Newsletter July 30th 2022

We did it !!!!
I am delighted to report that, once again, we won the Thorpe Trophy for the Best Site in Birminham. We scored 176 points with Harborne Lane just behind us with 169.5. Together with winning the Best Plot & Best Newcomer competitions this is a tremendous performance.
Special thanks go to those people who turned out to assist with the cutting of hedges etc etc. Thank you!!
This may well be the last year that we are able to take part in the Birmingham competitions, due to our coming under the Sutton Coldfield umbrella. But who knows?


late Summer Show
Don't forget our Late Summer Show which will take place on August 14th. Schedules are available on the website. If you want a printed version please contact us.

Minutes of Committee meeting
We held a committee meeting on Wednesday 20th July. Here are the minutes.


PRESENT: A Redfern, J Hodges, J Pile, M Hubball, Colin Jones, D Bonner, J Mills, J Carter Bown
Meeting opened at: 7.30pm

1. CHAIRMAN’S OPENING ADDRESS
Every year the posts of Chair, Secretary and Treasurer have to be voted upon. All three current post holders agreed to continue and were accepted by the committee. It was agreed that the funds for these posts should be increased by £10. The Chair and Treasurer would now receive £40 and the Secretary £70. The post holders for Show Secretary and Plot Maintenance were also voted back into their positions.

2. APOLOGIES
A Linnecor, P Jones

3. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING
Read and Passed.

4. MATTERS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MEETING
Emails have been sent out to remind people of forthcoming events.

5. CHAIRMANS REPORT
Thanks to the members who helped with the tidy up weekend a couple of weeks ago.
Thanks to the Social Club for their support for our first show last Sunday. The barbeque was very successful. Thanks to Margie for opening up tonight especially for our meeting.
Thanks to John and Judith for their help in organising the show.
Well done to Eileen and Dennis for being awarded Best plot in Birmingham.
Bob Tyler was tenth.
Denise Bonner was awarded Best Newcomer.

6. SECRETARY’S REPORT
Sad news. Dot Carrol, who worked with me behind the bar and subsequently took over from me when I retired, passed away on Sunday. She worked hard for the club for a number of years and was well respected by everyone .

Selection of the Best Plot in Birmingham has taken place and Eileen and Dennis Roberts are now the Holders of the Cliff Jones Trophy. A grand award for a great achievement.
The Florence Pickering Trophy is awarded to the best new plotholder on all Birmingham allotment sites. The award, this year was won by Denise and Laurence Bonner. Also, a well-deserved award.
So now we have the Thorpe Trophy to come. This trophy is awarded to the best site in Birmingham.
Judging will take place after the 26th July. Clive will pass on more information when he gets it. Do we need to carry out a further tidy up? General opinion was that we should arrange this for next Sunday morning.

John Beggan, quantity surveyor for Sutton Coldfield town Council had a look around the site on Thursday 14th. July. He had been told that he was leaving the best site till last. He had visited all the other Sutton sites before he visited us. The only comment he made to me was that the gates need urgent replacement. I commented about the possibility of adding barbed wire to the inside top of the gates. He suggested that it would be a big no-no from Sutton Town council.
I walked with him around the site discussing various things then left him to it. He called me up later and I let him off the site.

On that same day, apparently, the social club had been speaking to someone about resurfacing the car park. I knew nothing about this. I thought that I should have been informed as Site Manager. But there you go. Maybe it was tentative first step. They would need to inform the landlord before venturing into such activities.

Colin Jones and I attended the Sutton Coldfield Allotments Consultative Forum on 2nd July. Jason was unable to attend as he had a previous appointment. I will ask Colin to comment.
Towards the end of the meeting the secretary from Donegal Road Allotments asked for comments regarding Hirons closing down .
This was the first I had heard about this and it came as a total shock. They are rapidly selling out of stock and plan to close very soon. I telephoned Neville and he was most apologetic that he had not contacted me to let me know. He suggested a supplier that he had been using (KG Loach of Congleton Cheshire). I later noted that a bag of Fish Blood and Bone from our shed had the KGLoach logo on the bag. They have sent me their potato list for next year and a full catalogue. It seems to be a possibility. John Hooking has sent me some further information but this is where we stand. There is a lot of work to do to follow up where we go from here.

On Thursday 7th. July the Britain in Bloom Judges visited the site and the site was ready for them. It looked good everything in place and the planting up of the various pots and window boxes were showing colour. It was just splendid. Thanks to everyone involved on Saturday 2nd. July and Sunday 3rd July for without this help the site would not have been ready. I know that some plotholders had contributed their time during the week before the weekend. They made a big difference. Our thanks to you all.

The actual visit by the Britain in Bloom judges was taken over by The Active Citizens Group. This plan happened without any consultation with us, we were unaware that the judges would be totally absorbed by the Active Citizens. We needed to talk to them during the weeks leading up to the visit and we need to talk to them in the weeks to come to establish their motives and objectives. They are missing out on a great deal of knowledge and experience that the site and its plotholders could provide. Where were they for the site tidy up? Where were they on Show day? Not an active citizen to be seen. We did receive a brief note concerning the visit during the week before the visit but it did not give us any guidance as to the actuality of the day. This is my opinion and I await others conclusions.
This is my report for July.
Colin supplied information from a meeting with Sutton Coldfield Allotments Consultative Forum. We are still awaiting the final handover from Birmingham to Sutton, and it will hopefully be accomplished before the end of the year. All eleven Sutton allotments have been surveyed and a programme of works will be drawn up when costs have been established. There is some concern that it would be almost impossible for plotters not adhering to the rules of cultivation to be removed from the site. Officers are looking into this matter.
We will be having new gates as ours are not acceptable and new keys given to all plot holders. We were informed that the use of barbed wire to improve site security is not acceptable.

7. TREASURERS REPORT
All funds for the current year have now been received from BCC. This includes rent commission, water, general repairs etc. The toilet cleaning money (£32.70) was also included. This has been passed to the Social Club. The Management account now stands at £2439.10.

Store shed takings for June was £408.20 bring the total (3months) to £1362.84. As a number of items, e.g. Clover Compost are no longer available (until a new supplier is resolved), all non-available items have been removed from the price lists. The Early Summer Show overall cost was £45.00. The raffle was quite successful and produced a profit of £27.60. It was agreed that a similar raffle would be run at the Late Summer Show. It was proposed that Anne should be asked to sell the raffle tickets. The Main Account stands at £6450.95

8. SITE MAINTENANCE
Water meter readings for May and June were submitted.

9. PLOT MONITORING
Everyone that was a concern has made an effort.

10. SHED SCHEDULE
Committee members to fly flag in case anyone wants supplies from the shed.

11. SHOW SUB COMMITTEE AND COMPETITIONS
Thanks to everyone including the Social Committee for a successful show last Sunday.
All went well and the judges’ comments were very pleasing.
Last year there were ten entries and this year there were eleven. There were four classes
without entries, maybe think more about that at a later date.
Also thought could be given to the recipes in the Domestic classes in order to keep the cost of making them down. The raffle went well last time so another raffle will take place at the next show in August.

12. CLUB MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
No report.

13. SITE REPORT/HEALTH AND SAFETY
Nothing to report.

14. AOB
In the Autumn a working party will tidy out the sheds on the allotment. Decision to be made about hiring a skip. D Bonner to provide Mike with costings for skip.
A new tap is needed for a water butt. Paul to exchange taps.
AGM minutes have yet to be written up by Jacqui
A replacement wheel is needed for a wheelbarrow. Colin to research cost of new wheel.
A new roll of paper is required as table covering for the Pot Luck Supper in October.
Posters will be made for the Supper.
The Show paraphernalia is in the main shed ready for 14th Aug.
The Fire extinguishers in the club have been checked but the bill has not yet been received.
It was stated that the hedges had grown significantly since the previous cutting and that the Site inspection will take place next week. It was agreed that a further site tidy-up should be done on the coming Sunday. MNH said he would publicise this.

CLOSURE
As there was no further business the meeting was closed at 8.45pm.
The next committee meeting will be held on Wednesday 17th August