November 2014 update

Discover the progress made on the First World War allotment site during November 2014.

Sandra Eder, Southlands Road Allotment and Garden Association

Aerial view of the First World War allotment plot
Richard Bickell/Bromley Local Studies and Archives
The First World War allotment plot
Richard Bickell/Bromley Local Studies and Archives


Over the next couple of months we are planning the layout of the allotment. We want to show off as many varieties as possible on the open day so we will put a walkway through the middle of the plot. Paths would have been a luxury back in 1917 as every available piece of soil would have been used for planting.

Aerial photography

Earlier this year a photographer, Richard Bickell, used a drone camera to take aerial shots of the First World War allotment. You can clearly see where we have dug and where the manure has been spread.

First World War recipes

I am preparing a cookery booklet with recipes from various books written during the first world war, here’s an example:

Parsnip Marmalade

Parsnips are a root vegetable related to the  carrot family. They have been a staple food for centuries. Parsnips are not grown in warmer climates as they become sweeter after a sharp frost. Half the carbohydrates are sugar and the rest is starch. In roman times parsnips were believed to have been an aphrodisiac.


  • 2lb  washed and peeled parsnips
  • Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
  • 8ozs of sugar or 6ozs of sugar and 2 ozs of glucose


Slice the parsnips, place in boiling water and boil steadily for one hour

Strain off the water, and set aside half a pint.

Sieve or rice the parsnips, and return the half pint of water to the jam, along with the grated rind and juice of lemons and the sugar

Stir thoroughly until the sugar is dissolved; then add the parsnips and boil, stirring often, for thirty minutes.

Sandra from the Southlands Road Allotments and Gardens Association made this and was surprised how palatable it was.

Recipe from The Great War Cook Book by May Byron

If you try this recipe please email Sandra Eder and let her know how it turned out:

Did You Know?

During the First World War food wastage was prohibited, it was illegal to give bread to horses or chickens.

You could not buy another person a drink in a pub and the beer was watered down.



This page was added by Ian Grant on 02/02/2015.

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