In her dual roles as secretary of the Beverly Park allotment site in New Malden and secretary of the Kingston Federation of Allotment Gardeners (KFAG), as well as being a plot holder herself for 34 years, Gloria Wallis has witnessed a great number of changes in the culture and organisation of allotment gardening. Demographics have changed since her time as a rare female presence to the present day, where around half the plots are occupied by women, while her work with KFAG has ensured six allotment sites have transitioned from council management to being run by the plot holders themselves. She spoke to SHEDx about these changes as well as her own personal affinity with growing her own food.
“When I first took my plot on it was mostly men. I pitched up and they looked me up and down. They said will hubby be helping you? I said I jolly well hope not!”
Interview conducted by Grow for Good Oral History lead, Jarek Zaba