Glasgow Corporation agreed to lay out an allotment site in Victoria Park on 17th January 1917, and in February it expanded to take in another two acres of ground north of the Fossil Grove. By 1918, there were 225 plots in Victoria Park.
After the war, the future of Victoria Park Allotments was in doubt for a time. In July 1919, the Corporation decided to close the plots but by October they had changed their minds and extended the plotholders’ lets until December 1920. Towards the end of 1920, the Corporation approached the railway companies to see if they could give land to the Victoria Park plotholders, but as they couldn’t the leases were extended once again.
In September 1921, the Corporation decided that the number of plots in Victoria Park should be reduced from 225 to 115 to make room for tennis courts and open space, even though all 225 plots were let. Plotholders objected and wrote to the Corporation asking not to be evicted. Again the Corporation agreed to extend leases to 1922 where plots were not ‘urgently required’, showing some level of empathy, but by September 1922 the number of plots had been reduced to 102.
Movers and Shakers
By 1923, only 80 plots remained. In 1925 the site was relocated to a new site in Scotstoun, on land owned by the Sewage Department. Forty of the 70 plotholders moved and kept the name Victoria Park, which maintained continuity despite the change.
In 1934, Victoria Park experienced a bit of drama when 50 Canadian bullocks stampeded from Merkland Wharf and trampled the allotments! They also delayed the trains and were found paddling in the park’s pond.
Award Winning Plotholders
There is then little about Victoria Park in the Corporation minutes until 1969, when plotholder James McKinnon won third prize in the St Mungo competition for best plot in Glasgow. The following year, McKinnon took the first prize and in 1971 he took third prize again with another Victoria Park plotholder, R Gillepsie, coming in fourth. In 1972 McKinnon was back to the top with first prize.
Further information about Victoria Park can be found on the Glasgow Allotments Heritage Website – http://gah.org.uk/Allotments/VictoriaPark.aspx