View RSS Feed


The Allotment AGM

Rate this Entry
Last week I decided to take the plunge. I’ve had an allotment for about three years now, (allotments were developed and leased annually during WW2 by local authorities to encourage the population to grow their own food to supplement food rationing, and still continue), but I hadn’t been to an AGM yet. My wife refused point blank last year, and this year was no different. So I decided to go to the Allotment Association Annual General Meeting ... alone.

I’ve not been to an Annual General Meeting before. I had a vague expectation of a room full of aged people who talked about the intricacies of the local allotment association constitution, and other dry committee matters. I expected some small irrelevant disputes to break out spontaneously, and for a few irascible people to question everything and annoy the majority of the people there. To my complete surprise, that’s exactly what happened.

To be fair, the new Committee Chairman did try to lighten the atmosphere by putting on a blue hard hat when he rose to speak. A ripple of laughter went round the room when he did this, but it ebbed somewhat on subsequent repetitions. He was brave in the face of adversity – his very election was questioned, and the due democratic process was invoked. It was all for naught though, as he is elected by the committee, but this rather pointless merry-go-round took a good half hour to elucidate.

It became clear that the “aging troublemakers”, who were haranguing the committee, all came from another site to the one I attend, (there are three sites in the west of Coventry). They did manage to agitate the audience; there was an audible increase in sighs and the tapping of pint pots. Finally someone pointed out that they had a wife, child and a job, and wanted to get home this decade. Their site does seem to have a surfeit of opinions. Perhaps it’s not as peaceful as ours.

One chap did try to raise the issue of having a website so that there could be easier communication. His manner was rather sarcastic, and, as I gather happened last year, they managed to ignore him which rather explained his attitude.

The evening was topped off with, (GASP!), accusations of over-use of the water, and (SHOCK, HORROR!), the watering of plants with a hose pipe. We are supposed to fill butts and water with cans from them, but no conclusive evidence was presented. Accusations and denials went to and fro, though no fists were shaken or sticks waved. I thought this had possibilities for livening up the evening, but the committee took the opportunity to quickly call the last few votes and wrap up this year’s AGM without anything changing very much.

I left after three pints of shandy and a few notes I had taken on the memo function of my phone. It was a pretty dreary meeting in all, but there were a few light moments such as when I went into the bar to get another drink. Some of the allotmenteers seem to be such an argumentative bunch. The next “event” is the highly competitive “Earlsdon Flower Show” where we can all enter our produce against growers from other sites. My wife refused to go point blank last year, but I can’t wait.

Updated 04-20-2011 at 05:20 PM by Paulclem



  1. Buh4Bee's Avatar
    Sounds like you have a smart wife!
  2. Paulclem's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jersea
    Sounds like you have a smart wife!
    I certainly do.
  3. qimissung's Avatar
    That sounds exactly like my experience with my homeowner's association, except I felt I had to go. I had some business to conduct with them. It wasn't as horrible as I thought, but b-o-r-ing. They mean well but they are anal to the nth degree.

    Your interest in the rather tedious underpinnings and machinations of society is endearing, Paul.
  4. Paulclem's Avatar
    Thanks. It's about the people really. I wondered who would attend, cause a problem at, and possibly like such an event. It was interesting from that angle. I wasn't disappointed.

    Given the intense competition that flower shows engender, I'll be interested to see how our lot take to it.
  5. LitNetIsGreat's Avatar
    Ha, ha great stuff Paul, love it. I bet the flower show will get ugly and very competitive - those things always do.

    I once overheard two men discussing the winner of a cucumber competition (it was at this big fare and fruit and veg displays were part of it). I heard one of them say "that b*stard has won again" and his mate replied with real anger "yes and you know why don't you? He's won just because it is an inch longer and straighter than ours - you get penalised if there is a bit of a bend it in". I walked away suppressing a childish giggle.
  6. Paulclem's Avatar

    Yes, the competitive ones seem an odd bunch. It should be quite funny though. Earlsdon - a province of Coventry - is a bit posh, but it tends to be professionals - teachers, social workers etc etc who live there. A friend of mine once called it the muesli belt. Mix the odder ones of those with the competitve growers on our more down to earth site and it'll be dynamite - in a flower show type of way.
  7. TheFifthElement's Avatar
    sounds like something out of Wallace and Gromit (I'm thinking Curse of the Were Rabbit here ) and probably quite funny if you don't take it all too seriously. Maybe next year you should take along a contraversial question of your own, just to keep it lively
  8. Paulclem's Avatar
    I just might do that. It's certainly Wallace and Gromit-y. One of the sites has theri own newsletter, so some of them are into the 20th century.