A brief history
VERA was formed in 2003 to rescue the declining fortunes of the Vectis Road allotment site. The allotments however, have been around for much longer than that......

The allotment land was gifted to the residents of East Cowes by Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought Osborne and its estate from Lady Isabella Blachford in 1845.

The 19th century estate eventually totalled over 800 hectares and included numerous cottages and lodges for estate workers and members of the household.

The allotment site was originally part of Kingston Farm. Kingston derives it's name from the Anglo Saxon "Kings Tun" which means that the farm or "feorm" belonged to the royal manor and charged rent or "Tun" sufficient to lodge and board the king and his entourage for one night as they travelled around the Country dispensing justice and gifts, resolving disputes, and entertaining their nobles and visiting dignatires.

Old Kingston Cemetary was also part of Kingston Farm and was given to the people of East Cowes in 1876. It is thought, although we are still researching this, that the allotments were also gifted around this date.

The 1908 maps of East Cowes show the allotment gardens, as they were referred to at that time, covering an area of 6.595 acres, about twice their current size.

Over the intervening years, the allotments, for many reasons, went into decline and by 2003 were in a pretty poor state, a jungle of brambles and littered with fly-tipped junk. It is thanks to a few hardy souls, who formed the association that year determined to speed up the regeneration process, that the picture is very different today.The shed blocks have been restored and one of the sheds has recently been converted into a loo, a much appreciated luxury. You can now spend a day at the plot without using a convenient bush.

Thanks to a grant from the Dignatires and Tree Coucil, an avenue of young fruit trees has been planted down the central path through the site.

The allotments were obviously well maintained in the past as the town records show that Mr F.J. Searle of Gordan Villa, St Davids Road, "won a remission of a years rent" in the "Prize Scheme for Best Kept Council allotments" in the summer of 1956.VERA strives to maintain that tradition.