Ground-breaking: community heritage on Glasgow's allotments

Connelly, Hannah Victoria (2017) Ground-breaking: community heritage on Glasgow's allotments. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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In 1962, Reginald Ashley, the Secretary of the Scottish Allotments and Gardens Society, wrote that allotments are ‘the heritage of the tenement dweller’. He was writing at a time of great upheaval in the allotments movement; allotments had come under threat from post-war development and had largely lost their role in food production that had been vital during the Depression and both World Wars. In writing this statement, Ashley connected allotments to the idiosyncratic dwellings of Scottish city life; he made it clear that allotments are a part of, rather than an escape from, Scottish cities. For the Scottish Allotments and Gardens Society, allotments are not only there to grow food but they also improve the mental and physical health of tenement dwellers by providing them with their own outside space.

This thesis will explore the role of the allotment within the city, using Glasgow as the location of study. It will use archival research and oral history interviews to answer five core research questions: how has the purpose of an allotment changed and developed from 1930 to the present day; how has the allotment movement advocated for these changing purposes; what has been the role of allotments in sustainable food production; how have allotments developed as places of community; and, what do allotments mean to individual plotholders. Through answering these five questions, this thesis will argue that allotments have developed as places of both individuality and community, a paradox that is needed for the health and well-being of plotholders. It will conclude that allotments are an integral part of Scottish cities that need to be included in long-term urban planning, providing protected green spaces for plotholders, communities, plants and animals in otherwise changing and developing urban environments.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Allotments, gardening, green-space, heritage, urban planning, sustainability, community, Glasgow.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > History
College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Geography
Funder's Name: Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Supervisor's Name: Moskowitz, Dr. Marina and Lorimer, Prof. Hayden
Date of Award: 2017
Depositing User: Mrs Hannah Connelly
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-8521
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2017 16:22
Last Modified: 07 May 2024 11:17
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.8521
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