We can find out about Glasgow’s First World War allotments from the minutes of the City of Glasgow Corporation meetings held during the First World War. Here are some of the entries:
12th October 1915
Councillor George Smith appointed a special committee to discuss what was to be done about rising food costs.
18th April 1916
Consideration was given to the establishment of plots at Springburn.
31st October 1916
Councillor Wardley proposed setting up a committee to consider and report on the desirability of providing allotments in line with the Allotments (Scotland) Act, 1892.
17th November 1916
Glasgow Green, Springburn Park, Ruchill Park and Queen’s Park were inspected for suitability for poultry and vegetables.
24th November 1916
Fifteen acres were laid out for allotments in Tollcross Park. A model plot was maintained for those holders who were unacquainted with useful vegetables other than potatoes and cabbage.
8th January 1917
The committee agreed to create 8.5 acres of allotments at Prospecthill, 13 acres at Newlands Park, 15 acres at Bellahouston, 6 acres at Tollcross Park and 7 acres at Plantation Park. A review of the plots already in operation revealed that they were generally well managed. Problems included the ‘lazy bed’ system of growing potatoes, throwing stones onto footpaths, depositing weeds and rubbish anywhere rather than in designated locations, and the untidy appearance of some plots.
15th January 1917
It was agreed to expand the plots available beyond the areas already provided as long as costs came to no more than £1000.
17th January 1917
The owner of ground at Broomhill was to be notified that the Council would take possession of his land for allotments.
26th January 1917
It was agreed allotments would be created at Victoria Park, Alexandra Park, the hospitals and Kennyhill. The Corporation would also take possession of 15 acres of ground in Shettleston.
7th February 1917
Three acres of ground at Strathcona Road, Temple, was gifted to be used for growing vegetables.
12th February 1917
There were to be 8.5 acres of allotments in Queen’s Park, 1 acre in Springburn Park and 2 acres in Victoria Park. The Water Committee agreed to provide land in Cockmuir and Springburn.
20th March 1917
Glasgow Corporation received a protest letter from the Scottish Sabbath Protection Association regarding the working of allotments on the Sabbath.
28th March 1917
Plots were to be laid out in Rowallan Gardens, Regent Park, Todd Street (Dennistoun), Hamiltonhill, Possilpark and Riverford Road (Pollokshaws).
4th April 1917
It was decided to take possession of ground for cultivation at Todd Street (Dennistoun) and Marlborough Avenue (High Belvedere).
9th May 1917
There had been complaints about trespassers on allotments in various districts of the city. The solution for this problem was to notify local headmasters and ask them to provide boys, within their respective areas, to guard the plots. They would be given badges and armlets by the Corporation.
16th May 1917
Requests were made for a water supply for Queen’s Park and Glasgow Green. There was also a request for tool sheds and latrines.
1st June 1917
It was agreed that a water supply would be provided. However, plotholders would ONLY be allowed to use it for one hour each evening.
27th August 1917
A request was received for the supply of stable manure.
4th October 1917
Councillor Nicol (Calton) wished to facilitate the acquiring and leasing of fields or other suitable lands within the city or in adjoining districts outwith the city boundaries. These would be let to ‘persons of the industrial and labouring classes, which are ratepayers in the city, for the purpose of cultivating vegetables and other produce for their family use.’
15th January 1918
WATERING: ‘This question demands a few pointed remarks. Some plotholders seem obsessed with the idea that no crops can be grown without artificial watering. If ever there was a case in which this theory was disproved it was in regard to the plots in question. This year…to see men watering potatoes when rain was falling, as was observed on several occasions, makes one question their sanity and right to hold a plot.’