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My Life on a Hillside Allotment [Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Terry Walton , Gareth Armstrong
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2007

Terry Walton has kept an allotment in the Rhondda Valley in South Wales for over fifty years. He started when he was four, helping on his father's plot on the side of the mountain, cutting bracken and collecting sheep manure to feed the vegetables. He was farming his own plot at eleven and he went on to build an allotment empire, selling his vegetables and flowers to local customers. The proceeds paid for his first car, a canary yellow Ford Popular, when he was just seventeen. Then, in 2006, after half a decade of happy gardening, Terry's allotment was adopted by the Jeremy Vine Show and he became an unlikely media star.

In this absorbing and entertaining memoir, Terry documents how the valley has changed over the years, his own conversion to organic gardening, and the colourful characters he meets; insterspersing his anecdotes with topical tips, family recipes and quirky line drawings.

My Life on a Hillside Allotment is the perfect read for gardeners, allotmenteers and anyone who loves the great outdoors.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette: 7 pages
  • Publisher: Soundings Audio Books; Unabridged edition (1 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845598830
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845598839
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"Every time he appears on the programme we feel that life is worth living. He has that power to lift your spirits." (Jeremy Vine) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

A heartwarming, delightful memoir from the man who has kept an allotment in Wales for over fifty years, and been adopted by The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly Readable! 29 Mar 2007
I purchased this book not through an interest in gardening, or even in particular an interest in the Welsh Valleys but because of my fondness of Terry Walton's snippets on the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2 and his sense of humour.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but what I found was an enthusiastically written and heart felt tome which is harder than any book I've read in recent years (with the exception, sadly, of the Harry Potter series!) to put down.

It's obvious from the start that Terry enjoyed writting the book and is keen to share every aspect of his life, memories and gardening tips!

The book not only provides a fascinating insight to life in the Rhondda over the past 60 years but also many interesting stories about what has been a life of varied fortunes and interests.

It's hard not to want to go out, buy a spade and start cultivating your garden into a little oasis of flowers and veg having read this book, Terry's fondness for all things horticultural seems to seep into you as you read!

I'd recommend this book whole heartedly to anyone who enjoys gardening, good humour or simply a good yarn.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspiration! 26 Mar 2007
By Andi B
I read this in just three sittings - I didn't want to put it down!

If you have an allotment or just enjoy growing your veg in your own garden - you'll love this book.

If you have no interest in growing veg but just love listening to Terry on BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show - you'll love this book.

If you like autobiographies - you'll love this book.

If you just want something a bit different and a nice easy read - you'll love this book.

I like all four hence the 5 star rating!

This is a really easy read about a very "down to earth" (excuse the pun) guy who has worked hard all his life and is passionate about his allotments. It's a great insight into life in the Welsh Valleys in 50's & 60's. It is also very funny in many parts (his radio character carries well across in written form) and I caught myself laughing out loud on many occasions! This is a real refreshing change from garden advice books and the like.

I dare you to read it and not be inspired to have a go at growing a few spuds, carrots or even a few lettuces in a tub on the patio this year! Terry is a real inspiration and I'll certainly be planting a few veggies this year in tribute to the guy!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Through A Lense. 27 Mar 2007
I've almost finished this book, and what a wonderful read it is!

It's chocked full of gardening tips for any budding allotmenteer, or any hardened gardners, all interwoven through the tale of Terry's fifty years on his hillside plot.

This is more than a simple autobiographical gardening book, this is also the story of the ever changing shape of the Rhondda Valley, socially, economically and geographically. All seen through the fish eye lense of a small plot of fertile land, nestled away on a windswept Rhondda hillside.

Terry's lifelong passion for gardening leaps from every page, and his enthusiasm knows no bounds, even his wife's airing cupboard is not safe from invasions of seedlings! Terry's infectious humour radiates through as well, some pages had me chuckling away for ages.

I heartly recommend this book, not just to fans of Jeremy Vines show, who listen to Terry regularly; not just to everyone who ever has, or wants to pick up a spade and grow their own, but to all who want to know a little of life in the South Wales Valleys over the past fifty years.

Five stars from me!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Life On A Hillside Allotment by Terry Walton 22 Nov 2009
I absolutely love listening to him when ever he's on tele or radio (Jeremy Vine on Radio 2) so when I see this I thought I'd get it and I'm glad I did.
I'm not finished yet but I am thoroughly enjoying it and I can hear him saying the words which has never happened when I've read books before so that says a lot about his writing.
Totally recommended by me no matter if you're interested in gardening or not.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Life on a Hillside Allotment 17 Mar 2012
By maryshe
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my husband, a just starting out allotmenteer, but it's so evocative of my childhood, I intend to hang on to it. I was born in Llwynypia, but left the Rhondda in 1956. So much of this book is the story of my childhood, same nursery school and junior school, the day trips to Barry and Porthcawl, the Bracchi coffee shops - I felt so daring when I went into one without my parents. My sister is an exact contemporary of Terry, I must buy another copy for her, perhaps to share with our younger sister, who doesn't have the same memories we do. My father had an allotment, twenty years before Terry, but Terry speaks with the same voice. I feel quite homesick for the valleys. Anthea's recipes are a bonus.
Autobiography, social history, gardening and cookery, all in one book. Bargain!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to dig! 3 Jan 2010
I bought this book initially as a gift for a friend, but decided to browse through it before I wrapped it. I was hooked. I'd never heard of the author, the tv show or anything to do with it, but I couldn't put it down. I've never been much of a gardener but the way the book is written persuades you that you can do anything. I've now kept that copy for myself and ordered a new one for my friend. I've also allocated a patch in my garden to try my hand at growing fruits and veggies instead of just flowers, and made a note of all the recipes I want to try. The book certainly made an impact on me!My Life on a Hillside Allotment
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