Wednesday, 2 January 2013

History and about Bebington Road Allotments.

Dear Diary.

Bebington Road allotments are in Rock Ferry, Wirral (CH42 4QE). 
The site has 260 potential plots it's the largest site in North West, England. The site is surrounded by the houses on Bebington Road, Alexandra Drive, Princes Boulevard, Cavendish Drive and a little bit of Borough Road.

The main access is hidden between 184 and 186 Bebington Road, (this is the entrance that I take) a second is equally well hidden between 65 and 67 Alexandra Drive and a third on Borough Road between 847 Borough Road and 1 Kings Way, less hidden but used only for pedestrian access.

The site has a heavy soil; on virgin plots it's 25 cm of claggy fertile soil over brick making quality clay, on worked plots it varies, with the best being excellent.

The Council purchased the site in 1929, so some plots could have had over 80 years of more or less continuous cultivation, others have laid dormant for many many years! Some still do, but for someone up for a challenge they're available. The site has an Allotment Society with an active, if somewhat introspective, committee whose activities include, amongst others: organising social events, tool hire and running the shop.

The plan above shows a total of 260 available plots, with a further 11 plots worth of community space. The plan is slightly out of date but is 99% accurate. I have highlighted my plot, number 342.

Of the 260 plots 20 or so are in such a bad state that no one has taken them up in recent times, though occasionally some pioneer plot holder will take on one of these plots and bring them back into the mainstream.


The Bebington Road Allotment site was acquired by the Council on 24 July 1929 from R. G. Orred , deed reference O.5.17. That land included not only the allotments but also the land where houses are now built on Bebington Road and Alexandra Drive.

Prior to 1929 the site was farmland, possibly a farm specialising in pig breading. Prior to 1929 the site was farmland, possibly a farm specialising in pig breading. The map below shows how the area looked in 1889, with the allotment site comprising fields 74, 76 and 77.

There are stories about the site being owned by a railway company for its workforce back in 1907/08, but there is no known documentary evidence for this; perhaps the company rented land from the farm. There are also stories that railway carriages were used on site during the 2nd World War.

More detailed information can be found on

Quite an interesting read! It makes me really proud to be apart of the allotments and to be part of the history in years to come.

I hope you enjoyed reading and maybe learned something new.

My next post, Excited about seeds.


Preparation for the new season.

Dear Diary.

Welcome 2013! A brand new start. Lots of preparation to be getting on with. In a way, I feel somewhat behind already. I suppose when the new season begins, the list of jobs is greater and time is precious. Ok, here is what I have been upto so far.

Forcing Rhubarb.

I noticed that my rhubarb had started to make an appearance after being dormant for several weeks. I was pleased that something was starting to show on the plot. I cleared round the base of the crowns, taking away any little weeds. Using a bin, I placed it over the rhubarb to exclude the light. Hopefully they will be ready to harvest in about eight weeks.

Just a quick peek at the shoots that have been forced for about a week now.

Planting Garlic.

A few weeks back, I planted my garlic cloves. I have noticed that a few have come through and the rest have yet to join in. I hope to get some good bulbs from this years crop. I tried to grow them last winter and had no success, sadly.

Planting Onions.

About the same time as I planted my garlic, I also planted my onion sets. Slowly but surely they are rising. Ready to harvest by the summer. Japanese onion sets usually provide a harvestable crop in June, a month or two earlier than spring planted sets.

Not the best picture, a bit blurry but you can see a section of my onion sets.

Starting leeks off.

I have been saving the cardboard insides from toilet rolls (something my missus, Hayley has been shouting at me for... leaving them around the house!). Eventually, I took them to the allotment so I could use them to plant my leeks, giving them a head start. The idea of using the cardboard insides is so I can pick them up as they are and plant them straight into the ground without disturbing the roots. The cardboard will soon rot away. Iv'e never done this before, so it's a little experiment...

They are currently in my friends greenhouse. After several weeks, if they have taken off, I Should be able to transplant them safely into one of my beds.
I bought Hayley a pair of wellies and she is made up. We can head down to the allotments together, it will be good to get her involved and she will learn more about how vegetables are grown. Think she will be shocked that they don't come already wrapped like in the supermarkets!
My next post, History and about Bebington Road Allotments.
A bit of bed time reading!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Coffee beside the log burner at the allotment.

Dear Diary.

During the winter season of 2012, most of my time was spent in the shed with my good mate Carl. After the jobs were complete, we put the kettle on and lit the log burner. It has truly turned into an allotment tradition!

The trouble is, once you are settled in your chair with a hot drink and the warmth from the fire going, It's hard to want to do anything else! Carl made the log burner himself, by using recycled materials. He is a very talented man.

The materials used, as you can see in the picture are: an old gas bottle, a steel pole and chopped up logs to make the fire. It doesn't half give off some heat!

The kitchen area in the shed. Nothing beats a nice hot cuppa!

Carl has been kind enough to make me my own log burner for when I manage to get a new shed, hopefully this year. Check out the masterpiece below...

A friendly warning to anybody who is thinking about making their own log burner using these materials. Be careful, without good knowledge and the correct equipment, it could be dangerous. Please message me or leave a comment if you have any questions.

My next post, Preparation for the new season. Lets get started!