This is the story of my research into the history of New Springs Horticultural Society in Wigan. We have had an allotment here since we came to Wigan in 1990. We were effectively first time buyers with 4 children, and we had to move in a hurry. So the first house that we saw which we thought we could fit into, we put in an offer – it was a house with no garden, just a back yard. We were used to growing vegetables so we thought we would get an allotment. We approached the council, but there were none available. Then my dad was travelling back to Liverpool, and just happened to be sitting opposite the Chairman of the North West Allotment Association, who told him about New Springs Horticultural Society, who were a private association and might have a plot free. They did, we were offered one straight away and have been there ever since.
My research into the history of the society and the allotment site came from a chance conversation I had in January this year with the secretary, while paying my rent. “Are we the longest standing members yet?” I asked. He thought not, that there were a couple who had been on before us, but he didn`t know for certain as the records were in a mess. What he needed was someone to sort them out. “I could do that” I said, thinking it might be quite an interesting thing to do. So that`s how I came to be in possession of a large grey tin trunk full of books and papers in no particular order. And that was the beginning of my research journey.
So my journey began back in January, I am still journeying and I have been wondering what to do with my findings so far. Being realistic, I am not going to write an academic thesis, and there probably isn`t a market for a book. So I have been toying with the idea of a blog. The findings may interest some historians out there, and the process of the journey is fascinating in itself.