Feeds

Middle England's allotments become metric battlefield

'Over-zealous' municipal jobsworths in anti-pole position

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

Imperial traditionalists have expressed dismay that allotments will henceforth be measured in metres, thereby ending a 600-year-old system of staking out municipal veg patches in poles.

According to the Daily Mail, shocked gardeners have received rent renewal notices from their town halls reclassifying the standard "10 pole" allotment as 253 square metres.

Warwick Cairns, of the British Weights And Measures Association, thundered: "It's officiousness for its own sake. There is no reason for it. The European Commission gave up on metric Britain in 2007."

Interestingly, no one will own up to ordering the switch. A spokesman for Basingstoke Council, which is among those ditching the pole, said: "I'm not sure when the law changed, but this is the first year we've implemented it."

However, the powers that be further up the administrative food chain denied they had mandated the metric allotment. A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government insisted: "There is no central government requirement for town halls to measure up the size of their allotments. This sounds like the work of over-zealous municipal officials."

The pole, aka the "rod" or "perch", is 5.5 yards. When it was all fields round here, it served a handy purpose in measuring land, since an area of 4 poles by 40 poles constituted the "perfect acre".

The 10-pole allotment is actually 10 square poles, equalling 252.9 square metres, or "about the size of a doubles tennis court", as the National Allotment Society agreeably puts it.

Naturally, we at the Vulture Central Standards Soviet would like to suggest the matter is settled once and for all by the adoption of El Reg units, in which case local councils should take note that a rod is 35.9242 linguine, or 0.5455 double-decker buses, and the area of an allotment for rent calculation purposes is 12.1721 NanoWales. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
WRISTJOB LOVE BONANZA: justWatch sex app promises blind date hookups
Mankind shuffles into the future, five fingers at a time
Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen
Angry Microsoftie hauls auctioneers to court over stalled Pzkw. IV 'deal'
Apple's Mr Havisham: Tim Cook says dead Steve Jobs' office has remained untouched
'I literally think about him every day' says biz baron's old friend
Flaming drone batteries ground commercial flight before takeoff
Passenger had Something To Declare, instead fiddled while plane burned
Cops apologise for leaving EXPLOSIVES in suitcase at airport
'Canine training exercise' SNAFU sees woman take home booming baggage
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Italian boffins' Minority Report style system sees the future
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.