Well, here we are 2 years down the line and an update I think is now called for. Through the hard work of my wife and myself our plot is now looking something like a proper allotment, it is far from being the finished article that I wanted it to be but at least someone can move onto there tomorrow and start growing something.
Yes, I've decided I'm going to trade that plot for one which has recently been vacated. In spite of all the hard work of putting up the fence, making beds out of compacted and poor conditioned soil, making raised beds and cutting terraces into the slope that my plot is situated on, putting up two greenhouses and a shed and putting compost bins in place, having had successes and some failures, I'm prepared to take on another (although this time a much) lesser neglected plot.
I have selfish reasons for doing so, it's a flat plot, it is on the main pathway in from the entrance and it has a dilapidated potting shed and combined greenhouse that although a health and safety hazard and should carry a danger of collapse warning attached to it, I covet.
So to pastures new, I'm moving from the bottom of the hill to the top, five plots between my new and what will become my "old" one so I'll be able to keep a close eye on how that one continues to hopefully take shape.
Many other things are different now too, North Tyneside completed and published their "Allotment Strategy" last year and have started implementing some of the recommendations. My relationship with the Allotment Officer is on a much better footing and I now understand the problems he faced and indeed continues to face.
So the poacher has turned gamekeeper as I've agreed to become the "Lettings Rep" for the site. I've had a couple of very informative talks with "the boss" and have had a very productive walk around whereby we managed to agree on areas of neglect amongst other general problems of outdated signage, fly tipping and dumping, security, pest control et al.
So there we have it a concise update with only one more thing to add -
I won't apologise for my initial thoughts and postings on this thread, they where the thoughts and feelings I had at the time. 2 years down the line and I can honestly say they wouldn't be the postings I would make today, I've had a little insight into things, I've now seen how things work and met the person who tries to keep it all together, from having a perception of someone dodging responsibility and not caring I can now see I was well wide of the mark and that the opposite was in fact true.