Craigentinny Allotments in the 1970’s

John c.1974

John c.1974

Plotholders John & Val Maule share their memories of Craigentinny Allotments in what we hope will be the first of several ‘Allotment Tales’.

I first acquired an allotment at Craigentinny in 1972, whilst renting a flat in Leith. There was not a waiting list then, and there were several vacant plots when I toured the site to select mine. I was asked how many plots I would like since most of the gardeners had more than one! I chose a plot by the golf course fence on the area currently occupied by part of the communal garden.

Interestingly, the layout of the site was then somewhat different to the present arrangement Continue reading

Monthly Meetings 2010

We had a meeting on the first Saturday in February and we will continue this year, as before, by having an 11.00 meeting on the first Saturday of each month. February’s meeting was well attended, especially given the poor weather and we look forward to seeing you at the next meeting on 6th March.

New order of Manure

If you want a delivery of manure (same basis as before) please add your name, plot number, phone number and number of bags required, to the sheet on the notice board.

Once we have enough for a delivery we will organise and let you know when it will be delivered.

Minutes, November, 2009

Present: John and Monica McKinlay , Rod, George, Norma Carlyon, John Maule and Ernie Curtis.
Apologies: Katie Ferguson, Tom Cashman and Joan Anderson.
1. Thanks:
As usual there were many people to thank. All those who helped with the work on the community day, the plot and pond are looking good. Joan and Ernie for their work on the pond, Katie and Tom for supplying the pebbles for the pond, Helen and Richard for setting up the web site and George Brown for continuing to strim the plot.
2 Break-in:
Another one, if you have been affected you can report it by e-mail or phone – see notice. The fence does not seem to have been breached this time and the replacement section of fence has been put in place.
3 Recycling Bay:
Please only place in the bay items of reasonably usable quality, it is getting full of bits and pieces that are well passed their sell by date.
4 Draft Constitution:
The main discussion of the meeting centered on this. John pointed out that the idea of having a Constitution was so that we could get grants, but he was conscious of the fact that the majority of plotholders had no interest in having a Constitution. Having said that, there was a significant minority who seemed to be interested. To test this interest John asked those present to indicate if they continued to support the setting up of a Constitution and the support was unanimous. That said, what we have at the moment is still only a proposed draft. This will remain the case in the meantime. Copies of the draft are still available by e-mailing or by request to John or Monica 661 4373 and there is still a copy in the Clubhouse. Comments and suggestions are very welcome.
I was asked by plotholders at the meeting to confirm that nothing in the draft constitution changes a plotholder’s conditions of tenancy. This is the case and all tenancy issues will remain a matter between the plotholder and the Council, in the person of the Allotment Officer. In particular the application of the termination of tenancy procedures. Personally I am very glad that this is the case, as with 140 plus people waiting for plots on our site, it is perhaps inevitable that Ian may have to apply the conditions and procedures less sympathetically in the future as he has in the past.
The draft proposals would be open for discussion into next year. In the early spring interested plotholders would call for a Special General Meeting to adopt the draft Constitution and appoint our first committee. At least 3 weeks notice of this meeting would be given.
Our next meeting will be the first Saturday in February 2010.

Edinburgh in Bloom ‘Best Allotment Plot’

John & Monica's plot

Many congratulations to John and Monica for winning the ‘Edinburgh in Bloom Best Allotment Plot’. Their hard work, enthusiasm  and a big splash of colour has enlivened the allotments.

“An allotment with its own “bee cafe” and a community garden designed by volunteers are among the winners of this year’s Edinburgh in Bloom competition”

Minutes, July,2009

PRESENT: John and Monica Mckinlay, Tom Cashman, John Roberts, Johnny Gailey, Rod, Joan and Muhad, Helen Gestwich, Richard Cross, Joan Anderson
APOLOGIES: Katie Ferguson, John Maule and Norma Carlyon
1. Holding our meeting in the cold reminded us that we had requested funds for a clubhouse. John will contact Ian Woolard re progress of ‘wish list’.
2. Helen suggested that we hold a Seed/Plant/Produce Swop and it was agreed that this could coincide with our monthly meetings. John will include this in his Newsletter which he will send out to all plotholders after the next meeting.
3. Joan asked where she might get timber for raised beds and Johnny knew of a scaffolding yard at Albion road which might sell old boards for a couple of pounds and Robert will investigate this.
4. Joan asked about the current situation re wet plots and possible drainage and will be in touch with Ian Woolard direct.
5. John Robertson is looking for a water butt and would be interested in any spare available on site.
6. Manure has now been ordered twice but there is still a demand. We will order one last delivery of 100 bags. Most are spoken for but anyone who wants some please add their name to the list.
7. In order to encourage improvements within the allotments prizes will be given this year for the most improved plot and children’s garden.
8. Johnny Gailey reported on the grants available and the need for a properly constituted committee. John will be in touch with Mr Sandells of Midmar to obtain the relevant format.
9. Waste Action Grant Programme has a possible 2500 pounds grant which would give us water butts for 40 plots. To demonstrate our work towards waste reduction a variety of actions have been suggested; BBQ open day; compost awareness.
10. B&Q give grants for up to 250 pounds which could be useful if we are to pay for our community hut from our own funds.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING: 7 MARCH, 2009 at 11.00

Minutes, June, 2009

Present: John and Monica McKinlay, Tom Cashman, John Roberts, George, Joan Anderson, Ernie Curtis, Rod, John Maule, Norma and June Carlyon .
1. Thanks to Ernie for fitting new locks and hardware to the clubhouse, to John Maule for fitting the unscrewable screws and to Katie for painting the clubhouse.
2. Rats – In the past two weeks we have had two visits from the pest control officer. There have been no further sightings and although one set of bait is gone the others remain untouched. Plot holders are requested to be vigilant and continue the good work of keeping the site clear of anything that might attract them.
3. Fires- Since Ian spoke to the intruder there have been no further reported confrontations with him. Plot holders should let John know if there are any problems.
4. City of Edinburgh is carrying out an Open Space Audit. Poster displayed in clubhouse and questionnaire forms available if anyone wants to take part.
5. Discussion about Mare’s Tail and how we might tackle this problem. Tom Cashman has investigated various remedies and will look into it further. Anyone with suggestions on this please speak to Tom. Meantime John will ask Ian Woolard if he can give us any help or advice.
6. AOB and general discussion was followed by a plant swop and tea/coffee. Thanks again to Norma for the home baking!

Minutes, May, 2009

Present: John and Monica McKinlay, Tom Cashman, Katie Ferguson, John Roberts, George, John Maule and Norma Carlyon .
1. John opened the meeting by thanking Katie for the fruit trees, chippings, benches etc.; Tom for bagging and delivering everything to plot; Johnny for straw bales; Rod for organizing delivery of the old windows; Helen for her Recycle bay posters; Richard for collecting the planks and Chris for donating two bags of bark for clubhouse plot.
2. The Recycling Bay is now up and running so help yourself to items and add in anything useful that you no longer need. Helen will monitor this area.
3. Posters have been completed for the Competitions- see notice boards-encourage the kids.
4. Edinburgh in Bloom- for info- again leaflets on the notice board.
5. Rats – see notice board for details.
6. Ian’s Visit –plot inspection- 2 plots moving to half- he said that he thought that Craigentinny was the most improved site in Edinburgh- fires(item 7)- spray perma plot and keys(item 8)- insurance (item 9)- water pressure was examined and solutions considered.
7. Fires- Ian has spoken to the intruder and he now knows that fires are allowed and that he shouldn’t abuse the plotholders. We have suggested that we have fires only on a Sunday when there is a west wind. He is happy to accept this and the Committee has agreed in principle. John will be back in touch with Ian.
8. Perma culture situation- Ian has offered to spray the plot but this is not required- We have done a good bit of work so far but will need help if we are to move it on. Community day suggested- see notice re the work so far- improvements-what next?
9. Clubhouse Day- plant trees- paint shed- put down bark etc. 16 May
10. AOB

Minutes of Committee Meeting: 4th April 2009

Present: John and Monica McKinlay, Tom Cashman, Katie Ferguson, John Robertson, Johnny Gailey, Helen Gestwicki, Richard Cross, John Maule and Norma Carylon , Joan Pisanek, Joanna Darnley– thanks to everyone who came along.


  1. Monica welcomed everyone to the meeting and to our new clubhouse. Thanks to those who donated furniture and daffodils! Katie will supply benches so that there will be a seat for everyone.
  2. There will shortly be notices of our two competitions.
  3. There was a brief discussion re ongoing grants and the Constitution. John and Monica have revised the Midmar Constitution in line with a Council owned site. This will be passed to Johnny Gailey who will forward it on to the lawyer at EVOC who will provide a final Draft for our approval. Norma asked if this draft would be circulated and Monica confirmed that it would, and later voted on, probably at a Special General Meeting. Tom reminded us that there may be insurance requirements if we were constituted. This will be considered with the final draft. Ian Woolard will also be consulted.
  4. Clubhouse Plot; In response to our appeal for ideas five suggestions had come forward; a play area for children; a path to the clubhouse with cleared area in front: a community orchard; a pond or wet area for frogs etc. and coppicing of twisted willow etc. There is room on the plot for all of this and Monica suggested that those with a particular interest could take that forward (like mini projects) allowing each to get started. Otherwise we could take the suggestions forward one at a time thus concerting our efforts.
  5. Thanks to Katie for her donation of fruit trees for the orchard and a group of us will be there to help her plant them out at the end of the month.
  6. Helen suggested a recycle corner on the plot which will allow everyone to donate useful items they no longer need. She will monitor this.
  7. Thanks to John Maule there is now a key for the water supply in the Clubhouse.
  8. The Seed Swop followed the meeting and there was a tremendous amount of donations – too many to thank everyone personally but if this is an indication of things to come Craigentinny Allotments will be Keeping Edinburgh Growing all by themselves!
  9. People who didn’t manage to come along on the day are welcome to help themselves to any seeds they need in return for a future donation or a small donation on the next swop day. The donations for April amounted to £2.40 which Katie will add to our petty cash.