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Martin Raynes

Dear Lesley-Anne,

I certainly remember walking past some allotments in Oldton. Back in the 1960s, when I was there, the whole area of a fair sized field was cultivated and indeed the Gladdings (Arthur and Reenie) with whom we stayed when at Oldton had one of the allotments. On occasions I would accompany Arthur to the allotment and in a childish and probably really unconstructive way help with the digging, planting, watering etc. Arthur maintained that the soil at Oldton was very good for the growing of broad beans and grew them almost to the exclusion of anything else. In contrast to his enthusiasm for broad beans, he had a phobia of Parsley and would bribe, cajole or otherwise intimidate other allotment holders not to grow it. I gathered much later that he had survived an attempt by his mother in law (old Mrs Weir) to poison him with Parsley and perhaps reasonably enough after that experience he took the view that for him Parsley was an unlucky herb.

Tim will probably be able to put us right on the location of the allotments but I'm pretty sure they were near the bowling green. Certainly there was a walk I used to take from the Gladdings bungalow which took me past the bowling green and then pasat the allotments.

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