At last the year begins and that b***** awful BBC allotment programme

The potatoes are chitting in egg boxes, the propagator is full and warming away in the greenhouse and the beds have been dug. Well actually, the beds have been ready since December. I have laid some plastic sheets to warm the soil in order to get some early carrots sown. Come next week and the final plot will have been let at Bullbeggars, but two half plots still require tenants at Littlewicks. For the first time since I became Chairman, we have a shortage of people on the waiting list. I blame the BBC programme the Great Allotment Challenge. I think is has done more to damage allotments than any Council could ever do. The opening lines of Bohemian Rhapsody go ” is this the real life, is this just fantasy?” It could have been written with this programme in mind. No it is not real life on a plot, yes it is fantasy. Grow the perfect veg, pickle it and while your at it run up a flower bouquet! Get real. Allotment life is all about hard work, on your own or with help, not a team behind the scenes. It is about putting up with failure and growing wonky carrots. Yes some grow flowers and yes some make jams and pickles. Where’s the rain, where’s the mud, where’s the disappointment. More to the point where is the friendly banter and comradeship that I and others meet everyday on the plot. Certainly there is no sense of outright fierce competition. One person joining our waiting list, having seen the programme, asked me if we (the Committee) had to oversee every thing she grew and would we reject it if it wasn’t perfect! An extreme view yes, but a perception brought about by an ill thought out attempt to jump on the bandwagon of success of the Great British Bake-off. Rant over..


About David Inns Chair Horsell Allotments

I am the Chairman of Horsell Allotments near Woking Surrey. These articles appear each week in my column in the Woking Advertiser, prior to that in the Woking News and Mail. For more information on the allotment site see our web site at
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One Response to At last the year begins and that b***** awful BBC allotment programme

  1. Pingback: Spray & Pray | Plot58

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