Vegetable Plots

plots photo

Cabbage patches and vandals’ plots

CRITIC’ CHOICE **

Affectionate chronicle of life and friendly rivalry among the allotment holders of Ponders End, in North-East London, rather reminiscent of John Pitman’s recent 40 Minutes contribution about a ten­nis club in such parts but — as so often from this rival series — managing to happen on a chapter of real-life drama.

The allotments are a survival from more spacious and more rural times, quite like a bit of the old coun­tryside. You can hardly hear the traffic, and some people have turned their garden sheds into little homes from home. Unfortunately, the area is also a tempting one for vandals. The club house, an ex-army hut, has been broken into three times in five weeks, and the organ has been stolen as well as all the bot­tles of spirits which regularly go.

Never mind, it’s good growing weather and Tony Defalco is hoping to win the Autumn Show Cup for the fourth time. His main rival, policeman Dave Powell, is equally optimistic despite the distraction of being the show organiser. Unknown to either of them, London Transport worker Bill Haydes is secretly nursing along the biggest cabbages ever grown in Ponders End.

All have their triumphs on the day, but before the presentation of the cups can take place a week later the vandals strike again: the club house is all but burned down. Is this the end of something nice?