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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Friday, 04 December 2020

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Avian Influenza Prevention Zone

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Avian Influenza Prevention Zone1. The Secretary of State has carried out a risk assessment under article 6(1) of the Avian Influenza and Influenza of Avian Origin in Mammals (England) (No 2) Order 20061 (“the Order”). 2. To reduce the risk of the transmission of avian influenza to poultry and other captive birds from wild birds or any other source, the Secretary of State considers it necessary to declare the whole of England as set-out in Schedule 3 to be an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone. 3. All keepers of poultry and other captive birds, including pet birds in the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone must comply with the minimum biosecurity measures in Part 1 of Schedule 1 and where poultry or captive birds have access to outdoor areas, keepers must comply with the requirements of Part 2 of that Schedule.4. All keepers of 500 or more poultry or other captive birds in any part of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone must additionally comply with the measures in Schedule 2.5. These measures apply from 17.00 on 11 November 2020 and shall remain in force until the declaration is otherwise amended or revoked by further declaration.6. This Declaration is made under article 6(1)(a) of the Order. Signed: Gordon Hickman At 16.45 on 11 NovemberCopies of this Declaration and of the Order are available via https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu and from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Fifth Floor, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR. Failure to comply with this Declaration may be an offence under section 73 of the Animal Health Act 1981 and subject to an unlimited fine on summary conviction and up to 3 months’ imprisonment per offence.1 S.I. 2006/2702


Notes: (1) Where avian influenza is confirmed in poultry or other captive birds at an individual premises, Protection and Surveillance Zones are declared to prevent the spread of disease beyond the area around the infected farm. Keepers of poultry or other captive birds kept within a Protection Zone or Surveillance Zone (or temporary control zones or other low pathogenic restricted zones) must comply with the biosecurity requirements declared specifically for such zones. This does not remove the obligation to comply with the additional biosecurity measures required by this Declaration, including enhanced biosecurity measures if the premises contains a large numbers of birds.(2) Keepers of poultry or other captive birds located within a Protection Zone declared around an infected premises must comply with housing requirements for a Protection Zone. (3) “poultry” means a bird reared or kept in captivity for the production of meat or eggs for consumption, or of other products, for restocking supplies of game or for the purposes of any breeding programme for the production of such categories of birds. (4) “other captive bird” means a bird kept in captivity which is not poultry and includes a pet bird and a bird kept for shows, races, exhibitions, competitions, breeding or for sale.(5) “keeper” for the purpose of this Declaration means any person who is responsible for poultry or other captive birds, whether on a permanent or temporary basis.(6) “premises” for the purpose of this Declaration means any house, shed, aviary, range, coop, netted area, yard or open area which is used to keep poultry or other captive birds and includes contiguous ancillary areas such as bird feed bins, and storage of bird manure.(7) “covered area” in Schedule 1 Part 2 paragraph 4 means that the area where feed and water are placed must be covered to prevent it being accessed or contaminated by wild birds. Placing feed on the ground or in uncovered troughs to which wild birds can gain access is not permitted.(8) Nothing in this Declaration removes obligations on keepers of poultry or other captive birds from existing animal welfare requirements, and private veterinary advice should be sought by a keeper who is concerned about the suitability of housing conditions.(9) Guidance on biosecurity measures for poultry and kept birds may be found in Animal Health Act biosecurity guidance via https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu. (10) Anyone who keeps poultry or other captive birds must keep a close watch on them for any signs of disease, and must seek prompt advice


from their vet if they have any concerns. For details of how to report suspicion of disease see www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu. Schedule 1 - Minimum biosecurity measures applying to all keepers Part 1Any keeper of poultry (including game birds and pet birds) or other captive birds irrespective of how they are kept, must take appropriate and practicable steps, that can be demonstrated to an inspector on request, to ensure that– (1) precautions are taken to avoid the transfer of virus contamination between premises, including cleansing and disinfection of equipment, vehicles and footwear. Where there are more than 50 poultry or other captive birds, place foot dip containing Defra-approved poultry disinfectant at strategic points including at the entry and exit of all houses or outdoor areas where birds are kept, and footwear must be cleaned using the dips on entry and exit or alternatively footwear should be changed when moving between bird and non-bird areas; (2) feed, water and bedding are stored to minimise the risk of virus contamination;(3) effective vermin control is carried out in any part of the premises where poultry or other captive birds are kept;(4) the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from the part of the premises where poultry are kept is reduced to only essential movements for looking after their welfare, collecting eggs and feeding;(5) records are kept (other than in a zoo) of all vehicles that enter any part of the premises where poultry are kept and of all people who come into any direct contact with the poultry.(6)records of poultry, captive birds and egg movements must be kept and made available to an inspector or veterinary inspector on demand. Records should include: •the quantity and description (including species of bird or type of egg) transported or marketed;•the date of the movement off the premises; •the premises of destination (if known); •the name and address of the person to whom ownership or possession is being or has been transferred;(7) buildings that house the birds are maintained and any defects that allow water ingress or other contamination to enter the building are rectified without undue delay.
Part 2Outdoor range areas (all outdoor areas where poultry (including game birds and pet birds) or other captive birds have access) must be fenced to keep birds within the range and must be actively managed by the keeper to ensure that– (1) the range area is not contaminated with feathers or faecal material from wild birds and take all reasonable steps to remove such contamination that may be present; (2) access to open or permanent standing water is restricted by fencing off and netting ponds, standing water, or waterlogged land to prevent access by poultry or other captive birds;(3) there is no direct contact with poultry or other captive birds on other neighbouring premises;(4) ducks and geese should not be kept in the same pen or building as other poultry species;(5) feed and water are kept indoors and birds are fed indoors or under a covered area which sufficiently discourages the landing of wild birds and thereby prevent contact by wild birds with their feed or water; (6) measures are in place to ensure that wild birds are not attracted to areas under the control of the keeper, in the vicinity of the outdoor area, in particular to watercourses, reservoirs, ponds or other standing water;(7) proactive measures (for example, bird scarers, foils, streamers) aretaken to discourage wild birds, in particular gulls and wild waterfowl, from entering the fenced outdoor areas;(8) any carcases of wild birds are removed from the outdoor fenced range area; and (9) there is regular cleaning and disinfecting of all concrete walkways, paths and similar surfaces to which poultry or other captive birds or wild birds have access.

Schedule 2 –Enhanced biosecurity measures for premises with over 500 poultry (1) Any keeper of more than 500 poultry must, in addition to the minimum measures set out in Schedule 1, apply the following enhanced biosecurity measures in these separate parts of the poultry premises– (a) a poultry (live-bird) part (for example, in the Lion code this area is referred to as the ‘Specific’ area; and in Red Tractor as ‘defined biosecure areas’); (b) a private (ancillary use) part (for example, in the Lion code this area is referred to as the ‘General’ area; and in Red Tractor as ‘defined biosecure areas’); and (c) a restricted access (bio-secure barrier) part.(2) The following measures apply to a poultry (live-bird) part of the premises– (a) access is restricted to essential authorised personnel only;(b) keepers must operate effective barrier hygiene, including changing clothing and footwear, before entering and on exit from the live-bird part;(c) only essential equipment and vehicles are permitted to enter the live-bird part;(d) the exterior of any vehicles, including fork-lifts and pallet trolleys(particularly wheels and wheel arches) and equipment which enter or leave the live-bird part of the premises must be cleansed and disinfected on both entry and exit; and (e) thorough cleansing and disinfecting (based on industry best practice) of housing and equipment must be undertaken at the end of a production cycle and before new birds are introduced; and (f) records must be kept of vehicles and personnel entering and leaving the live-bird part.(3) The following measures apply to a private (ancillary use) part of the premises– (a) access is limited to essential personnel only, and full biosecurity practices should be adopted on entry and exit to the part of the premises;(b) this part of the premises should be fully separated from the live-bird part with a clear demarcation;(c) waste and fallen stock must be held in appropriately biosecure facilities in this part of the premises with clear separation between both the live-bird part and the restricted access bio-secure barrier part; and (d) the exterior of any vehicles (focussing on wheels and wheel arches) which enters or leaves the part must be cleansed and disinfected on both entry and exit.(e) egg producers should ensure the packing, handling and storage of second quality eggs / farm seconds is a managed in a biosecure manner. Egg trays must be cleansed and disinfected before use and records maintained as detailed in Schedule 1 (6).
(4) The following measures apply to the restricted access (bio-secure barrier) part of the premises– (a) access by the public should be controlled and only essential workers or contractors should enter this bio-secure barrier part; and (b) non-essential vehicles must not enter this bio-secure barrier part.(c) Keepers must regularly inspect the fabric and structural integrity of any building used to house poultry for holes and leaks, with particular emphasis on roofs, gutters and downpipes. Any holes and leaks must be repaired without undue delay as many recent cases of avian influenza have been linked to water ingress and flooding. Schedule 3 - Avian Influenza Prevention Zone The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone applies to the whole of England

High Newport Allotments AGM

Because of the Coronavirus High Newport Allotments Annual General  Meeting is postponed until further notice any information required please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone me on 07748330851 Regards  Dave Bell
Images of Ians very old cabin and potting shed been modernised
 
  • Aluminium greenhouse connected to the cabin

    Aluminium greenhouse connected to the cabin

  • Looking a bit jaded after all these years

    Looking a bit jaded after all these years

  • Aluminium greenhouse connected to the cabin

    Aluminium greenhouse connected to the cabin

  • The cabin and greenhouse used to belong to an elderly person called Harry

    The cabin and greenhouse used to belong to an elderly person called Harry

  • The white powder on the garden is lime

    The white powder on the garden is lime

  • On the the left hand side is Richies cabin

    On the the left hand side is Richies cabin

  • There are actually two aluminium greenhouses connected together

    There are actually two aluminium greenhouses connected together

  • New fence on the entrance of Ians allotment

    New fence on the entrance of Ians allotment

  • Ians allotment is number 38

    Ians allotment is number 38

  • On the left hand side is Richies cabin

    On the left hand side is Richies cabin

  • Number 38

    Number 38

  • Just bben painted

    Just bben painted

  • The front of the cabin has just been covered in plastic cladding

    The front of the cabin has just been covered in plastic cladding

  • he front of the cabin has just been covered in plastic cladding

    he front of the cabin has just been covered in plastic cladding

  • The leeks are looking good

    The leeks are looking good

  • Richies cabin is on the left

    Richies cabin is on the left

  • Old foundations of a greenhouse

    Old foundations of a greenhouse

  • some of these old buildings are over fifty years old

    some of these old buildings are over fifty years old

  • Inside the old greenhouse

    Inside the old greenhouse

  • Notice how old the cabin looks

    Notice how old the cabin looks

  • View looking into the greenhouse

    View looking into the greenhouse

  • Buckets and containers

    Buckets and containers

  • Many of these buildings used metal corrugated sheets in there construction

    Many of these buildings used metal corrugated sheets in there construction

     

    Fires on the Allotments

    • Correspondance from Sunderland
    • This matter is been dealt with by David Mc Gregor Valuation Technician Corporate Services PO Box 100 Civic Centre Sunderland SR2 7DN telephone 01915612671 Mobile 07880465720 or email david.mcgregor@sunderland.gov.uk
    • Burning of Fires on Allotment sites
    • I would like to your attention that the council is receiving an increasing number of complaints about burning from both allotments and domestic properties within the city this includes reports that rubbish is being brought onto allotments and burnt as well as the normal burning of vegetation, therefore, I have written to all self-managed allotment societies not to allow burning on the allotment site particularly during this difficult time and furthermore that action will be taken against these tenents that do not comply with this reasonable request I would also like to ask that the committee too put up no burning notices at the entrance and around the site please use the notices supplied by the council to use on the notice boards 
    • The council Environment Health Section intends to write to all allotment plot holders to reiterate the request and warn that continued burning will be viewed very dimly and will look to take enforcement action where necessary should you have any queries about anything contained in this letter please do not hesitate to contact David Mc Gregor as detailed above or by telephone on 07880465720
    • Whilst we will work with the legislation that we have to address reported incidents we can't do this alone and I thank you all for your cooperation
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      Potato onions a very old type of onion that grew like potatoes well below the ground no longer grown because of the hard work harvesting them I have grown them for about two or three Seasons but, to be honest, most of them went to seed but the ones that we eat were very tasty I would recommend growing shallots instead especially the French or Italian varieties 

    Latest Update from NAS

    CORONAVIRUS: What the NAS is doing to help members

    The National Allotment Society is working to provide clarity for our members on what the virus outbreak and ensuing impacts will mean for Allotment Holders. As more information becomes available, we will be updating our advice to our members, please read the Q & As below (as of 8 April 2020) on how the outbreak is affecting Allotment Sites and their use.

    NAS Q & A On Allotments and Social Distancing

    Protect yourself and your family

    We are all living through a crisis, the likes of which the country has not experienced since wartime. The community spirit that exists on allotment sites is now vitally important. Please remember to look out for one another during these very difficult times and take all the steps you can to reduce the risk of contagion from the COVID- 19 virus when you visit the plot.

    COVID -19 - The virus that causes COVID 19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. The droplets are too heavy to hang in the air and they quickly fall and contaminate floors and surfaces.

    Smaller airborne particles can remain in the air for some time. You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within close proximity of a person who has Convid-19- hence the 2m social distancing requirement, or by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.

    Can I still work my allotment during the Covid19 lockdown?

    Yes, allotments are a great way of both getting exercise and obtaining food during this crisis.

    Can I visit the allotment with my family?

    Yes, government guidelines state that you can exercise with members of your household

    Why then is the NAS suggesting that we consider going alone to the plot?

    This is just a suggestion and plot-holders can decide for themselves but we are looking at the bigger picture and concerned about the risk of sites being shut – as they have been in Ireland and France. If some plot-holders are happy to visit alone or stay away for a few weeks that reduces this risk.

    How long can I stay at the plot?

    Government Ministers have suggested that an hour’s walk is reasonable and asked us all to limit time spent outside the home. The Society believes that if you are using your plot for daily exercise it would be reasonable to spend an hour or two doing the jobs that need doing for that day and then to return home.

    How can I ensure my family’s and everyone else’s safety at the plot?

    Do not attend the plot if you have coronavirus symptoms or a family member is self-isolating

    Take a flask of hot water, soap and paper towels to the plot with you (cold water will work too).
    Use hand sanitiser (should be 60% alcohol content) before entering the site and opening any gate locks
    Wash hands for at least 20 seconds after closing the lock, dry with a paper towel
    The most effective part of hand washing is the drying using preferably paper towel to remove the layer of dead skin scales - on which virus and bacteria sit. Paper towel to compost heap.
    DO NOT touch your face after using anything that has been touched by other people- use an elbow to work the push taps.
    Wash your hands again for 20 seconds, dry with a paper towel before opening and closing the lock to leave the site
    Use hand sanitiser after closing the lock
    Wash hands when you get home
    DO NOT gather together for a chat even if you are 2 metres apart
    Observe “Social Distancing” with each other 2-3 metres
    If you take your children to the plot, ensure that they stay within its confines and do not run around on communal paths and spaces.
    Do not share tools
    Do not wash your hands in water troughs

    Can I drive to my allotment?

    We do not have an overall answer to this question. Police forces are clamping down on non-essential travel, some have said that a short drive to the plot is permitted if there is no other choice, others are still enforcing the prohibition on driving to exercise. Check with your local force. Walk to the plot if at all possible and do not take public transport.

    What about if I have hens or other livestock to care for at the plot?

    Animal welfare considerations mean that this would be seen as essential travel even if further movement restrictions are put in place.

    What changes should Allotment Associations make to site management? Pin up information about social distancing and hygiene on a notice board or the gate, there is a QR code at the bottom of this page that links to our updating page.

    Undertake risk assessments and take appropriate action to reduce hazards around any areas of the site that could cause contagion e.g. communal water troughs, taps, and gate locks. The NAS does have further detailed information on risk assessments and the duty of care for Self-Managed Associations please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if this is required.

    All communal facilities including toilets should be closed

    It is essential that no un-authorised people are allowed onto the plots for the duration of this emergency, if you do wish to bring someone to assist with work on the plot, please ensure that that this is notified either to Secretary or Site Manager. Careful consideration should be given to introducing anyone over 70, those with underlying illness or pregnant women.

    Shops - those Associations who operate shops should close or put an on-line scheme in place. Where goods are ordered by email, payment is electronic and goods are placed out for collection.

    Bonfires - Could those Associations who allow bonfires all year round ask people to consider their neighbours and not burn anything during this Covid 19 emergency. Many sites are surrounded by houses where vulnerable people may be getting their only bit of fresh air through an open window.

    Plot inspections and allocations should be postponed until they can be done safely and within government guidelines

    It is likely that a percentage of plot-holders will be unable to visit their plots, perhaps a buddy system could be put in place, untended plots could at least be covered.

    What if the association is having difficulty collecting NAS membership subs? We understand that there may be delays in this period and late payment will not invalidate your membership

     

    COVID 19 Emergency Measures

    UPDATED 01/04/2020 - Driving to the Plot

    The government is presently advising the population to stay at home and practice social distancing, whilst being allowed to take one form of exercise a day. If working your allotment is to carry on being seen as legitimate exercise then it is imperative that plot-holders follow all the guidelines, allotment sites are as risky as anywhere else.

    Although it is perfectly OK and within government guidelines to visiting the plot as a household. We think that now is the time to consider working your plot in isolation i.e. not with household members and if you can stay away for a few weeks to do so. 

    It is vitally important that you follow all the advice about social distancing and hygiene in the points below and not gather together on site.

    Driving to the plot, we are aware that in recent days there have been conflicting statements from police forces about driving to your plot. A briefing has now been issued from the College of Policing and the National Police Chief’s Council that advises forces to:-

    Use your judgement and common sense; for example, people will want to exercise locally and may need to travel to do so, we don’t want the public sanctioned for travelling a reasonable distance to exercise. ………………….. We should reserve enforcement only for individuals who have not responded to Engage, Explain, and Encourage, where public health is at risk.

    If you need to drive a reasonable distance to get to your plot then this guide would suggest that it is permissible to do so. However, please walk to the plot if at all possible

    Any plot-holder who is self-isolating because a household member is ill with corona-virus should not be visiting the site.

    Members should take the following precautionary measures :

    • Keep hand sanitiser in your shed and wash your hands regularly
    • Use hand sanitiser before opening and after closing any gate locks
    • Wash hands when you get home
    • DO NOT gather together for a chat even if you are 2 metres apart CLICK HERE for guidance
    • Observe “Social Distancing” with each other 2-3 metres
    • If you take your children to the plot, ensure that they stay within its confines and do not run around on communal paths and spaces.
    • Do not share tools
    • Minimise the contact with each other for example no handshakes
    • Do not wash your hands in water troughs
    • We recommend that all communal facilities are closed
    • Click here for guidance if you do need to clean an area that has been visited by an infected person.

    Shops - those Associations who operate shops should close or put an on-line scheme in place. Where goods are ordered by email, payment is electronic and goods are placed out for collection. CLICK HERE for an example

    Bonfires - Could those Associations who allow bonfires all year round ask people to consider their neighbours and not burn anything during this covid19 emergency. Many sites are surrounded by houses where vulnerable people may be getting their only a bit of fresh air through an open window.

    • If you have livestock on the site and must-visit twice a day, take a photograph on the phone of your livestock, based on what is happening in other countries you may eventually have to print off a government form to leave the house but if challenged it would be good to be able to show a photograph of where you are going.
    • Plan ahead to ensure that you have food and medication delivered to you during this time
    • Stay away from vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions as much as possible
    • If you display any symptoms of coronavirus stay at home and self-isolate for at least 14 days or until symptoms have passed.

    Associations should display advice notice on their boards. It is important that anyone attending the allotment takes care to stay the appropriate distance from others, avoid body contact and wash hands at taps, do not wash hands or use detergents in the water tanks and please pay attention to notice boards.

    It is essential that no un-authorised people are allowed onto the plots for the duration of this emergency, if you do wish to bring someone to assist with work on the plot, please ensure that that this is notified either to Secretary or Site Manager.  Careful consideration should be given to introducing anyone over 70, those with underlying illness or pregnant women.

    I know many Associations have taken decisions to cancel plot inspections, seed swaps, association trips and annual judging; scheduled Committee meetings and AGM’s should also be postponed.  It is important that any plot-holders over 70 years and those with underlying health issues follow the guidance and information issued by the government.

    It would be a good idea for Associations to give out a telephone or email address for anyone with problems to allow contact. Perhaps a Buddy System that provided weeding and watering assistance on the plots of gardeners who cannot get to the plot due to long term self-isolation could be set up.

    All group NAS meetings were cancelled following the Government update on 16 March 2020 and will be reviewed on the 30th June 2020. This is a worldwide unprecedented and challenging time for so many people and of course, the health and safety of our members, volunteers, and staff remains our number one priority.

    We are living through a crisis, the likes of which none of us has experienced before, not since wartime has the community spirit that exists on allotment sites been more important.  We must all consider vulnerable families, friends and fellow plot-holders and give assistance where needed. Please remember to look out for one another during these very difficult times.

    Government advise about the Coronavirus is updated on a regular basis at this link.

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

    For NHS information and advice CLICK HERE

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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.

    The Sportsman's Arms just after it had closed
     

    Cleaning up your allotment

    Being faced with an overgrown plot might seem like an impossible and daunting job, but armed with a plan, the right tools and plenty of elbow grease; you can soon turn a wilderness into a workable piece of land ready for planting. If you are tackling Horsetail, then damage the plant first by bashing it with a spade, as it will allow the herbicide to seep in. Where bindweed has tangled itself around a crop, tease out the leading tip or shoots and individually paint them with a glyphosate gel that you can buy from garden centres. Please take every precaution to protect yourself and others when using chemicals in the garden. Ground elder and Couch grass can also be controlled with glyphosate, but regularly digging out the roots will also help in the eradication of these plants.Please note: Before using chemicals on communal areas, please check who this land belongs to, and seek their permission. If you are using a spray licensed for use by home gardeners (amateur), then you must follow the instructions carefully on the label.If this land needs treating with chemicals only licensed for use by professionals, then the legislation requires the user to have a certificate, or be supervised by a certificate holder (for training purposes). There is an exemption to this rule for those born on or before the 31st December 1964 (this exemption ceases on 25th November 2015). For further clarification see Regulation 8 of The Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations 2012. Dealing with brambles can be a thankless task because wherever the tips of the arching shoots touch the soil they will take root. This is how they are able to leapfrog over the ground producing impenetrable thickets of horticultural barbed wire as they go. It is best to cut or strim the top growth down and then dig out the roots by hand. Always wear thick gloves and goggles when working in the bramble patch because the thorns are lethal.Japanese Knotweed is a non-native invasive plant. Legislation exists concerning the disposal of this plant and professional help should be sought in dealing with it. Never dispose of the plant yourself by placing it into a landfill site, this is illegal. Always contact your local council environment officer for advice. Also, see www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/wildlife/130079.aspx for guidance.All weed material should be dead before it is composted or disposed of. You can kill the weeds off by starving them of sunlight (tied into a black plastic bag for some months), drowned in water inside a dark tub with a fitted lid or by drying them out in hot sunshine. The dead material can be added to your council’s green recycling bins or your own compost heaps. Some people still like to burn their weeds on a bonfire, but please check your tenancy agreement first and consider your neighbours before setting it alight.Health and safety should always be considered before undertaking any such work. A risk assessment is advisable, as is wearing protective clothing, the appropriate gloves and masks when using chemicals and ensuring that no adults, children or animals are nearby when machinery is being operated or chemical applied. Health and Safety advice is available as part of the National Allotment Society membership or see www.hse.gov.ukO’Dell House, Hunters Road, Corby, Northamptonshire NN17 5JE T: 01536 266576 • E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.nsalg.org.ukClearing an overgrown plotwww.nsalg.org.ukBecome a member of The National Allotment SocietyMembership of The National Allotment Society comes with a raft of benefits, from discounts on horticultural products through to initial legal advice and horticultural expertise. To become a member visit www.nsalg.org.uk or call 01536 266576. To start with... put the kettle on and reach for a reference book before you do anything the first task is to identify what types of weeds are growing on your plot. Try to name as many of them as you can, because once you know what they are, you are then best able to decide on how to deal with them. This isn’t as difficult a job as it may first seem because weeds are wildflowers and there are plenty of cheap, informative wildflower books available that will help you to recognise them. It is surprising how quickly you will become hooked. The weeds will be classified as annuals or perennials. Annual weeds can simply be pulled up or cut down with a garden hoe as soon as they appear. Perennial weed are more of a problem because they are able to survive in the ground from one season to another and require a more long term approach to get on top of them.If your plot is overgrown with the more pernicious perennial weeds such as Japanese knotweed, bindweed or ground elder then you’re going to need a more structured approach or seek out professional help. When you have successfully identified the weeds and prepared your plan of attack then it is a good time to organise a ‘clearing party’ – invite a group of friends over, provide the tools and gloves and offer payment via a hot meal and several drinks afterwards.Dealing with perennial weedsPlastic mulches are thick black polythene sheets, which can be bought from garden centres. They should be laid directly on to the soil surface covering an area well beyond the weedy patch and the edges sliced down into the soil to prevent them from being lifted by any weed growth. Do not use carpets as they tend to rot, and leech nasty chemicals into the soil. There is also the risk that they’ll get entwined with the soil as the fibres begin to break down. Like the natural mulches; plastic mulches need to left in place for at least 12-24 months. One of the problems when using plastic mulches is where holes have to be cut in them to allow plants to grow through for example around potato haulms, fruit trees and bushes. These cut areas will allow the tips of shoots to grow through into the light so extra care must be taken to remove any shoot that appears before it has time to grow.Once the weeds are dead, you should be able to dig them out easily. Don’t forget to remove any rhizomes (stored roots found in the ground) as they might still have life in them. Cardboard is sometimes recommended as a suitable material for mulching but it gets blown about and it doesn’t break down consistently.The first job, first of all, remove any large items of rubbish; a wheelbarrow could be a handy bit of kit to help with this job. Just a few words of advice before your enthusiasm gets the better of you. There may be hidden sharp edges and heavy items entangled in the undergrowth so please wear stout boots and heavy-duty gloves to protect you from nasty cuts or bruises. Also, take extra care when lifting; it is all too easy to overreach yourself and pull a muscle on the first day. Always use a crowbar to move heavy objects; never be tempted to use any of your precious gardening tools as levers because you will only end up snapping their handles. Pace yourself, don’t overdo things, take breaks and only work for a couple of hours at a time.Many sites have refuse points or if your landlord is the local council, talk to them about getting the rubbish removed. Failing that contact your local tip/recycling centre to see if they’ll accept the items. Once the ground is clear of rubbish you’ll be able to see what is left to tackle. Dealing with annual weeds Like all living things, weeds need light in order to grow; so one of the simplest ways of killing off your weeds is by excluding the light. You can use either a natural or plastic mulch to do this job.Natural mulches are thick coverings of organic material such as compost, manure, straw or well-rotted wood chips which you lay on top of the soil. They are best applied in the early Spring before the weeds have had a chance to grow and whilst the soil is still wet from the winter rains. They will break down over the summer and always have to be renewed annually. Any weeds that appear in the loose surface can easily be pulled out.‘never be tempted to use any of your precious gardening tools as levers because you will only end up snapping their handles’If you have cleared an area of a plot but do not wish to cultivate it straightway then it is recommended to sow a green manure. This will suppress the weeds, improve the soil structure and help to put nutrients back into the earth. Using herbicides with glyphosate Glyphosate is one of the few herbicides/weedkillers available to the amateur gardener. If it is used on perennial weeds it will eradicate them over a period of a few months. However, they are not effective at killing Horsetail (Mare’s Tail) but they can help in its control. Do not use glyphosate-based herbicides on annual weeds, it is a wasteful and inappropriate use of the chemical.The timing of the applications of any herbicide is critical to obtaining the best results and to prevent the unnecessary waste of an expensive product. You should delay spraying until the perennial weeds are in full growth. Don’t be tempted to start spraying the vigorous, young shoots early in the season because they will have the strength to grow back. Wait until just before flowering time before applying the knockout punch. The plant will be at its most vulnerable at this time; however, this will mean some hand weeding before you get to spraying time.Rotovating your earth can be a quick way of cutting up and killing off weeds, but the danger is that if there are any rhizomes or perennial roots left in the ground, then they will be chopped up and come back with a vengeance next year. Digging by hand is recommended as the only effective way of removing perennial weeds. www.nsalg.org.uk

    Benefits of Allotment Gardening

    Social Capital

    Gardening is good for you and allotment gardening offers additional benefits that help to ameliorate loneliness and enable citizens to contribute to society, especially beyond retirement. Hundreds of allotment holders volunteer on their association committee and give up precious time, helping to manage and maintain sites. Even on a site with no allotment association plot-holders are part of a community of like-minded people, many of whom are eager to share their knowledge and spare produce. The social contact offered by gardening in an allotment environment helps to combat the lack of social capital embodied by loneliness, which has the equivalent risk to health as consuming 15 cigarettes daily and is twice as harmful as obesity.

    Contact with nature

    Working a plot year-round means that allotment holders experience the seasons, witness the behaviour of birds, insects and other animals and gain an understanding of the eco-system. This appreciation of the natural world also has the potential to inspire more environmentally aware behaviour by themselves and their children.

    In 2018 the UK Government produced a 25 Year Environment Plan, which acknowledges that connecting people to their environment will also improve their health and well-being. A study in the Netherlands showed that every 10 per cent increase in exposure to green space translated into an improvement in health equivalent to being five years younger, with similar benefits found by studies in Canada and Japan.

    Mental well being

    There is a growing awareness of the role that gardening plays in both preventing and alleviating mental ill-health. Many allotment gardeners will tell you that a spell on the plot nurturing plants and contemplating nature makes them feel calmer and more hopeful and there have been recent studies that have measured this benefit (See link to “A case-control study of the health and well-being benefits of allotment gardening” below)

    Sense of achievement

    As many new plot-holders discover, growing vegetables requires acquiring new knowledge and skills and the satisfaction gained from eating their first homegrown tomato or new potato makes them taste even more delicious!

    Healthy activity

    The physical benefits of regular spells of gardening help plot-holders to keep fit even if they have sedentary jobs, the physical exercise also contributes to their mental well-being. Gardening can also help to maintain good gait and balance in older gardeners and help with cognitive decline.

    Spending as little as 15 minutes a day out in the summer sunshine can build up your levels of vitamin D if you are fair-skinned. And for those whose skin is naturally darker, anywhere up to 90 minutes of sun exposures will help your vitamin levels. However, gardeners do need to be aware of skin cancer risks, Melanoma is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and on the rise. So make sure that you dress appropriately and wear sunscreen on exposed areas.

    Fresh, local, seasonal produce

    If managed properly, an allotment can produce enough food to supplement a family's weekly shop, with fresh fruit and vegetables over the year. Allotment gardeners can choose to garden organically and avoid ingesting chemicals that are likely to be present on shop-bought fruit and vegetables.

    In a survey of National Allotment Society members, nearly every person said their love of allotment gardening comes from the fresh air, homegrown produce, healthy lifestyle and like-minded people this activity offers.

    History of Allotments

    What is an allotment?

    Allotments have been in existence for hundreds of years, with evidence pointing back to Anglo-Saxon times. But the system we recognise today has its roots in the Nineteenth Century when the land was given over to the labouring poor for the provision of food growing. This measure was desperately needed thanks to the rapid industrialisation of the country and the lack of a welfare state. In 1908 the Small Holdings and Allotments Act came into force, placing a duty on local authorities to provide sufficient allotments, according to demand. However, it wasn’t until the end of the First World War that land was made available to all, primarily as a way of assisting returning servicemen (Land Settlement Facilities Act 1919) instead of just the labouring poor. The rights of allotment holders in England and Wales were strengthened through the Allotments Acts of 1922, but the most important change can be found in the Allotments Act of 1925 which established statutory allotments which local authorities could not sell off or covert without Ministerial consent, known as Section 8 Orders. In Scotland, the Community Empowerment Act came in to force on 1 April 2018 and updates and simplifies legislation on allotments. It requires local authorities to maintain waiting lists and take reasonable steps to provide allotments if the waiting lists exceed certain trigger points. It also strengthens the protection for allotments and clarifies the rights of local authorities and plot holders. Provisions allow allotments to be 250 square metres in size or a different size that is to be agreed between the person requesting an allotment and the local authority. The Act also requires fair rents to be set and allows tenants to sell surplus produce grown on an allotment (other than with a view to making a profit). There is a requirement for local authorities to develop a food-growing strategy for their area, including identifying land that may be used as allotment sites and identifying other areas of land that could be used by a community for the cultivation of vegetables, fruit, herbs or flowers.  in Northern Ireland councils can provide allotments but do not have a statutory duty to do so. Further legislation has been listed over the intervening years which have affected allotments, the latest of which is the Localism Act 2011.

    Rents and Tenancy Agreements

    As allotments are leased from landlords, allotment holders are required to pay rent. This money is used to cover the water rates and general maintenance bills. This rent can be anything from a peppercorn amount through to £100 a year per plot holder, but most are in the region of £25 -£125 each. Despite there being legal statutes relating to allotments, nowhere do they state how much rent should be charged or collected, instead general terminology is used, citing that the rent to should be a ‘reasonable amount’ which the ‘tenant would expect to pay’.

    Allotment holders, and in turn the local allotment societies they form, are obliged to sign a tenancy agreement which outlines what is expected of them by the landlord. These agreements cover the rent due, the kind of activities which can take place on the land, the building of sheds, subletting issues, as well as the general behaviour of the plot holders. A Tenancy Agreement dating back to 1846 serving the Parish of Husbands Bosworth states “Every occupier is expected to attend divine service on Sundays, and any occupier who digs potatoes or otherwise works on his land on Sunday shall immediately forfeit the same.” Things have changed a little in the last 150 years, as Sunday’s are now the most popular gardening day of the week.

    Waiting lists

    IN 2009, 2011 and 2013 the Society, with the support of Transition Kirby undertook an Allotment Waiting List Survey. The latest survey in 2013 surveyed all 323 English principal authorities and 321 responded. The main findings were that 67% of the authorities held waiting list data and an average of 52 people were waiting for every 100 plots.

    Waiting lists are essential to assess demand for plots and to ensure the financial viability of sites. The Society would not recommend ever closing lists. We have no plans at present to repeat the surveys, we believe that there will always be fluctuations in demand but not the huge swings of the past.

    The Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) survey their members each year (140 responses) and, in the 2018 State of the Market Report (Allotments), they reported that the demand for allotments is still high. Over 40% of respondents stated that over 18 months was the average waiting time for a plot, which is a significant drop from 2017 when the figure was 52%. 9% of respondents could guarantee a plot within 6 months which is a considerable decrease on 2017 when the figure was 20%. The average waiting time is now between 6-18 months (47%). Under 5 % of respondents can offer an allotment plot within 3 months.

    New Plots

    In the above report, 36% of respondents stated that their council plans to increase the number of allotments; either directly by the council or via builders/developers as part of housing/planning policy

    Gardening Tips

    I will be adding gardening advice and tips to High Newport Allotments shortly

    John Harrisons Update

    Allotment Garden Virus Extra Visiting Allotments

    Dear David Bell

    Just a very quick note – sorry if you're not in the UK, this is UK advice.

    Michael Gove MP, UK Minister for the Cabinet Office, stated this morning on the television that going to and tending your allotment was considered exercise and therefore allowable under the current more stringent rules for slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

    Please continue to keep at least 2 metres away from other people – more is better! Remember the virus can be spread by contact from surfaces so if you touch something like a gate, padlock or tool touched by someone else, wash your hands with soap and water (even if cold) or use a proper hand sanitiser.This is good news for allotment holders as I have had quite a few members asking me If they could come to their allotment

    Very pleased with these Asparagus Sweet Purple Plantlets

    Very pleased with these Asparagus Sweet Purple Plantlets

    Asparagus Sweet Purple Plantlets

    Asparagus Sweet Purple Plantlets

    Grown from seed

    Grown from seed

    Grown in a cold greenhouse

    Grown in a cold greenhouse

    Notice the healthy root formation

    Notice the healthy root formation

    These Plantlets are about eighteen months old

    These Plantlets are about eighteen months old

    These plantlets should be ready to plant into the garden shortly

    These plantlets should be ready to plant into the garden shortly

    Seeds suppplied by Premier Seeeds

    Seeds suppplied by Premier Seeeds

    Asparagus Sweet Purple an all-male variety which does not set seed 

    Daves Allotment

    Asparagus Sweet Purple I have grown from seed
    Asparagus Sweet Purple 
    Asparagus Sweet Purple Asparagus Sweet Purple
    The spears of this asparagus are purple  The spears of this asparagus are purple 
     Images of the asparagus plantlets root system Images of the asparagus plantlets root system 
    Asparagus plantlets    Asparagus plantlets
    Asparagus plantlets ready to be potted on into their new home    I use Humax compost for sowing sedlings and potting on
       
     

     Richie and Ians gardens on High Newport Allotments on a lovely day
     
    The entrance to Richies and Ians garden

    The entrance to Richies and Ians garden

    Image taken early in the morning

    Image taken early in the morning

    Ians new cabin

    Ians new cabin

    Richies cabin is looking kind of dated

    Richies cabin is looking kind of dated

    The gardens are quite long

    The gardens are quite long

    Path of Richie and Ians garden

    Path of Richie and Ians garden

    Rubbish ready to go to the skip

    Rubbish ready to go to the skip

    Richies greenhouse on the left of the image

    Richies greenhouse on the left of the image

    Strawberry bed

    Strawberry bed

    I use cloches to protect cabbages and other crops I grow

    I use cloches to protect cabbages and other crops I grow

    Once there was a greenhouse on this part of the garden

    Once there was a greenhouse on this part of the garden

    Cabbages growing well

    Cabbages growing well

    The famous burning bin

    The famous burning bin

    The famous burning bin is now redundant as no fires are allowed on the allotments

    The famous burning bin is now redundant as no fires are allowed on the allotments

    The entrance to Richies and Ians garden

    The entrance to Richies and Ians garden

    Image taken early in the morning

    Image taken early in the morning

    Ians new cabin

    Ians new cabin

    Richies cabin is looking kind of dated

    Richies cabin is looking kind of dated

    The gardens are quite long

    The gardens are quite long

    Path of Richie and Ians garden

    Path of Richie and Ians garden

    Rubbish ready to go to the skip

    Rubbish ready to go to the skip

    Richies greenhouse on the left of the image

    Richies greenhouse on the left of the image

    Strawberry bed

    Strawberry bed

    I use cloches to protect cabbages and other crops I grow

    I use cloches to protect cabbages and other crops I grow

    Once there was a greenhouse on this part of the garden

    Once there was a greenhouse on this part of the garden

    Cabbages growing well

    Cabbages growing well

    The famous burning bin

    The famous burning bin

    The famous burning bin is now redundant as no fires are allowed on the allotments

    The famous burning bin is now redundant as no fires are allowed on the allotments

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    High Newport Allotments Bonus Ball

    To generate an income for the allotments we have decided to run a bonus ball draw using the Health lottery up to now we have thirty-two members that are supporting the draw the first draw will be on the 14-03-20 the prize money shareout will be 80% paid out and 20% kept for the allotments with the Coronavirus epidemic that's now taking hold of the UK the bonus ball draw has now been postponed until the virus has been beaten please note anyone in front with their lottery payments the money will be looked after
     
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    The steel gates and fence that were erected by Sunderland Council when they purchased the land of the NCB in the mid ninteies

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    Image of the Scullery eatery which was formerly the Sportsmans Arms which was built for the miners of Silksworth Colliery

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    Silksworth Lane the road that connects Silksworth village to Sunderland city centre

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    This peoples crossing was built by Sainsbury's when they built the store in Silksworth in the mid nineties

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    The roundabout at the bottom of High Newport Allotments which is very busy most days

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    The gates and fence were built by Sunderland Council when they bought the land of the NCB in 1996

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    The entrance to High Newport Allotments showing the local DIY dealers sign details notice they dont charge for allotment members deliverys

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    Close up of the gates notice the shadows and the purple flowers on the right hand side of the road

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    The warning sign that warns visitors to High Newport Allotments that they enter at their own risk

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    View of the road just after one enters through the gates of High Newport Allotments with the speed control sign

     
    The entrance to High Newport Allotments on a lovely morning
    Very pleased with these Asparagus Sweet Purple Plantlets

    Very pleased with these Asparagus Sweet Purple Plantlets

    Asparagus Sweet Purple Plantlets

    Asparagus Sweet Purple Plantlets

    Grown from seed

    Grown from seed

    Grown in a cold greenhouse

    Grown in a cold greenhouse

    Notice the healthy root formation

    Notice the healthy root formation

    These Plantlets are about eighteen months old

    These Plantlets are about eighteen months old

    These plantlets should be ready to plant into the garden shortly

    These plantlets should be ready to plant into the garden shortly

    Seeds suppplied by Premier Seeeds

    Seeds suppplied by Premier Seeeds