Rupert: Excuse me old man, what are you doing on my land? Arthur: This is my allotment. I've come to be with the vegetables. Rupert: Sorry, I'm the new chairman of the Walford Allotment Society and I don't believe you've paid your £100 annual subscription. Arthur: A hundred quid? But that's four ponies! Rupert: Keeping animals on your allotment is forbidden under subsection 3a of the new membership rules that our lawyers ratified at last week's extraordinary general meeting. Arthur: You're just a load of bankers. Rupert: We accept direct debit, you know. Arthur: I'm not allowed credit, not after the Christmas Club embezzlement fiasco. Rupert: Look you oik, either you pay up or we'll turn over your plot to a local yuppie who really deserves it. Arthur: I suppose you posh newcomers want to hijack our ancestral lands to grow your own organic fruit and veg. Rupert: Heavens no. My Jocasta gets all our groceries delivered by Waitrose, online. This is for my hemp farm. Arthur: Fair enough. Got a light?
The Reeves Road Allotment Society owns a narrow strip of land beside the railway just to the west of Bromley-by-Bow station. February may be the fallow season but there's still plenty of evidence of horticultural endeavour along this 200 yard vegetable patch. Some carefully-tended plots boast freshly-tilled soil, cane-supported netting and ruler-straight edging. Other less-loved plots appear more successful at growing crops of straggly weeds and blue plastic bags. A few ramshackle wooden structures stand (for the time being) along the far side of the allotments beneath the embankment, but alas I saw nothing to compare to Arthur's beloved shed.