Anthony Smith has kindly shared this photo of his grandfather, Nickodemus Kakta.
It was taken in May 1941 on the family’s allotment at the bottom row of Bairds Raws, Low Blantyre. The corrugated sheeting was the fence around Blantyre Celtic football ground,near the stand.
While numbers of allotments fell in the 1920s and 1930s, following an increase to 1,400,000 during World War II there were still around 1,117,000 plots in 1948. Allotments were more popular than ever during WW2 years as people followed government directives to “grow their own” and “Dig for Victory”.
This number in the UK has been in decline since then, falling to 600,000 by the late 1960s and 300,000 by 2009. What amazes me in such photos is that miners found any time to work hard in their own spare time on such projects and clearly for many it was a necessity rather than any sort of leisure pursuit.
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