Feb 152010
 

Transition Town Shrewsbury is part of the growing international movement seeking to tackle the twin challenges of diminishing oil and gas supplies and climate change. We want to imagine and create a future that addresses these problems, and creates the kind of community that we would all want to be part of here in Shrewsbury.

The challenges presented to us today by global warming and peak oil (and gas) are perhaps the greatest that humanity has faced. This time brings a great opportunity for rethinking the way we live and making conscious choices about what kind of community and world we would like to live in. Change is coming whether we like it or not – and a planned response to the change will leave us in a much stronger position than if we wait until change is upon us. To find out more about Transition Culture, visit: www.transitionculture.org.

This change will affect every part of our lives, so we’re forming groups to look at the issues. So far we have groups working on food, energy, the economy, change and why we don’t like it, buildings, education, transport and local government. The idea of these groups is to identify what needs to change to make it easier to live a low-carbon lifestyle here in Shrewsbury and give us the skills and confidence to make that change happen.

!CAR CLUB!

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Sep 152013
 

Shropshire Car Club CIC has 4 vehicles in Shrewsbury which are parked in the St. Julian Friars and Frankwell car parks. They are petrol-driven Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus and diesel-driven Ford Focus Estate and Ford C-Max. The car club is worth looking at by anyone as an alternative to car ownership if you only need to use your car occasionally. The cost is £4.50 hour / £35 per 24 hours and 21p a mile (which includes fuel).
For more info click on the the attached image or got to http://www.co-wheels.co.uk/shropshire

Bishop's Castle, Ludlow & Shrewsbury VER3

!WANTED! Transport Group

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Sep 062013
 

sc1

!WANTED! A Transport Group

Since it (Paul) moved to Stroud earlier in the year, we have been devoid of a transport group – but there is a definite need for one in this town!

Issues include:

The ‘Relief’ Road

Pedestrian Crossings, and sequencing thereof

Cycling routes, Reclaim The Streets!

Traffic in town and potential road closures

And many more besides…

Responsibilities:

Hold meetings and badger the relevant parties… The full support of fellow Transitionistas may be counted upon.

Ideal Candidate:

Someone who’s up for it basically…

Reward:

Civic pride, empowerment, and a wonderful sense of belonging and satisfaction.

Apply to:

Well, here is probably best.

Anyone?
TTS

Summer Newsletter

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Jul 142013
 

Hello and welcome to the Summer edition of the Transition Town Shrewsbury Newsletter. We missed the spring one, so there is lots of news this time. You can read all of the stories below.

To get these newsletters emailed to you sign up to our yahoo group, link on the right.

Bits and Bobs by Kerry

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Jul 142013
 

We had a lovely AGM at the beginning of June, where we said a big thank you to all the people who have been keeping things on the road for the last year. In official terms all of the officers were re-elected except for Bill who stood down as treasurer. It was good to get together and find out what everyone was up to, we are a busy bunch even if we aren’t always very good at communicating with the outside world about it! The minutes from the meeting will be put on the website once Mark and Bill have written them up.

The Hydro group had a good day at the Shrewsbury River Festival in May, did you see them there?

Something that re-emerged at the AGM was the Shrewsbury Buy Local website that TTS set up. It hasn’t had that much publicity, but there is some really good stuff on there, so do check it out http://www.shrewsbury-buylocal.co.uk/ There were also a couple of people who were going to look at how we could get more out of the website, so more about that in the future.

Along similar lines if you haven’t come across the Shrewsbury Green Guide put together by Friends of the Earth, it is well worth a look with lots of useful local information on it. http://www.shrewsburygreenguide.org.uk/

Also there is a new local Organic Veg box scheme that has just started up called Severn Organics, they are lovely guys, very happy to tailor the boxes to exactly what you want. http://severnorganics.co.uk/

Reuse and repair café

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Jul 142013
 

James and I have been having some very exciting conversations about the possibility of setting up a reuse and repair centre in an abandoned coach house near the Abbey, but while we do the initial investigations on that we thought that it would be really lovely to have a monthly reuse and repair café, where people can bring along their broken items they want to repair or upcycle and their enthusiasm to have a go and we can use our collective knowledge to try and fix them. Also if you (or someone you know) just loves fixing things we would be delighted if you wanted to come and share your knowledge. I was thinking that the Bird’s Nest Café would be a good venue as they have plenty of space and a Sunday afternoon felt like a good time for socialising and being creative. So it’s planning quite far in advance but I have set up a doodle poll with some dates in Sept and Oct for having our first get together. (http://www.doodle.com/evn6abvxzbecu5pm) Please fill it out if your interested. And you can get in touch with me on kezereky_the_first (at) hotmail.com

Kerry

Socials past and future

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Jul 142013
 

Next Socials
Next will be a film on slimming your bin in September, and the Zombie Ceildh at the end of October. More details coming soon.

Summer Solstice at the Birds Nest Cafe
About thirty people came along to the Bird’s Nest Café in the market hall to celebrate the Summer Solstice. It was a lovely evening and I’m sure it will be repeated. Thank you to everyone who made it a success.

Jul 142013
 

Summer’s arrived! And the trees are looking lush. It’s time to get out foraging and making the most of the freely available food around us (I spent the evening picking wild cherries last night). Incredible Edible Shrewsbury are going to add to the natural abundance with some PYO herbs in the town centre. We’re just waiting on the actual plants…but we’ll let you know when the first planting day is. We’re also hoping to organise some foraging walks and planting days for people to get involved with.  If you’ve got any herbs, veg plants, seeds, cuttings or even land you’d like to donate – let me know: Griffith.jodie@yahoo.co.uk

Also, Shropshire and Shrewsbury Town Council are totally supportive, so if you fancy digging up that scrap of land at the end of your street and planting some edibles – go for it! Just let them know first, so they don’t accidentally mow it…contact incredible.edible@shropshire.gov.uk

Jul 142013
 

I’ve been reading a lot about food hubs recently. From farmers markets to food coops. Selling dried goods (such as porridge oats) to fresh produce (such as spinach), they can be Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) schemes or wholefood cooperatives and each venture can be local, regional or, I suppose, national.

Could one work in our part of Shropshire?
What would people be interested in doing, if anything, in terms of a food hub for Shrewsbury and surrounding areas?

Do I mean a box scheme? No.
While box schemes can be a useful way for growers to get food to market and for people to access quality produce without paying supermarket prices they can be quite regimented. The nature of box schemes is to have a fixed menu of what’s in the box. This is, for me, too limiting. With the best will in the world one family cannot consume, for instance, one white and one red cabbage each week, every week! Another major issue is consistency. Of quality and of service. I have young children and if I’ve ordered apples I’ll be depending on them, fresh ones, juicy ones, ones that are not from New Zealand.

Why get a food distribution service up and running?

To support the farmers who produce the food and the community who consume it.

How to get a food distribution service up and running?

  1. All food supplied to the scheme is grown without the use of artificial fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides. The cycle of nutrients being the keystone of the productive system. Organic permaculture. Or something similar?
  2. The area of supply to be determined by the produce and the season. When local produce is not abundant, the hungry gap fresh produce can be scarce. Especially with such an awfully protracted Winter and late Spring such as we’ve just experienced! Besides relying mainly on root crops meat may be one of the few locally sourced food options. Imported food would need to have some sustainable credentials to be acceptable.
  3. Collective enterprise. Low profit, just enough to make the business work. Like a CSA the members pay upfront to be a part of the scheme and this money is used to get the scheme going.

The aim is to provide farmers with a route to market and the consumers a level of consistency they (we) maybe don’t currently get. We all get good food, support the local economy and benefit from community control.

Is there sufficient interest out there?

  • Farmers – Are you looking to develop your business? Would a scheme like this be of interest to you?
  • Householders – Are you looking for fresh, food raised without the use of artificial inputs? Would a scheme like this be of interest to you?

What do you think? A community scheme where members come together to supply / shop for food. A number of producer (farmer / grower) members supply the service and the service operates a hub / distribution to householder members. Interested?

Jake

Jul 142013
 

Unusually for a Summer Fair, it was a glorious summer morning, and  certainly not one for rushing – I took my time setting the stall up,  some exhibitors didn’t turn up at all (allowing me to spread out  thankfully), and the public took their time arriving. But for a couple  of hours between late morning and early afternoon arrive they did,  albeit in a steady relaxed trickle.

Maps and questions

Maps and questions

I had a large map of Shrewsbury on the table, and asked people to  suggest things they’d like to see happen in town, in one of 4 categories - Building, Energy, Food & Green Spaces, and Transport, to write their suggestion on the relevant coloured bit of card and blu-tac it on the map (to counteract the lovely cool breeze).

I had 10 or 12 good suggestions, such as extra foot bridges over the river, a river taxi/bus service with a jetty near English Bridge, and  locations for community orchards. I will forward the other suggestions in due course (I left the map at home, and they’re still stuck on it).

Alongside I had 4 questions, 1 per category, for people to answer in the form of coloured dots.

‘Do you think empty shops and buildings should be made available for use by community groups and charities?’ got a resounding 32 votes for Yes against 0 for No – although I did have to explain to a few people that this did not mean more charity retail shops, which seemed to be of great concern..

‘Do you support a community-owned hydro electricity scheme on the Shrewsbury weir?’ was similarly supported, although 1 fisherman voted against despite all my efforts to convince him that it would actually be better for the fish.

James and the TTS stall

James and the TTS stall

‘Do you think waste and underused space (such as roundabouts) should be used for growing food on?’ caused a little bit more controversy, with 4 people worrying about traffic fumes, access, and seeing cabbages on roundabouts.

Interestingly, or not, public opinion was most split on ‘Do you think the town centre (High Street, Shop Latch) should be closed to cars?’ with 4 Nos and 2 fence-sitters – one of whom was Dave Green! One of the 26 Yeses also placed a suggestion on the map that the town centre be closed from cars at the weekend at least. Or that may have been me.

All in all it was a lovely day, Jo helped me out for an hour or so before having to go off to another stall in the square, but there was always someone to chat to, and in the very quiet times it was nice enough to sit in the sun and listen to the folk band.

By about 3 the trickle had died down to a drip, the day had got hot, the tennis was on, and the band started packing up. I did the same and headed for the nearest beer garden.
James