We were very fortunate on our visit to our plot today inthat we met one of our neighbours, Julia. She has been an allotment holder at that site for 30 years and was very welcoming.
She confirmed that our plot has not been cultivated for about four years and was also able to tell us what the post was – the base of a swing.
Apparently, the swing was for the former plot holder’s grandchildren.it had an arm coming out and the swing went round the base.
Who’d have guessed?
In other news, the work that Rodney (The Secret Garden) carried out on the path is paying off. Thanks to his efforts to cut into neglected banks, and even out the surface, accessing our plot has become less terrifying.
We also met another neighbour, who dropped by to check on progress:
While assessing the shed, we were able to take a few more shots of the mystery post that we’re trying to remove from the allotment.
As previously noted, the three wooden posts are held together with a coach bolt at the top and embedded in concrete at the bottom. There are no other screw holes or marks of anything being fixed to the posts.
There is also a smaller post slightly nearer to the fence, and the two of them are at about a 45 degree angle to the fence. Although at this stage of excavation, it doesn’t look like the two posts are connected, it’s hard to believe they don’t have anything to do with each other.
Here’s a view of the smaller post:
We’d like to thank Rodney from The Secret Garden, for the fantastic job he’s done so far on digging the larger post out. Despite going down a couple of feet, there is no sign of being able to move the post. So, the next plan is likely to involve hitting it hard with a very large hammer!
At this stage, we’ve got all the roots out and have made two piles of material which we are hoping to burn – the ash will be good for the soil.
Elisa and Rodney, from The Secret Garden, arrived with a good collection of tools. Here’s a selection of their forks!
Rodney attacked the larger of the mystery concrete posts. You can see in the film that he’s dug a couple of feet down all the way around it, and still it refuses to move!
From what we have uncovered so far, there are three layers of concrete (there may be more underneath that). So, it looks like someone has put concrete down, let it dry, put another layer of concrete down, let that dry, then put a final layer of concrete down and sunk the posts into it. The posts themselves are very solid looking pieces of wood held together with a substantial bolt.
There are no obvious signs of something being attached to the posts – no other bolt holes, etc. There is also another a smaller concrete post about a metre nearer to the fence.
What on earth the posts were or why someone put them there, we have no idea.
We have also started pulling the ivy off the shed. It looks homemade rather than being a bought shed and there are windows all the way round. So, someone has obviously been growing something in it, or at least planned to.
But, having uncovered more of it, it looks like bad news. We knew that some of the floor was rotten, and it looks like the eaves have both wet and dry rot. We’ll show more on the shed another day but I think it’s safe to say, we’ll probably need a new one.
One of the difficulties about clearing round the shed, is the bank at that end of the site. The shed is surrounded by what may have been compost heaps. It certainly contains a fair amount of rubbish as Elisa discovered: