Theft! The Plot, Sometimes, Sickens!

Our pears have been stolen!

There; it has been written!

A shameful, cowardly act by person or persons unknown.

A Doyenne du Comice tree we bought from Lidl five years ago that has been producing reasonable crops of sweet tasting, melt-in-the-mouth dessert pears ever since was absolutely loaded …

Image result for doyenne du comice pear

… and we were looking forward to gathering them in and sharing them with family and friends. Near enough sixty pears hanging there like decorations – taken!

Brutal, ugly act! Thieves!

I hesitate to use the more rural, rascally terms “scrumped” and “scrumpers” which in my mind refer to small scale, prankish taking of a few fruit – by schoolboys, typically or cheeky drunks.

Image result for scrumping

But, the true damage done by such an act goes far beyond the actual loss. For it makes the victim immediately suspicious. The allotment, in this case is private property, accessed through locked gates (members atre the only ones with keys). Does this make it an inside job? Could it have been So-and-So, up the middle road? Or what about … ?

What about the noisy lads from the house next-door, whose father is attempting to annexe the allotment hedgerow, even though it is beyond an eight foot fence he had erected some years ago – and nearly destroyed said hedge into the bargain. They have been hanging over the top of the fence a lot recently, and their football came over once (“never heard that one before,”).

Or … ?

I reported the missing pears to the Chairman. His reaction, while sympathetic, was to say that others had had fruit go missing too. In fact, he told me, by his (Conference) pear tree there was a indeed pear on the ground with a bite mark in it: suggesting that somebody had checked to see whether his fruit were ripe.

Now I don’t expect a lot, but I would have thought that, at the very least there would be notices put up on the site notice boards warning people to be on their guard; maybe suggesting getting fruit in as soon as ripe.

This committee? Not a sausage! I mean it’s not like I was expecting CSI Allotment teams to descend, measure the bite mark, take statements and measure jaws is it?

My first – and extremely paranoid – reaction was to load up and take home the pumpkins. They looked just too damned tempting. And Hallowe’en is creeping up on us, right? Pumpkins stolen to order: OK, maybe my imagination was getting ahead of me. But anyway, with foliage dying off they were ready to bring home: the autumn ritual, waiting for delivery to our daughters for carving and on their way to what is usually a starring role both on October 31st and at the November 5th family bonfire.

Next obvious target the loaded apple trees: Bramley Seedling, Cox’s Orange Pippin, James Grieve and an anonymous tree that came, anonymously from a supermarket.

Then off to the local Sainsbury’s to get some of those custom made, extra-stiff cardboard boxes and fillers they have their apples delivered in. What could be better for storing apples after all?

I am sure that in the past I have seen such boxes by the check-out tills available for customers to use to carry their shopping in. Alas, alack; not today; only sadly ripped, still- colourful boxes that once held bottles of wine.

The Plantation Owner’s Wife, unlike me however, is determined. She asks one of the members of staff that she knows. A decent guy usually, on this occasion he cannot help, saying that the boxes are taken out to the back and baled up for recycling. Company policy. He says it flatly, (like it’s some kind of Animal Farm regulation). Re-cycling: while this is good and commendable practice it is not what we want to hear. And me? Feeling downcast as if faced by Mighty Corporation Will I am prepared to accept it (though no doubt I’ll mutter darkly about it later). However, not to be put off by this small setback the Plantation owner’s Wife glides off to the fruit aisles and asks another member of staff. A lady who is, as we approach – me very definitely in the discreet background, and looking somewhere else – rearranging the tangerines in the displays.

Once the whole idea has been explained this lady could not have been more helpful. Expertly she empties layers of apples into new boxes and lifts out three deeper apple boxes for us, complete with fillers while I am grabbing an orange box. This is real service – and I am cheered and refreshed by it: my thanks to this lady (who should remain anonymous, not least because we didn’t get her name).

Back at home the apples are sorted, efficiently packed and, once they are made-to-measure built, stacked on the shelves.


5 responses to this post.

  1. 😦 I would suggest getting one of those wildlife cameras to keep watch on your soft fruit, but somebody would probably nick it …


  2. Sorry to say this is a regular occurrence at my allotment . My pumpkins where picked and loaded up a couple of weeks ago. Apples, pears, pumpkins plums all easy targets . I would lean toward an inside job. 🙄


    • There have been a few incidents on our site but, until this rash of thefts, nothing recently.
      I was a little shocked that the committee was not pro-active; in the past once someone has reported theft notes go up on the notice board and everyone can be more vigilant.
      I am sorry to hear about the state of affairs on your plot.
      Hopefully the offender will get his (or her just desserts) and the community can move on here.


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