It was in 1892 that Tunbridge Wells Borough Council leased the Marlpits allotments site from the owner of the Dunorlan estate. With increasing demand during both World Wars, the site expanded and diminished, with the present size comprising nearly 300 plots of 5 or 10 rods.

In 1932 five plot-holders got together in the shade of the oak tree, still flourishing at the bottom of the site and now our familiar logo, to discuss the advantages of forming an association. Their plan succeeded and in 1933 the Hawkenbury Allotment Holders’ Association was formally established.


The advantages plot-holders have enjoyed are bulk- buying of supplies, a programme of summer outings and winter talks on matters horticultural and an annual produce show. What began as a simple produce show has developed into the HAHA Autumn Show, one of the major events of the Tunbridge Wells year. The Stores too have developed from a basic shed to the well-stocked building we enjoy today. Those interested in the advantages of membership, but not wanting to lease an allotment, are encouraged to join the Association. Today the membership numbers nearly 900.

In 1991 the Association took a further step towards complete independence from the Borough Council by taking over the site lease and all the resulting administration of plot rentals, site maintenance and improvement. It is remarkable that this major organisation is run entirely by volunteers. So if you could contribute in any way – by volunteering in the Stores, by helping with site maintenance, by signing up for the site lock-up rota – you would be most welcome.