The operation of the gates can sometimes be confusing to new plot holders. Hence, the blow-by-blow instructions below.
As you approach the gates to the allotments from Church Road, you will see that there are two locks on the outside of the gate. The one on the right is the property of the electricity company who require access to all parts of the substation which is situated to the right of the gates. We do not use that lock – so just ignore it. The allotment lock is the one on the left. It is usually hidden behind a piece of “wellie” which is simply there to protect it from the worst of the weather.
There is a metal stud with a hole in it on each gate. The shackle of the electricity company’s lock loops through the hole in the stud on the right-hand gate, while the shackle of the allotments’ lock loops through the one on the left when the gates are locked.
Finally, there is a small metal bar with a hole at either end which fit onto the metal studs. It straddles the two gates when they are in the locked position. The picture above shows the full arrangement of locks, studs and metal bar when the gates are in the locked position.
To open the gates:
- use your key to open the allotments’ lock on the left;
- pull the shackle out of the hole in the metal stud;
- pull the metal bar off the left-hand stud;
- pull the rod(s) out of the ground; and push the gates inwards.
The picture on the right shows the position after the lock has been opened, the shackle has been pulled out of the hole in the stud, and the metal bar has been taken off the stud on the left-hand gate.
To lock the gates:
- close them;
- push the rod(s) into the ground in their metal support holes;
- push the metal bar through the stud in the left-hand gate;
- loop the shackle of the lock through the hole in the metal stud on the left;
- snap the lock shut;
- and finally, ensure that the piece of “wellie” covers the allotment lock to protect it from the weather.
Getting Out If You are Locked In
There is a hole in each gate which is large enough to get your hand through. The above picture (taken from inside the allotments) shows the two gates, each with a hole. Take the following steps to get out:
- Put your hand through the hole in the right-hand gate and pull the lock round into the gap, as shown in the picture below left
- Use your key to unlock it
- Let go of the lock. The picture on the right below shows the position of the shackle when the lock is open. Now pull the shackle upwards to get it out of the hole in the metal stud.
- Put your hand through the hole in the left-hand gate, grasp the rod handle (which you can just about see in the picture above) and pull it upwards out of the ground. Keep hold of the rod handle and gently lean on the left-hand gate, pushing against it until the gate opens sufficiently for you to get out.