Memorial bench dedicated to memory of Verney Montoute, Sunday 11th July 2021

Verney Montoute

Steel pans and a bunch of vegetables!

Verney Montoute loved the sound of a steel band and often accompanied Patrick Augustus
on gigs. He was a dab hand himself at playing the steel pans! Another of his loves was his plots at Grange Lane Allotments in Dulwich. His wife Sharon said, “The allotments were Verney’s little piece of land where he could grow vegetables and fruit, chat to people and just enjoy it away from all the stresses of life.” Sadly Verney died last year and to honour his memory, the allotment committee commissioned a stylish wooden bench with a plaque bearing his name.

Verney brought a family tradition of farming in the Caribbean to South East London, along
with a sunny smile and a cheery greeting to all who passed by his plots. He held his plots
since the early 1990s and was an active and much valued member of the allotment
committee for around 25 years. Verney had a wide variety of skills that he put to good use,
not just growing amazing produce on his plots, but also creating boxes for tools and fixing
various practical issues around the site. Verney’s ‘can do’ attitude to help others led to an allotment member calling him ‘Mr Yes’!

Verney was a good all-rounder, a real character and a well respected and much loved
member of the allotments. He became like an ‘Alan Titchmarsh’ and people came to him
with all their gardening and practical questions, knowing Verney would always have time for
them and that he would have an answer to their questions.

The bench in Verney’s honour is situated overlooking the site so that members can enjoy
the views and also remember Verney. Verney’s wife Sharon cut the ribbon at an open air
social event at the allotments on Sunday 11th July in the company of family, friends and plot
holders. Tea and home-made cakes were enjoyed by all, just as Verney would have wanted.