The Freemen's Allotment Lands
The Burgesses are guardians of a plot of land in the Coton Fields area of the town, where for many years, tenancy of an allotment has been one of the rights of the Burgesses. At one time this was a very valuable privilege, as it could provide a person with sufficient land to feed his family, at least as far as fruit and vegetables were concerned. He would also be able to sell, or barter, any excess produce to obtain other needs.
The current allotment area is considerably less than it used to be, with much of the new building east of Sandon Road being on former Freemen's Land, annexed by Stafford Borough Council in the mid 20th century. Moves in the 1990s to dispose of the remaining land met fierce opposition from the Burgesses and, following the creation of a large number of new Freemen, the situation concerning the rights and responsibilities of the Trustees was rectified and clarified.
The allotments are now run by a dozen Burgesses, who are appointed as trustees at an annual meeting, usually chaired by the Mayor of Stafford. All Sworn Burgesses are entitled to attend and vote. They receive reports on the State of the allotments and the work of the trustees during the previous 12 months.
The Minutes of recent Annual Meetings can be seen by clicking here.
The Current Trustees are listed below:
The Web site for the Coton Fields Allotments - the major asset of Stafford Burgesses is http://www.cotonfieldsallotments.co.uk
During the period 2003-2004 a Working group was established to oversee the Regeneration of the Allotments, which were becoming overgrown and poorly used. This group has made significant progress recently, with many improvements effected or scheduled. The group is a joint effort by Gardeners, Trustees, Burgesses and other interested parties. This culminated in the establishment of a management committee to oversee the day to day administration of the site.
The chairman of the management committee, Mr Derek Hill, was invited to attend the trustees' meetings and liaison was excellent until mid 2011,when the committee encountered various personality and administrative problems. At that point, Mr Hill resigned and the committee was disbanded, returning the administration of the allotments to the trust.
The Allotments Association is a corporate group of gardeners who provide services to gardeners and run the "Association Shed" o the site.
Details of the work of the Allotments Association, together with information for tenants, are given in a publication called:
"The Coton Fielder"
Click the title to view the latest issue.
Nowadays, as not all the plots
are needed for the use of burgesses, many are let to non-burgess gardeners and
anyone desiring a plot
is encouraged to contact the Site Administrator on 07709 888007