This page is a tribute to Trevor Taylor, Honorary President of the Society. He passed away in September 2018, having had an association with allotments of over 50 years at local and national level. We will add snippets about Trevor and his allotment activities to this page from time to time, largely drawn from the extensive allotment-related papers he compiled and kept over the years.
His burial took place at the Woodland Burial Ground, Barton on Tuesday, 9th October.
Trevor Taylor was our Honorary President, and The Vinery Road “Trevor Taylor Pavilion” is named in his honour. In addition to 40 years’ service to Burnside & Vinery as secretary and treasurer, Trevor was also NSALG treasurer and East Anglia rep for some years. He developed a brain tumour in 2010 but recovered sufficiently to carry on attending committee meetings until about 2012.
Trevor instigated many of the things that we take for granted today, such as the Kings Seed orders and yearly BBQs, and he was a key contributor to the campaign to maintain allotments in the 1980s, when their future was in doubt. Trevor was a true character, with his love of Jazz, red wine and cricket, and his dry witty banter. RIP.
On Friday 3rd February 2017 Andy K and Joan from the committee met up with Trevor Taylor, our Honorary President, for a catch up at the Royal Standard on Mill Road. Trevor walked from his home (albeit with the aid of a walker), took little persuasion to partake in a couple of glasses of red wine, enjoyed a fish lunch and regretted not bringing a cigar! The conversation ranged widely. Non-allotment matters included Trevor’s ongoing love of jazz. Allotment matters included the annual seed buying scheme with King’s, which Trevor set up, even though the committee of the time were not in favour of the idea: it would be interesting to work out how much money the scheme has made for the Society over the years and how much members have saved on the cost of seeds.
Although few, if any, will remember that far back, most of the AGMs took place at the Royal Standard in the 1980s (as witness Trevor’s minutes, painstakingly written out by hand for many years). 1990s AGMs were mostly held at The Grasshopper nearby, although that no longer exists. We discovered that the Burnside site used to be referred to as the Perne Road site, as it was of course very much bigger once upon a time. And it was largely Trevor’s hard fought negotiation with the Council which prevented the Vinery Road site from losing much more land than it did to the building of St Philip’s School in 1984.
We also talked about the ‘Weeder’s Digest’ that Trevor produced periodically – if anyone still has copies of this it would be great to see them. The hints and tips section of our new website is now named ‘Weeder’s Digest’ (in Trevor’s honour and with his permission!) and we will also use his cookery section title ‘From Plot to Pot’ (again, with his permission) for recipes on the website.
For many years, Trevor Taylor produced a regular allotment newsletter called Weeder’s Digest, which usually included growing tips, general allotment news and recipes.
Click here for an edition dating from 2003 which outlines the building of the Vinery Pavilion.
Click here for an edition dating from 2011. It was produced with assistance from Andy Kurdynowski. As you can see, the issues under discussion don’t change much!
Trevor was active on behalf of not only Burnside & Vinery and the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners but also the Cambridge Central Council of Allotment Societies. CCCAS exists partly to protect Cambridge allotment societies from the ever-present threat from developers. Trevor attended many CCCAS annual dinners from the 1960s to the 1980s.
This cartoon of an allotment holder dreaming of the perfect shed is taken from the cover of the menu for the 1986 dinner, at which Trevor, as Hon Sec of CCCAS, proposed the toast to NSALG.