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On This Day



In On This Day

By Nicola Gauld

On This Day, 7 August 1917

On 07, Aug 2017 | In On This Day | By Nicola Gauld

Birmingham Daily Post

Tuesday 7 August 1917



An unfortunate difficulty has occurred, which imposes disappointment if not hardship upon a hundred and forty allotment holders on Denkin’s Farm, Small Heath. The land there had been obtained by the Parks Department of the Corporation, and though let subject to seven days’ notice to quit, with compensation for disturbance and loss, it was apparently thought the tenancy would hold good for an indefinite period. The land, which covers 10 acres, adjoins a factory which the Ministry of Munitions desire to extend, and without warning of any kind all the tenants have received notice to quit their holdings

The plots were pegged out in March last, since when the holders have worked in the most indefatigable manner, in order to make them as productive as possible, with the result that the crops are looking in the healthiest condition, and the owners were anticipating a good harvest. Their surprise was naturally great when they learned that the land was to be taken from them. A meeting was hurriedly called on Sunday, and Mr. Streetly, of the Midland Counties Allotment and Small Holders’ Association Federation, called into council. It was ultimately decided to send a deputation to interview the Minister of Munitions, the Food Controller, and the President of the Board of Agriculture, and a meeting is arranged to receive their report tomorrow evening, at the Plough Hotel, Hay Mill.

Mr. Streetly, in a statement made yesterday, deplored the fact that ten acres of good crops would be wasted, to say nothing of the labour involved. It was a serious matter with the allotment holders, even if they secured adequate compensation, because of the unsettled feeling it would engender not only among those affected, but with other holders of wartime allotments. It was urged that there is an equally suitable plot of land for the purpose required by the Ministry of Munitions, which might be acquired without any detriment to the food supply, and Mr. Streetly expressed the hope that this alternative scheme will meet the acceptance. Otherwise he feared that these allotment holders would have a cold douche which would very seriously reduce their enthusiasm for land cultivation.