I have been finding bits of clay pipes on the allotment but this one is special. It has got a name stamped on it and the surface feels glazed, somewhat creamy yellow and smooth.


We did a bit of detecting online and found something. It is quite clear the maker’s name is John Horne and in the attached document he can be found on page 12. This is the very first time my find had a name on it. I will send an email to the authors of this document, attach my photo and hope to get an answer.


When I first started working on the allotment I met an elderly lady who lived at the back of our site. Her husband was used to have a plot and to make his life easier as he got older he made a gate in his back fence to come to the site. He died some years ago but Enid, his widow, came to see us all, have a chat and give me some empty jam jars she saved for me. In return I always gave her some of my veg – I think she was lonely and coming to see us reminded her of times gone by.

If I remember correctly she told me that a long time ago, around the year 1900 or even earlier, before our area became an allotment area it was a rubbish tip. That would explain things I keep finding. Alas, nothing of great value, no Saxon hoard but


clay pipes!

They are very fragile, nevertheless some bowls survived and even after a number of years digging there, they keep coming. I’m sure I’ll find some more this year. I was tempted with the ‘no dig’ method but decided against it, just to see what else might come up.

Never lose hope and keep digging!