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Sheila's family pose outside the allotment shed
a day on the river from Mr.Brown's Boathouse and then had a picnic in the meadow amongst the cows. I'm sure many Brightonians will remember those happy days!

Most people worked quite long hours in those days, but he went up to the allotment most weekends, and in the summer it was almost like our little summer residence. We didn't sleep there, but it was a day out.

In the summer we used to have our Sunday dinner at the allotment. In the mornings, all the stuff that we needed like the meat was wrapped up and loaded onto my fa ther's bike and we all walked up to the allotment. Dad picked the vegetables to cook for dinner and somehow my mum managed to cook using two saucepans on two primus stoves.

While she was cooking my dad would go down to the Hollingbury Pub, where he was captain of the darts team. It was so different then, women didn't ask `why am I cooking the dinner while you're going down the pub?', it was just an accepted thing. In those days women didn't put their trousers and boots on and get digging, I never saw my mother with a fork, she might pick a few peas, and possibly a little bit of weeding but that was it.

We had a little cupboard in the hut where we kept the plates and a washing up bowl. After dinner my mum would wash up, while my dad would sit and have a fag and then get on with some more gardening. That was our Sunday day out.

In the autumn we used to go early on a Sunday morning to the Hollingbury and Burstead woods to collect beech leaves. We'd load up his bike with sacks and I sat on top of them, then he used to fry us bacon in the allotment hut when he got back.

Every Autumn we sweep up and collect the leaves on the allotment and along the alleyway in front of the site. We put them all in a big wire mesh bin. A year later they've rotted down and become an excellent soil conditioner.

   

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