Green Shoots at Old Road Allotments

After a long hard winter and spring, things were looking grim for Stone Allotments and Garden Association, when its long-standing committee members announced their intention to retire with no new volunteers to replace them.

The Association was started by a group of friends in 1946 as a mutual association allowing members to rent plots on a yearly basis and buy gardening supplies more cheaply in bulk. These are sold through their on-site shop, where members also sell their own produce.

At the AGM, the committee decided that unless extra volunteers had come forward and were actively participating by the end of June, the shop would close at the end of the September.

In the expectation of winding itself up, the committee also voted to disperse most of the assets accrued during its 67-year history to local charities, while leaving enough in the kitty to cover restocking, overheads, rent and insurance.

Accordingly, the Association has donated a total of £7000 divided equally between Stone First Responders, the Douglas Macmillan Hospice, The Donna Louise Trust, Midland Air Ambulance, Cancer research UK, Katharine House Stafford and the British Heart Foundation.

This seemed like the Association’s final chapter, but at the last moment, three active Association members stepped forward to join a new committee and take over the running of the shop.

Following the official changeover at the next month’s AGM, two of the original committee will remain and the three who are resigning will remain as ordinary members on hand to give advice if required, Secretary Dave Barlow told the Gazette.

For the time being, the shop will open as now on Sundays from 10am – 12 noon (except December and January) and on Wednesdays from 7 – 8 pm in April, May and June .

The shop is about a mile out of town opposite the cottages on Old Road, Stone. To contact the existing committee (who remain in office until 30.9.13) please email David Barlow at