Harry, Barry and Doris

Well my names Harry Davise and this is my plot but I share it with Barry and Doris her. We’ve got plot number 12 and plot number 13.
Barry and Doris had an allotment here prior, then they gave it up for about 10 years. They both retired last year and came looking for an allotment again. I was finding it too hard to work through arthritis I’ve got in my legs and that and in my arms, and took these two scallies on Barry and Doris. As you can see they’ve transformed the place, I said they could work a little plot, think it was this plot here (points to small area near the shed) and I’ve ended up with a little pot (laughs) I think it’s a 9 inch pot over there (laughs again)

Don’t be too sure of that Harry (Doris says laughing) it might only be a 6-inch pot (laughs) Was a 9-inch pot now it’s a 6-inch (Barry laughs) so they’ve taken over that as well you see (laughs)

Harry does a lot of the building on here, he’s building the greenhouse Yeh, we actually constructing the greenhouse and its going to be called at the end of it balls all, because its got to cost nothing so it will be called balls all and its all build out of recycled material that we’ve managed to recycle really. Every little bit of it so far has been recycled, the ambition is its not to cost one single penny, it’s all to be recycled.  Well it’s like the shed over here, that was an old chicken shed, my names Barry by the way.

We’ve always been interested in it, me and the wife. We like the idea of coming down here we’re out of the way. We have retired and that’s why we came back, we had a plot for how long Doris?

Think we had a plot for about 10 years but I had breathing problems and Barry had problems with dermatitis, dermatitis we were both in nursing. He couldn’t keep up having problems with his skin through plants and do nursing because you have to constantly scrum your hands. We also found out then he was allergic to latex so that was a problem, so now hes laying off again for a bit because his hands have flared up, haven’t you? But hes just got to be careful what he touches and I’m a lot better with my breath so, and then we just get on Harry’s back if we’re stuck (laughs)

Plus the fact we retired last year and this a great outlet for us, rather than just sit in the house and watch television or go to the pub, which I do sometimes when Harry lets me, he’s our boss (laughs)

Its a different world on here, you come though those gates and leave everything behind, you know sometimes we’ll just come on and say “you having a brew” and some of the old chaps like George will just sit here and have a brew and pass the time away and just have a laugh don’t they.

That’s it, some years you have a crap year and then you think next year, there’s always next year. We had the hotpot supper for the allotment people, the church did that, any produce that we’ve got left over Harry’s arrange it amongst all of us, we go put it in that big greenhouse and then we go take it down to the local church and they use it.

It’s a green café they have down there isn’t it, St. Sebastian’s green café and what we’ve done is set up a cooperative kind of arrangement with them and what we do, any excess produce we have on the site we ask the members to donate it, just put it on the tray and we’ll take it down there for them to make use of it in the green café and then if we need a buffet, totally free of charge so no money changes hands its just like a bit of a cooperative we’ve got going with them, it good its part of the community.

Hum… don’t know, think when tomatoes go on me, we planted tomatoes outside last year, not last year last time we were on and everyone of them went rotten. Not one plant, that was a full crop gone, but I think it was something that also affected potatoes too that year, must have been some sort of blight.

I remember one year they called me over and said “Harry can you have a look at these” and they’d put the cabbages and cauliflowers in and there was nothing left of them just storks yeh I remember and said slugs is it slugs, we couldn’t fathom it out and its only recently we’ve fathomed out what it is that’s causing the trouble and its woodpigeons.

It’s the pleasure really, its not what you grow it’s the pleasure of being on here
But I think one of the biggest achievements is being part of the allotments itself, you know what I mean like ‘tis probably being chairman of it, people say go see him hes the boss but I’m not the boss I’m the chairman. The chairman’s job is just to make sure the meeting run smoothly, but I like to get involved a bit more than that really when we do have problems.
We get things done don’t we? We work together as part of a team. We have our meeting last Sunday in every month except for this months were we’ll hold it on a Saturday aren’t we because its the week before the show at the end of this month kind of thing. So we just want to make sure everything’s… We have a sort of open committee don’t we, myself I’m the chairman, Jacks the treasurer, Chris’ is the secretary and then we have an open committee were any member of the allotment can come and fetch anything up and see what we can do.
One of them at the meeting as on about getting a Cider press so we can make so scumpy kind of stuff. (laughs) They didn’t say cider they said apple (laughs) I think what we turned around and says if we are going for funding, because you wouldn’t get funding for anything to do with alcohol, we said we’d call it a fruit press (laughs) which is right it be a fruit press with a bit of sugar and yeast or something fired into it like.

The main thing for the allotments is the camaraderie amongst everybody and its like you said everybody has a bit of banter now and again but you all want to garden and if there is anything you don’t know you go ask one of the old fellers, they’ve all got a tip for something.
Like Joe there, you can go ask Joe most thing you know, you go look at his allotment you know what I mean, he’s been bad, hes had hip replacements and that lot. He gets out of control with the weeds and that and then you get the garden, the allotment officer Steve Denison coming down and having a word in his ear hole and I’ve told Joe “tell him you need a climate change action plan area and you took the biodiversity approach to gardening and ask him were his problem is. (laughs) Because I said that to him and he just walked off shaking his head like in disbelief, he was just baffled, you know what I mean.

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