Volunteers Make A Difference In Bolsover
The map below shows how New Bolsover’s allotment gardens were originally more extensive. In their heyday During World War 1 there were allotments at three separate locations (highlighted in yellow) around the perimeter of New Bolsover. By tracking the changes on OS maps it is possible to see that by 1938, Bolsover’s former swimming baths had been built on allotments at the foot of Castle Lane. By 1962 a playground (now Vale Park) had been created on allotments opposite Bainbridge Hall, school playing fields added to what is now New Bolsover Primary School, and football pitches marked out behind at what is now Castle Leisure Park.
When New Bolsover Model Village was first built each household was guaranteed an allotment, plus access to a community farm and piggery. In 1895 the Bolsover Colliery Company had its first horticultural show at the former Bolsover Colliery Schools on the western edge of the Green. The Derbyshire Times newspaper reported impressive displays of carnations, picotees, roses and phlox. Giant melons, leeks and tomatoes were also highly praised. In the evening, Music Hall variety entertainment took place in the Village Hall, including a brass band, comedians, singers and a female impersonator. In 1898 the Derbyshire Times reported the broader Bolsover Floral and Horticultural Society having its 47th annual show in Bolsover Castle’s grounds. Special categories were created for New Bolsover residents’ exhibits – “Bolsover Colliery Company Allotments” and “Bolsover Colliery Company Front Gardens”.
In 1913 a Derbyshire Times article mentioned allotments being a standard size of 600 square yards, rented for 4 shillings per year.
In February 2017 the Pumpkin Patch project began, a community initiative which is part of the refurbishment of New Bolsover. We have been loaned two allotments free of charge for 2 years by Old Bolsover Town Council, with the possibility of a third allotment to use as an orchard. We began by clearing the site of brambles which had towered above our heads, with additional help from Community Payback. We have discovered a large quantity of “Byron” bricks on the site, which we have begun to use for paths between mini-allotment plots. We have a small pond, and compost toilets made and donated by Woodhead Construction apprentices. We have had donations of various goodies by the local community – trees, plants, plant pots, equipment and tools.
Each month we have an outdoor skills open event which has so far taught participants how to make wooden mallets, to start a bonfire without matches, to plant seeds and to cook outdoors. We hope soon to take part in social prescribing so that people with long-term health conditions and disabilities can use the space in a therapeutic way for gardening, exercise and a peaceful place to enjoy local wildlife and fresh air. Recent weather, combined with our own tilling of the soil, has given weeds an unintended boost, but we have still been able to grow courgettes, leeks, beetroot, cabbages, French beans, lettuce, rhubarb, onions and herbs in our first season. We have sampled apple, blackberry and elderberry crumble from the fruit already growing around the site, and we have been adopted by a local wandering chicken!
If you would like to get involved in the Pumpkin Patch, please contact us:
Contacts: Wendy | Elsa
Tel: Elsa on 07546 903509 (Thurs – Fri)
133 New Bolsover,
The Community House,
Social Media: Facebook
Address: (Head Office)
Community and Voluntary Partners (CVP),
Tangent Business Hub,
Tel: 01623 749730