The Kirklees office was contacted by a member of the Dewsbury Allotment Association who was interested in depositing the Association’s records with us. Arrangements were made to go and survey the records which were held at their ‘Head Office’
So on a beautiful sunny day in June, we set off to view the records. The ‘Head ‘office’ turned out to be a very nice shed in the heart of the allotments which contained people, ducks, geese, fruit, flowers and vegetables! As an accumulation of years of record keeping the documents were crammed into filing cabinets and piled up on the floor. Fortunately the sun was shining and cups of tea were forthcoming (kept well away from the documents of course)
The next few hours were spent, weeding, sorting, dusting and listing records which included committee minute books, financial ledgers, general secretary’s letter books and also records relating to Agricultural Supplies (Dewsbury) Ltd which was a company owned by Dewsbury Allotment Society Ltd.
After several hours and the gift of a lettuce each we had weeded, boxed and listed eight boxes of documents which were duly loaded into the car and brought back to the library where they were given the Catalogue finding number WYK1311.
Whilst it is unclear when the Dewsbury Allotment Association was established (probably late 19th-early 20th century), it is still very much in existence today.
WYAS are actively seeking records of other Allotment Associations and Gardening Societies as part of our continuing commitment to preserving records that reflect the communities of West Yorkshire. If you are part of such an organisation and would like more information on depositing your records with us, please contact our Collections Team on the general archives email address.