Allotments

I believe allotments emerged during the transition from an agricultural to an industrial society, providing the means for poorer people to feed their families. They grew to their greatest popularity between the two world wars and after the late 1940s went into decline. My father had an allotment up past the cemetery and there were few Wolverton residents without one at that time. As the post-war economy recovered we became less dependent on vegetables from the allotment and my father gave it up around 1950.

In the 1930s all the fields subsequently developed as Stacey Avenue, marina Drive, Gloucester Road, the extension of Windsor Street, and Furze Way were used as allotments. The fields past the cemetery backing on to Windsor Street were also given over to extensive allotments. At one time there were allotments at the western end of Church Street but this was taken up by a wooden building for a youth club after the war.
I don’t think the character of allotments has changed except for it becoming a hobby activity rather than an essential chore. I remember bean poles for the support of runner beans, rows of potatoes, root crops, cabbage and brussel sprouts. There were some fruit bushes and of course a tool shed. Some allotments had more substantial sheds, even obsolete railway carriages. Each allotment was separated by a raised path. I think our allotment was typical. 
The working week was quite long. The day began at 7:45 and finished at 5:30 and sometimes included saturday mornings, so the opportunities to work the allotment were limited. Once the necessity of maintaining an allotment disappeared you can understand why they became less popular.