However there is a demand for very small plots. Many people who have taken on 5 rod plots say they are quite big enough for them, and a very very small plot indeed at William Road - an awkward corner cut off by a path and measuring about 1 rod - found willing takers who said they did not want anything bigger.
Clearly it makes sense for the council not to ask people to take on more land than they want. But now aadays no-one is ever offered a traditional 10-rod plot, and the 5 rod plot has become the new standard. Let us hope the 'standard' plot does not shrink any further! It is sobering to realise when looking at the plot maps that plots used to be about 4 times the size of the new 'standard' plot - the original numbering gives the game away.
Two things spring to mind. When these large plots were set up, vegetables were very expensive and many poor households tried to grow everything they needed for the whole year, potatoes included; today we are accustomed to cheap (often imported) veg all year round in the supermarkets.
The other thing is, how many people would actually want to cope with 20 rod of land? Hard work at the best of times - and all that to winter dig! No wonder there was much less obesity in the past!!!
If you're reading this and thinking "Great Scott, I have trouble coping with the land I've got!, then do talk to Eileen. In most circumstances she will be very happy to split an existing plot so you get just the land you want and someone else gets a bit too. If you have a large plot you struggle with, don't delay. You can contact the council by email at email@example.com or phone the allotment officer on 01233 330476.