Two summers ago I met an 80-year-old man who had worked his allotment plot all of his adult life. His father had worked a plot on the site before him, and his grandfather before that. There was the human history of this allotment site, laid out before me in lifetimes. It put a shiver down my spine.
It also started me thinking about my own allotment’s lineage, about who might have worked my plot, and about what was happening in the wider world while they did. This has led to my new idea, which is to try to trace back the names of each of the plot’s previous holders. I was working away at this project, spending much of my time at the Bristol records office sifting through piles of old papers, trying to beat the idea into good enough shape to approach a publisher, when I was approached by Matthew Wilson and Simon Bisset about making some films for their new YouTube channel Digging It. Being quite obsessed and having almost no other thoughts in my head I suggested we try to make a little film or two about this, and they liked the idea. So Simon and I spent a freezing day up at the plot getting hailed on and generally blown about, and we made this video, below, which tells just a little of the start of my research. The research is as yet a very incomplete thing, and I am still feeling my way around how to find the information I need, but I am enjoying the process and I hope you enjoy the film.
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