the society's history
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Richard White kindly performed the original research on the history of SHAGS and drafted the documentation. John Molson then kindly edited Richard's draft and prepared it for our website.
This history of SHAGS has been subdivided into the following five sections:
- History of Allotments and Changes in Cultivation
- History of the Allotments Society - Early History - pre the year 2000
- History of the Allotments Society - Recent History - 2000 Onwards
- The 'Shop'
- Humour at the Society
These have been added as five separate web pages attached to this History Section.
Below is a list of SHAGS notables:
Cliff Hayes (1988 – 1988)
Bernard Allan (1989 - 1992)
Stan White (1992 - 2005)
Aubrey Gibbard (2005 - now)
Ted Allen (1967 - 1987)
George Turner (1987 – 1991)
Richard Tibbetts (1991 - 1992)
Percy Bradbury (1992 - 1999)
Derek Green (1999 - 2002)
Chris Wilson (2002 – 2006)
Joe Payne (2006 – 2008)
Clennell Collingwood (2008 - 2010)
David Edgington (2010 - 2012)
Lin Norman (2012 - today)
ABOUT TED ALLEN
Some Memories of Chairman Ted Allen
by Richard White
One of our keenest members was Ted Allen who was always in the vanguard of managing the way our society was heading.
Ted worked for one of the electricity boards in London when I met him and occasionally we would travel up to town together and have a chat. He was a qualified engineer.
Another of Ted’s hobbies was the church and one of his ‘jobs’ was I/C of Lourdes Hall in Southdown. He spent a lot of his time there managing the hires and clearing up afterwards.
He had a wife and a daughter; the latter was always unwell and unfortunately didn’t live beyond middle age.
One of the stories that Ted always liked to tell was the one about his neighbour, now long gone. Ted always liked to maintain a well-cut hedge but one day there was a complaint that he had trimmed it too much. Thereafter, he told me, the lady of that house didn’t speak to him for years after. EXCEPT, one day when it was raining Ted saw the said woman walking back along the Southdown Road in the rain with her shopping.
Being the Christian man that he was, Ted stopped and asked her if she would like a lift to the home in Sibley Avenue. He told me: “She got in, talked non-stop all the way back, thanked me and got out. She never spoke to me again.”
In the late nineteen-eighties Ted passed away and as a tribute to him the meeting place at the rear of the society’s main room was named the Ted Allen Room; at the time, George Turner (Chairman) said it was appropriate that the first letter of each word spelt ‘Tar’. Though not strictly grammatically correct it sounded good.
It is reckoned that Ted had been the guiding light in steering the committee during a successful period of SHAGS’ history; his commitment was one hundred per cent and we owe a lot to him.
I once made a comment that he allowed the committee members to stray from the agenda on occasions. He quickly told me that it was better that way than in the early days when the meetings were over within about 20 minutes. He said they were chaired by a councilor with a dominant personality and nearly everyone was frightened to utter a word!
Finally, regarding allotment history, members might find this article about the Rothamsted Allotment club interesting. To view it please click the button below.