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Issue 5 BENSHAM MANOR ALLOTMENT SOCIETY Lion Road and Bert Road News letter  
FIRE– Keep safe when using your incinerator. DO NOT USE PETROL. 
There has been another accident, this time on the Bert Road site, where the use of petrol on what appeared to be a dead fire resulted in serious burns to a plotholders’ hands.
CARPETS – The National Federation of Allotments are urging us all to stop using carpets on our allotments or paths. Modern carpets contain many chemicals which wash out into the soil and get into the fruit and vegetables we then eat – which is not good!!!
Amenity Competition– All allotment sites in Croydon were judged by Croydon Federation in July. They looked at the overall appearance of the site which includes pathways and individual allotments. We came 7th and 8th out of the 10 other Croydon sites.  If you would like to join in the Croydon Federation judging next year, let us know.
Winners of best plots for Lion Road and Bert Road Sites. This is our own competition which is judged by an outside impartial expert.   The winners this year are: Lion Road – Full plot   -  plots80/82  Half plot  -  plot 85             Bert Road  -  Full plot – plot 14  -  Half plot – plot 24 – Overall Best newcomer for both sites   plot 135
JAMS AND CHUTNEYS AND NOT FORGETTING CAKES – 7th September And do you have any spare veg/plants? We are having a party on the plot event on the 7 September and would greatly appreciate any donations which we can sell to raise money for our funds.  And come as well – bring your friends and families.
WELCOME to new plotholders -   We are very happy to welcome a number of new plotholders on both sites.
ECO TOILET BLOCK ON LION ROAD SITE  The official opening will be on 7 Sept at the party on the plot. However,both toilets are open for business now. There is a urinal for the men. The disabled toilet is for men and women but for it to work, there is no other way to say this, you need to sit on the seat!!!! (this opens the toilet). Please help to keep both toilets clean and tidy. 
 FAQ How did we pay for the toilet block? With a £5,000 grant from Croydon Council after a successful bid by the committee AND amazing hardwork from a small band of allotment holders who built it. Do you have any special skills, that we could call on from time to time– carpentry, bricklaying, plumbing etc.
 Why are there two sites? Originally there was a much bigger site at Lion Road, but part of it was taken over for  Ecclesbourne School and in exchange the Council gave the Bert Road Site.  We are one Society.

What is a weedy letter? If we think a site is being neglected, then we have a procedure for sending out “weedy” letters our aim is to raise the standard of the sites overall.  If despite our best endeavours there is no improvement then a tenancy can be withdrawn.
What is the Working Party? The working party is made up of volunteer plot holders and meets on the first Sunday of every month. We meet at the shop  on Lion Road at 9am when jobs are allocated according to volunteer’s preference – can be anything from sweeping up cuttings, to painting etc.  Any help is appreciated.  Work may be on the Lion Road or the Bert Road site according to need. Alan and Teresa organise the working party. We finish at 12 when free lunch is provided.
What does the plotholder’s annual charge for maintenance cover?  It does not cover labour.  It covers materials – though we still need to supplement the amount raised by the annual charge with fundraising. How is cost of labour covered? Labour is supplied by a small group of volunteers – mainly the working party with other individuals giving their time freely and willingly to maintain the sites. (There are times when we do need to call in, and pay for a professional.)  
Who are the committee?A list is shown in  the shop and the locker huts.  Committee members are allotment holders who have volunteered to support the work of the Society in maintaining a viable site.  Members of the committee (management committee) meet once a month and we make decisions in the interest of the Society as a whole.  If you feel strongly about the future of the site please come to the AGM and perhaps consider joining the committee
When is the AGM? The Annual General Meeting  is  usually first Sat in March and this is where any changes as to how the site is run are discussed. Everyone is invited to attend.

 Dates for your diary
  7 September – Party on the Plot
4/5 October – Rent weekend 5 October –
  Every 1st Sunday of the month  -
Working Party
Early March 2015 - AGM 

               If there is anything you would like
               included in the News Letter, let us know –
              Any gardening tips, recipes for chutney etc!!!!