We had our 2017 plant bring and buy sale on Sunday, 4 June, in our car park area, and it was a great success in all ways.  The set-up at the beginning and putting-away at the end went very smoothly, with plenty of volunteers who worked together and got it all done really quickly.  There were huge crowds waiting to come in and buy stuff, many from outside the allotments (good publicity!).  Lots of people listened to “Compost John” give his famous talk on composting everything – yes, everything.  There were more really healthy looking plants on sale than I can ever remember.  The refreshments were delicious,  and finally, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves enormously.  Oh, and we made over £450 towards our allotment funds.

Big  thanks to everyone who helped out in any way (lots of you!), or who just came along.  It was all great fun!

New Loo, Tool Store, Planters

Finally, after many years absence, we now have a loo at Hollin Lane Allotments!

Loo and Tool Store

Finally, after many years absence, we now have a loo at Hollin Lane Allotments! Thanks to the support of Tesco’s Bags of Help Community grant scheme, we have two new cabins on site, made from TPR® (Thermo Polymerised Rock), a synthetic concrete-like material that uses recycled waste products. One cabin contains a composting toilet and the other will be our new communal tool shed.  The loo is a Swedish-designed separating toilet which is used in the same way as any other toilet and there is also a separate urinal for the gentlemen of the allotment!  As both cabins have a key pad, all members of the allotment need to be given the code and shown the basics of how to use the facilities to keep the new loo working properly, so please contact any committee members to get this information. We also have a few Toilet Fairies, who have volunteered to keep the facilities clean and well looked after, so if you want to help out, let us know.


As part of the same grant from TESCO, and with the help of volunteers from Morgans City Living, we have also built 8 large planters, which allotment volunteers will be planting up this spring with herbs and other fruit and veg or flowering plants.