Thursday, 2 June 2016

Mikron Theatre's latest performance 'Pure', at Scarcroft Allotments

We are over-the-moon to once again welcome Mikron Theatre to Scarcroft Allotments for the fifth time...
And even better - linking in with York's chocolate heritage, they will be performing the premiere of their latest production, 'Pure, The Business of Chocolate'. If you haven't yet seen Mikron's unique story telling, witty performances then this is a must; and if you have, well we're confident that this latest offering will tickle your taste buds just as before.

Tuesday 7th June at 7pm on the green triangle, Scarcroft Allotments.
No tickets required. Cash collection to be taken after the show

Gardener's Question Time review

The recording of BBC Radio 4's Gardener's Question Time at Clements Hall on Monday 18th April proved to be as entertaining and informative as any gardener could wish for. The buzz of anticipation was apparent as we queued up outside the venue early that evening - sharing the wording of our questions and pondering upon whom may be on the panel to answer those who were lucky enough (and brave) to be selected. It was a full house, all tickets sold out within 48 hours of going on sale the previous week, the audience was keen...

Yet, the backstory of how we came to this point will not be known by many. It was more than three years ago that committee member, Sarah Austin first proposed the Association put in an application to the BBC. So together the committee put their collective heads together and duly submitted one. Nothing was heard and it was assumed we had been unsuccessful... that is until the Beeb phoned Graham Sanderson (Chair) just 4 weeks prior to the proposed recording date. Emails flew in all directions... could we deliver in such a short time frame? After meeting with Linda Speidel, manager of Clements Hall, it was clear everyone was on board and keen to proceed. After a successful sound check by the BBC's technical crew we were given the green light... the cat was out of the bag and the horse was running (or is it the other way round?) Tickets went on sale and the rest is history. Our heartfelt thanks are due to Judith and her team at Clements Hall for taking up this unexpected challenge and tackling it so brilliantly and with such enthusiasm. Thanks are also due to Scarcroft School for the loan of their staging, and to all other individuals whose contributions made this event proceed so smoothly.

So what of the recording...?
The questions from ten intrepid participants were selected, and they were duly seated along the front row. The scene was set, the producer had done his warm-up act, and the panel was introduced...

Chaired by Eric Robson, the panel comprised, Matthew Wilson, Christine Walkden and Bob Flowerdew, each tackling the questions, 'discussing the purposes and positives of show gardens and advising on how to get the most out of supermarket herbs. They also recommend climbing plants fit for adorning a child's climbing frame and unusual plants to put in raised planters' ( To hear all questions and answers, the airing of the programme can still be heard here on BBC iplayer.

The recording also provided an interesting insight into how the programme itself was constructed. There was the occassional break in questions for the chair, Eric Robson to say specific pieces, such as his link to the recording made at York Minster earlier that day, as well as the re-recording of brief pieces of speaking.

The airing of the programme took place on 29th April. It was only through listening to it that everything fell into place, including the significance of making a recording in York. For we learned that the concept and design of Matthew Wilson's garden at Chelsea Flower show was inspired by the Minster's medieval Great East Window, and is titled, 'God's Own County - A Garden For Yorkshire'.

To sum up, it was a memorable evening's entertainment born out of a tiny seed planted three years previously, that was well nurtured to the point of harvest, and then supported and consumed by our city wide gardening community.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Bouncing in to Spring with a whole lot of news

The newsletter sums it up! What a week of news, and what a lot of dates to put in your diaries...
Look out for follow-up information on many of these events.
You may also wish to follow us on Facebook
Look forward to seeing you soon! 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Pumpkins Galore!

With pumpkin season well under way this is a timely reminder of an Allotment Pumpkin Challenge organised by the City of York Council. If you believe your pumpkins have what it takes, then why not pick up the gauntlet and get in touch with Darren Lovatt the council's Allotment Officer and register your interest. Judging takes place on 1st November, so don't delay...

The photo below shows an impressive display of pumpkins laid out and hardening off at our local Brunswick organic nursery in Bishopthorpe. To see them in the flesh why not pop along to their 'Pumpple Festival' this Sunday 26th October, when they will be celebrating all things 'pumpkintastic' and 'applicious'. How can you not resist!!!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Cycling & Allotments

There can be few people in Yorkshire not looking forward to next years Tour de France Grand Depart. It's going to be quite some party! Those lucky cyclists and visitors are going to be sampling some of the best countryside and hospitality in the country... or indeed the World. 

According to the Lonely Planet travel guides for 2014, Yorkshire has been named as the third top global region to visit! And we can't argue with that...

Here in York, Stage 2 of Le Grand Depart begins just across the road from our Hospital Fields and Scarcroft allotment sites before heading into the city along Bishopthorpe Road. Check out the official route and zoom in for more detail...

Continuing the cycling theme, we're pleased to announce that the Hob Moor allotment site now also has 2 cycle stands. These have been provided for free by the lovely people at Parkthatbike

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

2014 Calendar

It's at the printers and will soon be on sale! 

Here's a sneak preview of our 2014 Calendar and it's looking great with thanks to all those who contributed photos to this community project. It will be on sale in the allotment shop by the end of the month priced £5 (what a splendid Christmas gift!!) 

Once again we're fortunate to be supported by our fabulous local businesses: Pextons, Frankie and Johnny's & The Good Food Shop all on Bishopthorpe Road, who will also be selling the calendar for us.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Member's photographs

Here are just a few photos taken by members of the association.  If you'd like to email in any of your pictures that would be great! It's always nice to see what's going on elsewhere - a bit like peering over the garden wall!

If we receive enough photos we will once again be compiling an association calendar 2014 
Please email your pics to:

Sarah Austin
Iris Wells
Eric Leadley

Sally Hayes

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Bee safari review

Saturday afternoon saw an intrepid & elite group of wildlife stalkers do battle with heat and flies as they traipsed through Scarcroft allotments on a quest to discover more about the local bee population. Alison Reboul of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust courageously led the troup on the safari pointing out nest sites and identifying different types of bumblebee along the way. Unlike the honey bee, the greatest threat to a bumblebee's survival is the loss of habitat. It was therefore of particular interest which flowers were the most beneficial and what sort of conditions encourage nesting. 

The afternoon proved to be really interesting and informative, as well as a great way to relax and take time out from all the other allotment jobs. To round off the afternoon, there was a choice of four different types of honey cake and biscuits, all washed down with home made redcurrant syrup!

For more information on the Bumblebee Conservation Trust please see the following link:

Identifying a bumblebee 
Honey bees on borage
Honey bee hive
(apparently full of honey!)
Bumblebee on roses
Bumblebees on lavender

Friday, 19 July 2013

Cycle stands!

Four new cycle stands have been installed by volunteers on the Scarcroft allotment site... and they look great! 

There has long been a desperate need for this provision, with cycles being locked to bits of fencing, drain pipes, gates etc. Happily cyclists can now confidently secure their bikes whilst visiting their plots or the allotment shop. The stands are spaced to accommodate panniers and trailers and it is hoped that they will encourage even more people to cycle to Scarcroft.

On the occasions when you do need to bring a vehicle to the site then there are still 6 generous parking spaces for cars and vans.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Wildlife Event

Well, this hot weather is certainly producing some very fragrant flowers in the allotment and garden. So what better time is there to do a spot of bumble and honey bee investigating? 
... And whilst we're talking wildlife, what about checking out some pond life too? Dragon and Mayflies, pond skaters, newts, water snails... 

Come along to Scarcroft Allotment's shop on Saturday 20th July at 3.30pm to wander the site with Sara Robin of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Bumblebee Conservation Trust volunteer, Alison Reboul. Finish the afternoon off relaxing in the sun with a cup of tea and honey cake on the green triangle. 

(All contributions of cake and biscuits gratefully received)

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Surveying buried remains!

Here is a great opportunity to help discover what exactly is below the turf of the green triangle at Scarcroft allotments.

We walk and barrow over it, picnic upon it, meet at it, are entertained upon it, cycle through it, play music upon it, sit in its sunshine...
...But has it always been used this way?

Hannah Baxter of YAT and its Plotting the Past project is returning to Scarcroft to conduct a geophysical survey of the green triangle. If you're interested in being involved with this event just turn up: 
Friday 16th August 10am - 4pm

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Growing for little'uns

Planet Southbank is putting on a FREE event for little pre-school growers and their parents/carers.

If you have any spare seedlings to contribute to this community venture then please drop them off at the allotment shop this weekend (15th / 16th June) where they will be gratefully received. 

See Planet Southbank's website for more information:

Friday, 7 June 2013

Bootham Stray Allotments Open Day

Open Day at Bootham Stray Allotments 
Sunday 23rd June
12.00pm - 2.00pm 

In July 2011 Bootham Stray Allotments Association were awarded a £50,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund, to rejuvenate the allotments and create a community area. 

As the project is now drawing to a close they would like to take the opportunity to invite members of the allotment and gardening community  to an Open Day. There will be a display showing how the project has changed the site, with people available to talk through the application process should anyone be interested in applying for a grant themselves. 

There will also be activities and stalls to keep the whole family entertained: 
Tombola & raffle
Cakes & refreshments
Face painting & scarecrow making

For more information about Bootham Stray Allotments Association and how to find them please follow link

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Mikron Theatre, 'Beyond The Veil' review

The scene on the Scarcroft allotment green at 7pm on Wednesday 29th was reminiscent of a typical British summer festival. An audience of around 60 people wrapped up in blankets and waterproofs, sheltered under a large canopy of eight gazebos, whilst the sky progressively darkened with the promise of more rain. And then the four actors of Mikron Theatre began their opening song and we knew that whatever the weather that evening, we were in for a real treat. 

Mikron provided a skillful mix of wit, music, racy narrative and larger than life characters, in their telling of the murder of April May, a plot holder and bee keeper on Thistledale allotments. Detective Starkey, wearing trenchcoat and trilby, was responsible for solving this mystery, yet there was, "Something about this crazy case about as likely as a heatwave in Hull".

The play was set within the wider context of bee keeping, and so we were informed of the different lives of queen, worker and drone bees. In this respect a definite highlight was the song of the Drone Bee which had us all giggling and laughing over the top of the now steady rain drumming on the canvas above us.

Needless to say the mystery was solved at the end of an excellent evening's entertainment. And the rain did stop, just long enough to take down the gazebos and pack everything away. We now eagerly await 17th September when Mikron returns to York performing, 'Don't shoot the Messenger' at Clements Hall.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Mikron Theatre performance 'Beyond the Veil'

News of the eagerly anticipated return performance by the fantastic Mikron Theatre touring company. Scarcroft allotments is over the moon to be playing host to their latest production, 'Beyond the Veil' on Wednesday 29th May at 7.00pm

You may like to bring a chair and picnic for the event (refreshments will also be available)
And a collection will be taken after the performance
Any questions or offers of help please contact organiser Willy Hoedeman (details below)

To find out more about the Mikron Theatre group, you may like to check out their website

DCI Mark Starkey thinks he’s got a quiet patch in sleepy Thistledale, but all that is about to change dramatically when there’s a sudden, unnatural death on the local allotment…
The grisly discovery down by the beehives is only the beginning for Detective Starkey. To unmask the murderer he must first uncover an altogether less savoury side of life in Thistledale; the bitter grudges, thwarted passions and murky pasts.
And then there are the bees.
The life of the honeybee might be described as one of great sweetness and harmony, punctuated by sudden, desperate, acts of violence. The same could be said for Thistledale.
Detective Starkey soon realises that the more he knows about bees, the closer he gets to the killer!