A Brief History
Manor Gardening Society was created in the 1920s on a small spit of land between Channelsea River and the tidal River Lea. The Eastway Allotments, Hackney Wick, were created by Major Arthur Villiers, a philanthropic Etonian banker who sought to make provision in the area for the local poor. The site was tenanted by local families and those that worked in local businesses providing exercise, healthy food and a social meeting place for local communities.
The site was the last remaining allotment site in the area in 2007 when the winning of the bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games meant that entire the area had to be vacated. After unsuccessfully arguing to retain the allotments as part of the 2102 Olympic Park, all tenants were evicted in late 2007. Despite being individually compensated by the Authorities at the time Tenants felt bereft at losing this much-loved site, its removal from the landscape being described as ‘an act of vandalism’. The Tenants were keen to move back onto the Olympic Park, thus re-instating the Villiers legacy. The Society was moved to a small temporary site in Marsh Lane Fields a couple of miles away.
The new site at Pudding Mill is occupied by some of the original gardeners from Eastway allotments and was delivered to fulfil the promise made by the Olympic Authorities to return the Society to the Park.