Stowupland's Allotments

Over the past decades allotment areas have been something of a moveable feast and often linked to charities. See an  overview of Allotments in Stowupland

By the late 1960s and 70s local people no longer wanted large allotments though there was still a demand for more manageable generally plot sizes.

In 1969 the parish Clerk, Mr R.A.Wright ‘reported an appreciable demand for 10 rod allotments and it was decided to satisfy this by ‘splitting up an acre plot which will shortly become vacant.’

 In the 1970s the parish council debated whether to keep the allotment plots at Spoonmans and /or Thrandestones.

sketch of land areas

The history of of Spoonmans’ and Thradstone allotments goes back to at least the 1880s, as the following report on THE STOWUPLAND CHARITIES in Suffolk and Essex Free Press,  11 Dec 1889 illustrates.

” As “T’hradstone’s Farm and Spoonman’s Farm were to be let in Stowupland a meeting was called by the Trustees of the Stowupland Charity to consider the advisability of tendering for the land for the purposes of allotments. The meeting was fixed for Tuesday evening at the Board School, and at that place on that evening there was large attendance of agricultural labourers. The Vicar (Rev. S. M. Statham. M.A.), Mr. H. F Harwood, Mr J W. Howard and Mr. F. Robinson (churchwardens), and Mr. Potter were the Trustees present, Mr. T. E. Carter, the honorary clerk also attending; Mr. G. J. Gostling, the remaining Trustee, was unavoidably absent. The Vicar presiding.

Mr H F. Harwood said he was very pleased to see such a large meeting as it justified the trustees in the steps they had been taking all along, to try and get land for the use of the people in the parish. Amongst the conditions of the letting- Thradstone’s farm noticed that it was to be let on eight years’ lease. He did not like that. (A Voice: “More I, sir.)

There was land in the parish anything like so suitable for this purposes allotments Thradstone’s farm, as it was situated quite in the centre of the parish, and right m the midst of them. If they wanted to get the land they must make fair offer for it, and hirers of the allotments must be prepared to pay|a fair rent. With regard to the eight years’ lease, of course they would be able, at the conclusion of the lease, under the Agricultural Holdings Act, to claim, and would get fair valuation for the improvements they had made. They would want the land that they should be able to plant fruit trees. objection to planting fruit trees was that the one who planted them bad no security. They wanted to see that the hirers of land should be secure. (Hear hear.) He was not only owner, but hirer of land, and he felt that could act do the same on his hired land as his own farm. Thradstones Farm was at that moment in a bad state, but in eight years tune it night be worth three or four pounds acre. For some allotments which he knew, 30s. an acre had been offered, but did not think they would get Thradstone’s Farm for low a rental as that. There were tithes and rates payable in  addition to the rent.

They would also have to pay for repairs, and the repairs would be serious matter. (Laughter.) They must not in tendering for the land let the charities suffer. Mr. Thos. Brame said his presence and that of his fellow-workmen that night showed that they were anxious to obtain allotments. He could not see his way clear to put in for that land, while the condition of eight years lease remained. If he took an acre of land and cleaned and drained it, would not like to give it up at the end of eight years. Mr. Carter said there would be about 17 acres altogether to be let for allotments. The Chairman asked those present who wished to have allotments on Thradstone’s Farm to hold up their hands, in response to which appeal 18 held up their hand. Mr. Harwood said all that the Trustees could ask was for their confidence —(A Voice :You’ve got it, sir”)—and they would do their best. The matter was left in the hands of the Trustees to decide, and the meeting separated. We have since been informed that the tender of the Stowupland Trustees has been accepted.”