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Huntley and Palmer Allotments Association marks 80th anniversary with picnic

earley picnic allotment
Earley Town Mayor, Cllr Anne Bassett (centre) with members of the Huntley and Palmers Allotment Association. Picture: Earley Town Council

A CELEBRATORY picnic marked a milestone for some Earley allotments this month.

The Huntley and Palmer Allotments Association commemorated its 80th anniversary on Saturday, September 4, at the Culver Lane allotments.

They were originally founded for workers at the famous biscuit factory and became part of The Federation of Horticultural and Allotment Associations of Reading in 1940.

They were also used as part of the Dig for Victory Campaign during the Second World War, and staged the first Victory Garden show, later known as the Reading Show in 1941.

The Association manages the trading shed on the site.

Cllr Anne Bassett, mayor of Earley, said she was delighted to open the event, and fascinated by the site’s history.

Organisers dressed for the occasion with wartime overalls, and typical land girl-style headscarves for the ladies.

In the last 80 years, the site has continually evolved. Its newest additions are beehives, and a variety of plot sizes, including small and raised beds.

They are now managed by Earley Town Council.

Each year, it holds a competition for the best and most improved allotment.

Cllr Bassett said it was an “outstanding” year with a huge variety of quality crops and flowers.

The picnic also had its own competition winners.

Chairman of the Huntley and Palmers Allotment Association, Richard Tredgett, presented certificates for the best vegetable, the best group of vegetables and the best arrangement of flowers.

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