Arthur, aged 91, 'hangs up his spade' after 50 years on Ipswich allotment
- Credit: Arthur Fuller
A veteran who says the key to health in old age is fresh air and exercise, is finally giving up the beloved allotment he took on to grow his children fresh vegetables.
Arthur Fuller was born in Hemingstone to the north of Ipswich, but bought a house in Sidegate Lane in 1968 just two years before leaving the army.
He served from 1948 for 22 years, before switching gears to work as a lorry driver, and decided to take on his first allotment in Colchester Road so he could grow produce to feed his family.
"I'm turning 92 in September so I thought it was time to hang up my spade," he said.
"We had two young children when we moved to Ipswich and I grew up in the country so wanted a place where we could grow our own vegetables.
"I planted mostly onions, carrots, potatoes and some green stuff — not salad as that was a bit tricky — but stuff that looked after itself when I was gone on the road for a long time.
"My children had no interest in gardening but it was most enjoyable for me, it was a very friendly bunch and neighbouring owners exchanged tips with the younger ones asking for advice."
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Mr Fuller moved to an allotment in Sidegate Lane after 30 years and has seen an uptake over the past three years in young families taking on plots.
Though his now costs £45.50 to rent per year, the nonagenarian still owns the receipt from 1971 to show his plot in Colchester Road used to cost just £1 for the year.
He and his wife had moved to a flat in 1986 after their children left home, meaning they had no garden, and Mr Fuller is looking forward to when he can get the bus to walk around in Christchurch Park again.
Despite having had both his Covid-19 vaccination jabs, the pensioner is still taking care until the government give the all clear and is bubbling up with his son's family during the lockdown.
He still lives a very independent life, doing his own shopping and household work, and credits his mobility to the years of allotment keeping.