A Reading allotment was left without water for nearly a month due to a council plumber shortage.

Gardeners, some aged in their 70s and 80s, at Goddard’s Farm Allotments had to carry water to the allotment make sure their crops didn’t fail.

The broken pipe responsible was eventually fixed last week, but plot owners were frustrated by the time it took to get back on supply.

Speaking before the water was restored, Dennis Thynne, 69, of Whitley, said: “We have got pensioners like me, older than I am, having to cart water from home in containers down to the allotments to water their crops, it is just a scandal.”

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He added: “What annoys people is that nobody returns calls or emails.”

“We’re doing rain dances, and that’s not a pretty sight either,” said Mr Whitley.

He explained the allotment was a fantastic way to get out in the fresh air and grow your own food but for nearly the past month he was carrying water to keep growing his cabbages, sprouts, plums and pears.

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A spokesperson for Reading Borough Council said: “Plumbing contractor shortages have resulted in delays beyond our control.

“We appreciate this issue has been frustrating for people and we have worked to try and fix the water supply as quickly as possible.

“We apologise for any inconvenience experienced by the allotment users.”

Mr Whitley said plot owners could not fix the pipe themselves as it needed threading.