The Rime of the Northfield Allotment Holder should have a happy, watery ending soon – John McLellan

Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink… Not the anguished cry of the Ancient Mariner in the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem, but the plaintive lament of the Northfield allotment holders who have been waiting years for that miracle of modern living, the tap.

A tap is coming to Northfield Allotments (Picture: Diptendu Dutta/AFP via Getty Images)
A tap is coming to Northfield Allotments (Picture: Diptendu Dutta/AFP via Getty Images)

This simple request has proved so difficult that anyone would think Scottish Water and the council were being asked to irrigate the Sahara, with one delay after another.

A solution had apparently been found and the gardeners thought their days of lugging pails of water to their plots would be at an end by summer. But with autumn just round the corner, they can still be found sloshing around to give their plants a drink like ancient Egyptians carting buckets from the Nile.

The final episode in this saga was supposed to be the fitting of a boundary box for a water meter, which went in at the start of the month, but when Scottish Water had a look it wasn’t deep enough and another site had to be found.

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So now the box has been relocated to Scottish Water’s satisfaction but not in its presence, so another inspection is awaited. If happy, their team will then go out, fit the meter, and turn on the water.

It’s very hard for us mere mortals to understand how two large organisations could make something so apparently straightforward as installing a tap so complex but I’m told the water will flow any time soon. A glass of something stronger will be raised when it does.

John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston

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