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Brian Silgram, S.I.L.G.R.A.M, plot number is 79. Well these allotments about 5 years, something like that. Came on them well it was under the threat of closure, the council wanted to build on them at the time and I took a chance, because its still got to… the one that has the final say on any allotment being closed down is the security of state because its statutory laws that govern allotment sites, so I took a chance and came on. It was in a right state and went on it from there because I’ve been doing it all my life since… been on allotments since I was 12 years of age and just progressed from there.
Well the first site I went on was in Heaton Mersey, it used to be an embankment going down to the football pitch and thats where the allotment… and the allotments were actually on the embankments you know. There was only so much flat land where there was allotments and from then on after that I went, because this is all between jobs I worked all me life, so after that I’d been on all different jobs in between, went on the trawlers out of Grimsby and when I got another shore job I started in Stockport on Craig Road allotments which are no longer there, and then I ended, when I got married when I was 29 I moved house you know from Stockport, and I moved to Levenshulme and went on Tumbridge Rd allotments which was also under threat of closure at the time. And at the time a lot of people didn’t realise that the allotments are being willed to the people of Levenshulme in perpetuity right! but no one knew where the will went and we went looking and we actually found the will! Best of it was the council that was trying to shut us down the will was at the town hall (laughs) so we won that.
I’d been on there for a number of years off and on because of my wife’s illnesses, she after 27 years of marriage she died and I moved down here and moved on here.
My dad, he was a really good gardener and he taught me a hell of a lot, but over the years all the old hands on the allotment sites I’ve learn a hell of a lot off them as times progressed over the years and now I’m showing other people which to me is what its all about. These are the younger generation coming up and these are the ones we really need to encourage because when we’ve gone what happens then?
The worse gardening mistake, I think I’ve just found it today, someone gave me some cabbage that they bought in the gardening centre and when I put them in my ground and its spread to all the cabbage I’d done from seed. And they’ve all got clubroot and its spread to them all (laughs) the others (laughs) its actually put the seeds in the soil because of buying from a gardening center because they’re just out for profits.
Being on the competition for the best 6 allotments in a row, its one of the hardest to get because everyone had to be spot on, you can’t miss an allotment plot in between which is very hard to do to get all 6 right at the same time and that was the council competition. I was doing the allotment for someone at the time it wasn’t mine at the time so he went up to collect the trophy and I’d done all the work. (laughs)