Sandridge Road Allotment Association

Chairman’s words to AGM 16 February 2017 8pm Sandridge Village Hall

1> My thanks to our committee members for their individual and combined efforts in 2016.

Thanks also to Jeremy for our MailChimp communiqués and to Huw for maintaining our website

Our committee’s organisation is often literally obvious, there for all to see, events to join in with, and to enjoy. It would stretch too far into incredulity to allude to that fabled swan sliding gracefully across the water as a depiction of our stalwart committee but the majority of what ‘committee’ does is out of sight – conversations with SADC, viewings by prospective new tenants, organising NSALG membership & insurance, and keeping a general eye on the place – it all needs doing, and it does get ‘done’.

2 > Replicants welcome

Inevitably, I have to plead for two or three more bodies to join us - we need to ensure continuity, we need more ideas, and we should have better representation of our 100 members –

and with perhaps nine or ten on the committee forward progress becomes possible again.

I’m pleased and relieved to report a good year - details are in the Treasurer’s Report - but we do remain basically static, partly due to our small committee where there is a limit to the amount of time – and stamina – that these people can devote to allotment projects. Several have day-jobs too !

We certainly couldn’t cope with a major advance and we have not even thought about applying for

grants or other funding, so we remain as we are.

I’m thankful – I’m sure we all are ! – that our committee have all agreed to stand again in 2017

3> Are we legit ?

In January, all Members were sent a bundle of AGM documents including our Constitution.

My ongoing concern is the need for meetings to be quorate, and therefore valid – so we need a few more on the Committee just to be sure of that too.

4> Are we joined up ?

From 1st January we were all supposed to be fully paid-up SRAA members !

If you haven’t already, please immediately thrust £10 at Treasurer David.

5 > Not enough managers ?

Too often, too many managers is the problem, but so too is too few.

Many Councils are drastically reducing budget amounts spent on open spaces and drift towards local self-management or privatisation. I mention this only to say that if SADC suggested this our committee certainly couldn’t cope with self-management at present. Whether we would actually want to do it is a discussion for another time – I’m simply saying that if SADC suggested it now, we couldn’t manage it.

6> What a great year 2016 turned out to be !

The strength & expertise of our committee ensured that we had a very effective year allotment year.

The two plant sales were again very popular, and always a relief for me to have super quality veglings

to set me up for the growing year. These plant sales also raise significant funds for SRAA.

Thanks particularly to Joy, Martyn, Neil for their work

NOTE ! This year’s Plant sales are on 2 April & 21 May

2016’s summer barbeque was delayed by continuing bad weather, so our team combined it with our inaugural vegetable show, which was a great success. Many thanks to all those committee and many other members who organised this complex event, every detail from salads to tent pegs, bbq coals to entrants’ rosettes, fire extinguishers to winners’ gifts & prizes – all taken care of by everyone involved. Brilliant. Nothing to do with me, I was elsewhere - but, again, this illustrates what a great team we have.

Bernards Heath School visited us for three presentations supporting the pupils’ ‘Water & growing’ project. Three big groups enjoyed very well prepared talks & demonstrations by Joy, Martyn & Geoff

which held the attention of all pupils (which is never easy) and from which they will have learnt a great deal. Hopefully that’s 50 more future plotters, and some impressed adults too !

Chris Graves held a pruning demonstration which was well attended and appreciated by her audience.

It took a while to sort it out our International Headquarters but it is now weather-tight.

We had noticed an ominous damp patch in the floor and were concerned that the building was sitting in a puddle, then a gale tore roof felting off so we threw a big tarpaulin over the lot.

Investigation revealed bowed roof panels, so four of us spent a happy day installing new waterproof roof panels, plus felting, plus shingles, all pre-designed & prepared by David

Thankfully, it was a dry day, until the last nail was hammered in when we had an intense total cloudburst

followed by a full rainbow curving over HQ. No idea how David arranged that finale.

David also demonstrated his carpentry skills by restoring our various benches & seats during the year,

to ‘better-than-new’. Thanks yet again David.

Obviously, there are several other things yet to be done and of course we’d be very grateful for help.

In breezing through last year I have in effect outlined what we’re planning in 2017.

We’ll decide on the events and set our dates & details at our next normal meeting

Our next normal meeting is Thursday 2nd March 8pm Green Man,

Members are very welcome to join us as committee members or helpers and to suggest activities.

7> Don’t forget SUTTONS.

Discounts on almost everything from this major trade name

Thanks to Martin Keech for setting this up. for SRAA Members only - use code GS4020C

8> and this is the LAST OPPORTUNITY to order ZOOPOO 2017

Instead of manure this year we’ve arranged a bulk purchase of zoopoo

Full details of this are on separate pages already sent out twice, but if you really do need the full information or the prices again email me now and I’ll send it to you.


- BUT - you have no more than 48 hours to order

This is everyone’s last chance to order as I will place our bulk order in the next day or two.

Delivery will be about a fortnight.

Thank you to all members for your support – enjoy your ‘17

Derek Tarrant, SRAA Chairman