Notes from Transition Loughborough Open Meeting, Woodgate Chambers, 15th May 2013

1. Welcome.

Steve opened the meeting by welcoming Janet and Mike as new members, as well as Diana returning for the first meeting for a while.  Apologies from Sue, Martha and Paul.

2. Reflection.

3. Financial Report.

Paul supplied Steve and Jon with copies of the financial report which were circulated at the meeting – we’ve got £417.04 left in the kitty.

4. Very Brief Reports from Sub-groups.

Jon gave a brief overview of transport (he still has to arrange cycle workshops and there was no consensus in TL for a group response to Loughborough town centre relief road project/bus/pedestrianisation so people were encouraged to respond as individuals) and energy (Retrofit backburnered slightly but still interest from people, we’ve had some solar installation enquiries, and made a response to the Leicestershire Together Carbon Reduction Strategy).

Steve reported on skill share network – we’ve provided feedback on the Greeniversity scheme and its looking like skill sharing is going to be an integral part of TL. Steve thinks that rather than doing standalone skill share events (such as the library ones) its probably better to take our skill sharing ideas to other people’s events (such as this weekend’s Peter Le Marchant Trust open day). We also appeared on UK360 TV this week on the Community Channel. There’s also the possibility of a “Hackspace” based at Rawlins school where we could get folk together to work on Transition related craft projects – eg making a smoothie bike.

Lots on the go with food & gardens – most covered below!

5. Consolidation & Next Steps on Current Projects:

At this meeting we looked at projects underway at the moment and where they can go next.

– Community Allotment

Aim to have people regularly attending the allotment 5.30pm-7pm at the community allotment – you don’t have to work and can just sit and relax if you want! Jon passed his draft plan for the plots round for comment. We had a meeting with Minara who is keen to bring her Asian womens group down to grow their own types of crops. Jon mentioned getting Garden Organics “Sowing New Seeds” project involved. Steve said that it might be worth putting a herb spiral in the plan. One priority is to get a working party to get glass in the greenhouse.

Diana mentioned that she’s a “friend of Queen’s Park” and this year they are planning on interplanting the flower borders with vegetables.

Apple Pressings;

A booking form has been produced to formalise the apple pressing events – a draft copy was circulated. We’re looking to also make the press available for private pressings as well for a hire charge to generate income. For each booking we need two people from TL to support the event – Steve suggested that we need to share the load of this attendance around amongst the various people in TL.  Apple pressings are now a well developed TL “product” that we can run with.

LAGS/Transition Workshops;

There is a workshop coming up on 1st June – Martha has arranged with Andy again to do a gardening workshop at the LAGS garden on the University campus.  These workshops are a great way for folk to pick new gardening skills and it would be great to keep doing them every few months.

Flock Around The Crops;

On 2nd June TL are arranging a “Flock Around the Crops” event to look at the various community gardening spaces in the town and also take part in the Big Lunch when we reach the LAGS garden. Paul has asked all to make an effort to attend and ask friends & neighbours to come as well – we don’t just want to see the “regular” faces.

Loughborough’s Skillshare Network;

See above.

University Bee Project.

There’s a realisation on campus that other Universities are getting greener and Loughborough needs to improve its sustainability. The sustainability group suggested that the campus should have a apiary, and Barry has been involved. He sourced a shed which has been resurrected on the campus behind the Holywell Main Building (what used to be the British Gas Research Centre). All the bee hives have been built using reclaimed wood and rain water has been collected from the roof of the shed. Nectar rich plants have been planted around the site. FM’s gardeners are reviewing their pesticide use as well. The apiary is being set up experimentally with a number of different ways of keeping bees to see which ones seem the most beneficial to the bees. The aim is not to produce honey – its to make happy, productive bees.  Once the project is settled down we may get to have a “show-n-tell” event.

Links with Cobden and Stonebow Primary Schools;

History of this is that Paul tried to contact the eco-teachers in local schools to see if we could help with food or growing projects they have. This has developed over the last few months, culminating this week in Steve meeting with council staff looking at the existing work that is under way with schools. Steve is too busy with other TL projects so is looking for a volunteer to help get this running by ringing round all the eco-teachers to encourage them to get involved with some Loughborough in Bloom based competitions for schools.

Winter Feast;

After the success of last year’s Winter Feast we’re having another in the last week of November this week, most probably at the Polish Club again. If our community allotment produces a reasonable amount of produce we’ll try to make dishes based on these fruits and veggies.

6. A.O.B.

Proposal is that we should concentrate on doing “activities” within projects rather than just having meetings, as we’re all busy people and meeting attendance isn’t great.  Steve to ask for opinions on the mailing list.  If there’s agreement we’ll cancel the next two Open Meetings.

Diana told us that CBC are going to be planting fruit trees around the town, which is great news.

Steve talked a bit more about the Peter Le Marchant trust event. He’s going down at 8.30am to set up, including an apple press. Sue will be attending to do a make-do-and-mend session. Hopefully John Sweet will also be there. The event itself is open from 11am to 3pm.  Other TL folk are encouraged to come down as well.

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