A grant of £69,700 has been awarded to a local project examining the history of allotments in Surbiton and Tolworth, The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced.
The project will investigate the significant role allotments have played in the local community from 1900-2000.
It will explore how allotments expanded in 1914 when the outbreak of the First World War meant more British families needed to grow their own food.
The project will also investigate how local residents used these allotments during the Second World War when rationing seriously restricted the amount of food families could buy.
The head of the HLF Stuart Hobley said: “Allotments form an important and fascinating part of London’s social history, from World War One food campaigns to the ideals of The Good Life.
“I hope everyone involved will enjoy the joy of sheds and that this fascinating, creative project, funded by lottery players will be a blooming success.”
Despite a decline in allotment usage over the decades, they still remain an important recreational activity for many individuals and community groups, including the Addison Gardens Allotment Association and the Tolworth Allotments Society.
The Lottery windfall will go directly to The Community Brain, a local community group which aims to improve social cohesion within Kingston and the surrounding area.
The Community Brain has organised many annual local events, including Surbiton ski Sunday and the freshwater sardine festival.
Director of The Community Brain Robin Hutchinson stated: “We are thrilled to have received this support from The Heritage Lottery Fund which will allow us to explore the history of growing in our area and understand the changing dynamics of allotments, sheds and uses of land.”
*This story was originally published in December 2017*