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according to old documents of the allotment gardeners association Flora eV

When the city of Hanover began to expand in the years after 1924, a large number of the allotment gardeners who lived in the area of what is now Gottfried-Keller-Str. had created a place of recreation for themselves, gave up their gardens. They did not lose heart, but moved over the Mittelland Canal to the area at the Bahnstrift. Here they found pastureland and rubble, from which they created a new garden colony, which they named "Flora" in 1927. With this choice of the name "Flora" these gardening friends wanted to show their love and joy for the flowers. 

When they had painstakingly removed the Ortstein, which ran through almost the entire site, and were able to think about the first harvest, they had to realize with disappointment that the change in politics had not left the allotment garden unscathed either. The so-called millennial kingdom robbed the allotment garden associations of their independence. 

The first protocol available after the war is that of a meeting on the children's playground of the "Flora" colony on October 7, 1945 under the direction of the honorary chairman of the general association Heinrich Evert, who on this occasion gave a review of the last fateful 12 years. The war had also left its mark on our colony, so that reconstruction was necessary. Bomb craters had to be removed, and some destroyed arbors had to be completely renewed. Despite procurement difficulties and lack of money, great things were achieved here. In 1947 a long-cherished wish came true; the first colony house, planned as a manure shed, was completed by skilled workers and gardeners without outside resources.

In 1953 the colony celebrated its 25th anniversary, albeit a year too late. A year later, garden friend Walter Borns took over the management of the colony. The expansion and beautification of our facility continued. In 1955 the colony was connected to the municipal water network. In addition to gardening, gardening enthusiasts attached great importance to cheerfulness and conviviality.

The resulting shortage of space was remedied by expanding the colony house. In 1959 the new home could be handed over to its intended purpose.

Parties could now be celebrated in their own rooms. In addition to the traditional celebrations took place back then. the coffee table that still exists today. The men’s group, which is still called "old crackers" today, has a similar tradition.

On the days from June 9th to 12th, 1967, the colony celebrated its 40th anniversary festival on the fairground. From 1969 to 1971 there was a lot of talk about renovation. At the half-yearly meeting on June 17, 1971, councilor Herbert Schmalstieg and the first chairman of the district association Heinz Lagershausen decided on the renovation. A garden size of 300 - 400 square meters should be aimed for. In autumn 1972 the time had come. Our colony was like a large construction site. Old paths disappeared and were rebuilt with a large parking lot. At the same time, the garden friends from the colonies of Renneberg and Dühlmeyer's Ruh were accepted, who had to give up their old gardens. Flora got a new face.

Electrification began at the end of 1973. It wasn't long before all the gardens were supplied with electricity. In 1974 the mayor of the city Herbert Schmalstieg presented the colony with documents for a long-term lease. One could now plan for the long term. 

At the annual general meeting on December 6th, 1975, the proposal to expand the colony house was accepted with a large majority. The Spannhagen association agreed to financially support the expansion of the colony house. And then it started. Many hardworking hands were tirelessly at work.

It started in the spring of 1976 and in May 1977 the work was done. A neat house was built. From August 12th to 15th, 1977 the 50th anniversary of the foundation could be celebrated in and around the new colony house. 

A varied festival program contributed to a successful anniversary. On December 20, 1980 the meeting to found an independent association "Flora" took place. Garden friend Gerhard Kerwin played a major role in this establishment.

115 members of the Flora colony who were present decided with a large majority to found the "Allotment Gardeners Association Flora eV". The garden friend Friedrich Wilhelm Ohm, who had been in charge of the colony since 1977, was elected as 1st chairman. On May 27, 1981, the statutes of our association were approved. Flora was now an independent association in the district association of allotment gardeners. From June 26th to 28th, 1981, the 1st garden festival was held as the allotment gardener association Flora e. V. carried out. The first annual general meeting of the allotment gardener association Flora eV took place on March 20, 1982. In 1983 the club house was connected to the sewage network of the city of Hanover. In 1984, Karl-Heinz Rädecker, the chairman of the Hanover Garden Friendship District Association, became an honorary member.

In 1985 and 1986 extensive renovation work was carried out in and on the clubhouse. The 60th anniversary was celebrated from August 7th to 9th, 1987. It took place with a lively participation and the children's group the so-called "dwarfs". At the annual general meeting on January 30, 1986 Werner Kurdts was elected 1st chairman. The gardening friends Friedrich Wilhelm Ohm and Helmut Zempel, who have rendered outstanding services to the association for many years, were made honorary members in 1988.

On March 4th 1989 the Flora Stromgesellschaft was founded in the club house. Friedrich Wilhelm Ohm and Helmut Zempel took over the management.

In November 1989 the board of directors was approached by the mayor Herbert Schmalstieg as to whether Flora would like to enter into a partnership with a gardening association from the GDR, which was then in upheaval. The board agreed immediately.

In February 1990 a large delegation went to Leipzig to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Recreation South. The accommodation took place in private quarters. The 1990 garden festival was celebrated for the first time from June 29th to July 1st together with the guests from Leipzig. Since then, such a good partnership has developed that members of both clubs meet several times on various occasions in Leipzig and Hanover. This also includes joint meetings.

At the annual general meeting in 1992, Alfred Neumann was elected 1st chairman.

From 1992 to 1993 the car park at the club house was redesigned.

On January 29, 1994, Detlef Sasse was elected 1st chairman at the annual general meeting.

In March 1994 the terrace was redesigned and the club house, which had been managed by the members up until then, was leased.

On June 10, 1995, the new garden flag of the association was inaugurated with our guests from Leipzig in a ceremony on the newly created flagpole. On the occasion of this inauguration, Mayor Herbert Schmalstieg gave the keynote address.

On August 26, 1995, the association hosted a road festival. The proceeds of this event, which is under the auspices of the OB. H. Schmalstieg was donated to UNICEF. As part of a festive event in November 1996, the gardening friends Helmut Zempel were honored for his 50 year old Herbert Grube for his 40 year membership.

The very good relationship with our neighboring associations "Neue Hope" under the chairman Jürgen Köhler and the association "Buchholz" under the then chairman Karlheinz Raats should not be unmentioned here either.

In 1997 our 70th anniversary was celebrated with our partner association from Leipzig and the neighboring associations "Neue Hope" and "Buchholz".

In spring 2000 our clubhouse got a new heating system.

On June 25, 2000, as part of the garden festival, Ferdinand Kreutz, the 1st chairman of the allotment garden association "Am Schlagboom" from Hamburg, and Detlef Sasse, the 1st chairman of "Flora", sealed a partnership by signing the certificate. 

Stephan Weil, Herbert Schmalstieg's successor as Lord Mayor, began his membership at Flora in 2005. 

After 30 years as a member of the association, Herbert Schmalstieg was made an honorary member in 2007. 

In 2009 the current mayor of the city of Hanover, Stefan Schostok, also became a member of Flora and in 2010 the member of the Bundestag Kerstin Tack joined the association. They all take part in many events that are offered by the association to all members and guests and feel very comfortable in the community of allotment gardeners. 

In 2010, Birgit Knott became the first woman to be the first chairwoman. Detlef Sasse led the Flora allotment gardeners' association for 16 years and was appointed honorary chairman. 

Birgit Knott has continued the long-standing friendship between the partner clubs from Leipzig and Hanover. However, mutual visits were becoming more and more frequent, so that after a few years the connection was unfortunately no longer maintained by the Leipzigers. 

The path between the associations "New Hope" and "Flora", which forms the connection from Sahlkamp to the canal, was affectionately called "Hoppelweg" by the allotment gardeners on both sides. Now it was to be given an official street name and Stephan Weil asked the boards of both clubs what name this path should bear. It was immediately clear to us that it should be called "Hoppelweg". Getting this through with the city was not easy, since street names should have a venerable name - if possible after a person. However, the allotment gardeners did not deviate from their opinion and with the support of our prominent members, as well as the district council and district association of allotment gardeners, the administration of the city of Hanover was convinced and in 2011 the "Hoppelweg" was officially inaugurated by Stephan Weil. 

In 2012 our association celebrated its 85th anniversary with many garden friends and guests. The district mayor of Bothfeld-Vahrenheide Harry Gunenberg took this as an opportunity to also become a member of Flora. 

But the year was also associated with bad luck for the club: a water pipe burst was discovered in the spring. The pipe, which probably burst in winter, let thousands of cubic meters of water flow into the ground. Persistent negotiations between the board of directors, the district association and the municipal utilities enabled the financial damage to be reduced considerably. The District Council of Bothfeld-Vahrenheide made a generous donation towards the costs of laying a new water pipe. 

In 2013, the city council member, Florian Spiegelhauer, also became a member of the association. 

In January 2014, a lecture by the city of Hanover on the general quality of life in Hanover shook the world of allotment gardeners. By chance Birgit Knott took part in this lecture and learned that the Leibniz University had developed a study on the "allotment garden concept". In this study, the allotment garden associations on the Mittelland Canal were radically changed. There should still be a few allotment gardens, but single and multi-family houses should be built on our grounds. 

An outcry of horror went through the allotment gardeners and together with all affected associations and the district association of allotment gardeners we fought against this "allotment garden concept". With the support of our members Harry Grunenberg, Florian Spielgelhauer, Stefan Schostok and Stephan Weil, this concept was (initially) dropped. 

In 2015 our honorary chairman, Detlef Sasse, passed away after a short, serious illness. 

In 2017 the allotment gardening association Flora eV celebrates its 90th anniversary and can look back on many good and bad years. We have already honored many tenants for 50 and 60 years of membership. Allotment gardening has changed in many ways. While in the past more emphasis was placed on the cultivation of fruit and vegetables, today the garden is seen as a recreational and leisure garden. With regard to the "allotment garden concept", however, we must not lose sight of the use of allotment gardens. 

Due to its location, the association has now hardly any free gardens and has developed into a multi-cultural association. Around 45% of the tenants have a migration background. Unfortunately, many of these tenants have a different, also cultural, attitude to club life and can hardly be seen at community events. 

In conclusion, one can say that a lot has happened in 90 years and, unfortunately, the community of allotment gardeners in general no longer exists. However, we are pleased that there are so many young families with children coming. We are very successful with our children's parties and hope that the children will have fun in the garden. You also learn that the apple grows on the tree and not in the bag at the discounter and that small seeds can become large fruits. With this in mind, I look forward to the future for allotment gardeners full of hope. 

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