The Sportsmans Arms

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The Sportsman’s Arms now Known as the Scullery

The Sportsman’s Arms closed on the 05-02-2010 when it closed it was left empty for a few years until a plumbing business opened up a showroom and office in the premises the company owners decided as they were not using all of the building so decided to rent out the old lounge at the rear of the pub

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The Sportsmans Arms Silksworth was once one of the most important buildings in Silksworth

Images taken by Dave Bell

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I took these images from the bottom of High Newport Allotments in May 2010 when the Sportsman’s Arms sadly closed and ended one of the last places that was used and built for the miners and their families of Silksworth very little remains of the miners heritage in Silksworth nowadays

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The once proud sign of the Sportsman’s Arms now looks tired and weary

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Notice the boarded up windows and The Sportsmans Arms sign still swinging as if everything was ok image taken on a wet and windy very cold day

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Close up of the sign on the rear wall of The Sportsmans Arms which closed in May 2010 because of lost revenue caused by very few local people using the public house

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The Sportsmans Arms puplic house built for the miners of Silksworth in 1871 as Silksworth Colliery grew new houses were built for the miners and their families and not forgetting why The Sportsmans Arms built for the miners when they had finished their shifts and to socialise when not working

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Silksworth Colliery shaft was sunk in 1869 In 1871, according to the Census there were approx 800 people living in the Silksworth and Tunstall areas, the local area was mainly farmland and where most people worked on the land.

Tomato’s Grown on High Newport Allotments

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Gardeners Delght seedlngs sown on the 23-02-18 seed bought from Wilkos

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Image of the aluminium greenhouse where I grow my tomato’s the greenhouse is very old and I have been using it for about fifteen years

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I was preparing the tomato’s for the coming season and you can see I have got about half of the greenhouse planted out the seedling are in the background amongst the chaos I have created

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The tomato’s in this image have been planted in their grow pots for about two weeks

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Notice the grape vine growing on the right hand side

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Close up of the tomato’s which have been planted in their grow pots for about two weeks

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The tomato variety shown in this image are my favourite Gardeners Delight which to grow very well and are not suspetable to many growing problems or diseases

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The tomatos look happy enough and seem to be growing well in their grow pots I always use grow bags as the base component for gowing them in

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Notice the grape vine which is a strawbery tasting type in the back ground its looking really healthy and the main thing it tastes great and there are no pips

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It normally takes about a week to get all the tomato plants into their grow pots and the other containers I use

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Saturday, 25 June 2022

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News From The Northern Region

News from the Northern  Region
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Growing Food for Health and Wellbeing - 10 to 16 August 2020

Still lots of time to enter our National Allotments Week Competition, tell us your  Allotment Story 

  • “What my allotment means to me” for individuals (14 years upwards)-  £100 prize
  • “The history of our site” or “Our site’s projects and plans for the future” for associations - £200 prize
  • “ What I grow at the allotment” for children (up to 14 years)- £50 prize

We are asking for short mobile phone videos or storyboards (slides on a powerpoint or even illustrations) We are not looking for Oscar Winners, just stories that illustrate how much our members love their plots! Click Here for more details and an example video, made using power-point and windows media player. Deadline 31 July 2020.

COVID19 Update
Following the 4 July relaxation to government rules around activity during the Covid19 pandemic we have updated our guidance on the NAS website, to view CLICK HERE

However we feel that it is important to note that the recent lock-down has only suppressed the virus, it has not gone away. So, it is important that the allotment community continues to take precautions to limit social contact on allotments and ensure good hygiene practices are followed.

The Society ran a small survey during the lockdown and 40% of the councils canvassed reported  that their waiting lists had rocketed, by 500% in one borough. 

Many allotment sites are looking better than ever due to plot-holders having more time to tend their plots and help with site maintenance. The community orchard at Binley Woods in the West Midlands has been given some much needed TLC, thoroughly weeded, a new weed suppressing membrane put down and fresh bark applied.  

NAS General Insurance Scheme - what has changed?
Liz Bunting- Legal and Operations Manager
For the last few years Shield have been acting as the broker for any allotment insurance policies taken out by our members.  As a consequence of re-structuring at their offices, Shield (as broker) have passed our scheme along with several others to Chris Knott (broker). 
This in no way impacts on the insurance policies offered to our membership via Vantage, it is identical insurance at the same rates, via the same underwriter. It is purely the customer service element, that has changed, so for the future Chris Knott are the broker to contact with any queries or renewals.This has all been carried out with the full knowledge of NAS and we have been in discussion with Chris Knott staff to ensure a smooth transfer. We also communicated with the membership via our NAS newsletter in May as soon as this happened. Shield have subsequently sent out a letter to all policy holders.

Aminopyralid Contamination

If you have concerns that your commercial compost or manure was contaminated with Aminipyralid herbicide, resulting in crops showing weak or stunted growth. Please let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Emails should also be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., headed “Aminopyralid contamination”.

The Kings Seeds Scheme

Does your association take advantage of this valuable benefit? The prices in the Kings NAS Members catalogue are already discounted by 40% on mail order prices and Associations receive further discounts for bulk orders. Click here for a leaflet that explains the scheme.

The catalogues will be dispatched in early August and the early ordering discount date has been extended to the end of November.

NAS AGM news

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to have a huge impact on everyone, our priority at this time is the health and wellbeing of our members and the communities you live in.
The NAS Management and Governance Committees have been closely monitoring the restrictions in place and sadly, we had to postpone our AGM, due to be held in Leeds on the 6th June. However, under our Co-operative rules we must hold an AGM every year and give our members the opportunity to attend and vote. So, for this year we are looking into holding a virtual AGM, which will cover business aspects only, possibly one- hour in duration to fulfil our legal requirements.  Further information will be available over the coming weeks

2020 was also going to be our 90th year celebration, so in 2021 we will be celebrating “90 years and counting”.

The 2021 AGM will be held on Saturday 12th June in Marks Tey, Colchester with business in the morning and a visit to Kings Seeds in the afternoon.  Liz Bunting Legal and Ops Manager
NAS member offers from:

Access Irrigation, Chicken Guard, C J Wildlife, Garden Site, LBS, Mantis, Moonshine, Rolawn Propagation Place, W M James, WooWoo, Natural Grower 
Report from your Regional Representative

From the end of March as the impact of covid pandemic began to bite, most enquiries related to covid safety advice and the need to keep  the regions allotment sites open for our northern families, went directly to the National Society.Thankfully this debate was won and the Government accepted that  allotment activities could be continued safely throughout the crisis. Thank You all at Corby Head Office .
Regionally we still handled 16 enquiries,mostly by post and email .These were two individual member disputes with Parish Councils and one member site covid issue.Three internal disputes involving member  Associations.Two new membership requests and eight requests from non-members desperately seeking  someone's help.  In the Northern Branch we never refuse anyone a helping hand and some good advice  but if they want the full  service they need to consider joining our ranks .From the number of non -members seeking our advice recently, it is clear that NAS is sometimes the only means to help in times of trouble.
Glen March.
Harry James' Allotment Supper!

All produce from the plot comprising new potatoes cooked with butter dressing on a bed of lettuce - peas and broad beans cooked and plunged into cold water - drizzle of lime juice and olive oil dressed with fresh mint - awesome - air miles nil!!

Freshly picked - yellow raspberries - red currants - sour cream finished with fine chopped mint and edible flowers - yummy!
A Big Thank You to Life Member from Carlisle, Elizabeth Allnutt who sent in a piece of writing about her plot during lockdown that supplied quotes that were used in many national magazine and newspaper articles about the benefits of allotment life during lockdown. CLICK HERE  to read Elizabeth's article.  
We are the leading national organisation upholding the interests and rights of the allotment community across the UK; working with government at national and local levels, other organisations and landlords to promote and preserve allotments for all. We offer support, guidance and advice to our members and all those with an interest in allotment gardening.
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