“Patchway, during the drought of 1976, and on the allotment in 2017”

Mr Bradford remembers coping with water restrictions around Patchway in the UK drought of 1976. He also describes how he grows produce on his modern-day allotment without the use of mains water.

Mr Bradford: 1976? I can remember that because I’m old enough. Water ban. Everything dry. No water. Nothing. Very careful. We used to store the water for at home, you know, in containers when they told us the water was coming on ’cause, when they came down the streets, in Patchway, they’d turn the water off. It was turned off about 3 or 4 hours a day. Mostly morning, giving you a chance to. They sent us round a letter, saying roughly what time it was going to be turned off and then when it was gonna be turned on. So you got all your saucepans out and everything else. One good thing, you didn’t have to have a bath. You could go about, dirty, and blame the environment for that.

When we come here, we’ve been here about 5 or 6 year and all these storage bins for water. We’ve got our own. We’ve got our own, round the corner. Almost everybody’s got one. That’s what helps us through the dry, now. It’s really dry, we don’t have to use the mains. Which we shouldn’t do, anyway, really but too many people use too much water. It’s not needed. I’ve planted quite a bit of stuff but it’s not growing, really. It’s stable, at the moment, thinking shall I go up? Shan’t I go up? It’s no good watering it because you’d have to have it 24 hours a day to have anything but then it’s too much. It’s too much. So I just let it go, up to nature. It’s only a hobby.


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