Coming up in January 2020

Happy New Year Transitioners!

We’ve got a few things planned this month to get us going at the start of the new decade.

First up is an eco-social at The Boat Inn pub on Meadow Lane on  Monday 13th January from 7pm. This will bring a number of eco-friendly groups and individuals together to informally discuss plans and ideas for the new year over a drink.  Just turn up, buy a drink at the bar (soft drinks available!) and then join us for a chat.

Then towards the end of the month we have our Potato Day on Saturday January 25th. Between 9am and 1pm we’ll have a stall on Loughborough Market (probably near Lloyds Bank based on previous years) and as well as distributing the pre-orders that people placed before Christmas, we’ll have limited stocks for sale on the day.  These on-the-day varieties will hopefully include Arran Pilot (1st early), Charlotte (2nd early), Kestrel (2nd early), Sarpo Mira (maincrop) and Pink Fir Apple (maincrop). There will also be some onion sets and broad bean seeds for sale on the stall. All of these are strictly first come, first served.

At the same time as the Potato Day stall providing seed potatoes, we’ll also have a team at the Baptist Church Hall on Baxter Gate selling refreshments. So when you come along to pick up some seed potatoes you can also nip round the corner for a slice of cake and a cuppa!

Lastly, we’re also planning ahead for events next month too.  A date for your diary is the morning of Saturday 22nd February when we’ll be holding another Repair Cafe in Fearon Hall.  As well as the usually repairers willing to try fixing items that would otherwise be thrown away, we’ll also be holding a Seed Swap in the Hall at the same time. So you can get something fixed, get your secateurs sharpened and also swap some seeds. More details about all that next month though!

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Some November reminders…

We had another successful Repair Cafe at Fearon Hall yesterday, with lots of happy people and fixed items.  Thanks to all who came along to the event, either to do repairs, bring items needing fixing or helping organise and run the event.  We’re looking to do another similar event early next year, probably in February.

However we’ve still got lots going on here in November, so here’s a few things for you to look forward to and pop into your diaries.

If you haven’t made your Potato Day 2020 order, you’ve just under a month to decide on varieties and order online at the website set up by our friends in Transition Chesterfield. Online orders close in early December, so don’t leave it too late. Remember to email uk once you’ve made your order to confirm that you’d like to have it delivered to Loughborough for pickup, otherwise it will be waiting for you in Chesterfield in January!

On Tuesday 12th November from 5.30 – 7.30pm at the Purple Pumpkin Patch on Ashby Rd we’re gathering together to make decorations for the Transition Loughborough Christmas tree.  This will be our entry into the annual Christmas Tree Festival held at All Saints church (the church near Fearon Hall). This year the ornaments on our tree will contain seeds in recycled packages, which we’ll be giving away to get local people growing in 2020. Come along on Tuesday evening to the shop to help make seed envelopes, and please bring any colourful magazine pages, waste ribbons and oddments of string that could be use to make and decorate the packages.

On 23rd November between 10am to 3pm there’s the Fair Trade and Green Living Fair at the Baptist Church in Loughborough. This is an annual event that lets you buy ethical, Fairtrade and eco-friendly gifts ready for the Festive Season. As part of this event, Transition Loughborough volunteers are hoping to encourage more sustainable gift wrapping – so come along and say hello!

Transition Loughborough entry for the 2019 Christmas Tree Festival in All Saints with Holy Trinity Church.


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Community Gardens Bloom Award

On Tuesday Martha and Steve attended an “It’s Your Neighbourhood” Britain in Bloom awards event to represent our King George Road community allotment plots in the “community gardens” category.  We achieved a “Level 3 – Advancing” status this year, with a report on a visit to our allotment site back in August.  Martha has kindly scanned the report so we can all see it:

We also received £25 which will be put towards compost for growing more plants in 2020.

So well done to everyone has been involved with the community plots this year!

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Xmas Tree Decoration Making Session

There will be a tree decoration making session on Tues 12th November from 5.30 – 7.30 at the Purple Pumpkin Patch, Ashby Rd. LE11 3AF.

Drop in anytime and help make up some folded envelopes, cloth bags and written labels for the seeds that we are collecting.

In preparation, please let us have any saved or unwanted seeds, junk mail/colourful paper that you are about to throw away and anything else that you think we could use for this.

Last year’s Transition Xmas Tree in the All Saints and Holy Trinity church festival

They can be left at the shop or bring them to our next event – The Repair Cafe on 9th Nov. Potato Day order forms will be available and/or can be handed in at this event.

The seed decorations are going to be given away at the festival and then again at the seed swap in the spring.

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Reminder: Fearon Hall Autumn Fair Saturday 12th October 2019

Just a quick reminder that this Saturday 12th October see’s the annual Fearon Hall Autumn Fair, at which Transition Loughborough will have a stall.  We’ll be doing some apple pressings, launching our Potato Day 2020 pre-orders, selling recycled cloth shopping bags and talking about our various projects.  We’ll also have people on hand who can sharpen garden secateurs & loppers and darn woolly hats & gloves to help you prepare for Winter.

So pop along to Fearon Hall this Saturday between 11am and 3pm and say hello!

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Fearon Hall Autumn Fayre launches Potato Day orders

Next Saturday, on 12th October 2019, Fearon Hall are holding their Autumn Fayre between 11am and 3pm!

We’ll have a Transition Loughborough stall at the event, and we’ll be using the event as the launch of the Potato Day 2020 pre-ordering period.  We’re expecting most people to make their pre-orders online via the web site that will be released on that day, but we’ll also be taking cash only (no cheques) paper pre-orders on the day for those who can’t order online.  T|he full list of seed potato varieties and other seeds and bulbs will also be release next Saturday (once it has been confirmed with our partners in Transition Chesterfield).

We’ll also have people on hand to talk about our various projects such as the Garage at Fearon Hall, the Energy Advice sessions we’ve run this year and our Community Allotments.  It would be great to meet & provide information to people who want to get involved in these, so pop along if you’re interested.  As we’re heading into Autumn we’ll have someone sharpening your garden secateurs and loppers to make winter pruning easier, and others offering help darning gloves and hats to help keep you warm.  Janet will bring some of our recycled cloth shopping bags for sale to – great to keep in your pocket or handbag for carrying the groceries home from the shops in!

So come along to Fearon Hall in Rectory Road (near the large parish church) on Saturday 12th October between 11am and 3pm. We’ll see you there!

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Potato Day 2020 gets under way soon!

Our successful annual Potato Days are set to continue with the announcement of the date for Potato Day 2020 – Saturday 25th January 2020. On that day we’ll have a stall on Loughborough Market to distribute pre-ordered potato and seed orders, with a limited range of seed potatoes for sale on the day. If you want to chose from the full range of varieties you need to pre-order!

As before we’re partnering with our friends at Transition Chesterfield to offer a wide selection of seed potato varieties, beans, onions, and other seeds and sundries that can be pre-ordered between 12th October 2019 and 2nd December 2019. Details of available varieties and prices will be available shortly, but this is a heads up that we’ll be launching the Potato Day 2020 process at the Fearon Hall Autumn Fayre on Saturday 12th October 2019.

At this event we’ll have details of the varieties on offer and also be taking paper based face-to-face pre-orders for those who can’t order online.  Note that this year we’re only accepting cash in advance for face-to-face pre-orders – no cheques I’m afraid as we were charged for bouncing cheques by our bank last year.  However, pre-orders made online will accept credit/debit cards as before.  We’ll also have some other Transition activities at the Fearon Hall Autumn Fayre, including our apple press in action, energy information to help keep you warm, sharpening of secateurs, loppers and shears to help you get ready for winter pruning in the garden and darning to repair woolly gloves and hats.

We will also be taking face-to-face cash orders on Saturday 23rd November at the Fairtrade and Green Living Fair in the Baptist Church.

Potato Day 2020 1st flyer


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Notes from AGM held on Tuesday 3rd September 2019

Transition Loughborough AGM 2019 (Fearon Hall, Tuesday September 3rd)

Present: Steve, Tobias, Martha, Suella, Emily, Meg, Janet S, Jason (Minutes), Peter (Uni. Student),Ken

Apologies: Caroline, Jon, Sarah

Chairing: Steve

Introductions by those present were made and a chair and minute-taker appointed.

Financial report

We have two accounts:

Transition Town Loughborough – £817.30

Transition Loughborough containing £994.87.

Main expenditure of liability insurance and Transition Chesterfield potato purchase, main sources of income are donations, bags, plants, potato day and apple pressings. Some of this money is being used to support the Fearon Garage project (discussed later in the meeting). There was an issue this year with two bounced cheques which cost us money and given this we may wish to avoid cheques next year. There were a couple of suggestions made to do this – one high tech- Izettle (card machine linked to a smart phone) and a low tech one involving a cash only proposal – there will be more discussion on this at the next Potato Day meeting. Incoming grants were from Loughborough University -£500 for apple press equipment improvement/maintenance and £2500 from Charnwood Borough Council for the Marches Energy Agency Bus plus their information and expertise at many events.

Past Event Reports

Steve suggested instead of doing group reports (as some areas are not so active) we do past event reports and there were no objections.

Janet talked about Potato Day 2019 – The end of January market stall worked well with good pre-ordering plus collection and selling of seeds. It remains a great way of interacting with the public and the talks/pre-ordering at Fearon Hall were also successful in this way. Only minus were the bounced cheques mentioned above. Potato Day 2020 is well in preparation and there is a meeting on this Thursday 5th September.

Seed swaps and plant sales – several this year which Martha talked about. Notably the Boat event and Fearon Hall events including the wet weather ‘Picnic in the Hall’. All raised some money and were worth doing though the Boat event was a little disappointing so not sure about repeating that one.

Steve and Meg talked about the successful relationship we have had with Fearon Hall over the last year including the Picnic in the Hall and Fete on the Green events plus the newly taken over garage at the back of the hall. There is energy to continue to develop and build on with these all and it’s good to see the links from last year have developed.

Jason mentioned the one successful repair café this year at Fearon Hall helped along by the very active Leicester Fixers and Marie in particular. We will have repairers at two more events this year.

Planned Future Events

Fearon Hall Autumn Fair & Repair Café – these are on Saturday Oct 12th and Nov 9th respectively. Our Autumn Fair contribution will include tool sharpening and darning/cloth mending plus a general Transition stall and the Apple Press. The repair café will cover all aspects of repair including, hopefully, a cycle repairer – Jon has booked in the repairers – Jason to manage on the day after a little more ‘training’ from Jon.

Apple Press is out and about over the next few weeks including the Fruit Route Harvest festival on Friday 19th October.

EcoSocial – next one at the Boat Inn on Monday 9th September at 7pm – Anne-Marie Culhane will be there to talk about/ promote the Fruit Routes initiative at the University and after any comments/ideas.

Christmas Tree Festival involvement – Janet told us this is at the All Saints Parish church from Wednesday 27th November until Sunday 1st December. We have a tree space booked and we want to create a tree decorated with origami seed packets and pertinent information. We need to organize a workshop to make this happen and she will hopefully be looking at doing this at the Purple Pumpkin Patch. Watch this space for details. We also have said we want lights on our tree – need to organize that too. We also want to use the mini wheelbarrows we’ve acquired in the display to give away some seed packets.

Fairtrade & Green Living Fair involvement – Steve informed us this on Saturday 23rd November at the Baptist Church. This will be a Purple Pumpkin Patch/Crop Club/Transition partnership. The stall there will also be taking pre-orders for Potato day plus promoting alternative ‘green’ gift wrapping ideas.

Community Allotment – The community allotment has been working well again this year, with summer Wednesday evening social gardening sessions coming to an close at the end of this month (when it gets too dark in the evenings). There is now a new polytunnel on one of the plots, financed via a grant to the Anand Mangal Ladies Group that they will use to grow some of their crops that need protection.

The garage workshop space at Fearon Hall

Steve updated on this. We have recently agreed as a group to rent the garage at the back of the hall to use as a store and workshop. The first year’s rent of £200 has been generously ‘waived’ to be put towards any improvements and repairs needed to make the garage a safe and secure workable space. After several Monday evening ‘work meets’ lots has been done to the space – We are looking at getting electricity to the garage in the next month or two, plus also finishing making it all watertight, getting the side door working and decorating the inside to maximise light. In the mid-term we are looking forward to having some events out of it – this is quite exciting. We will be continuing on repairs until the end of September on Monday evenings. After this we will need a meeting to discuss how to set the space up going into next year.

Ideas for future projects and grants/funding for them

Meg brought up the possibility of £750 funds/grant for work on the community corner garden/space  on Cambridge Street as it currently needs TLC as no one is managing it and she has been approached about it. She suggested Transition could have a discussion and a ‘meet’ to see if we could help, maybe using the newly acquired garage space to work on it from.


Janet has an old Nokia P.A.Y.G. phone available we can use if we want to give a number out as a contact for Transition Loughborough. She suggested we share the holding of it between members – she will pass it on shortly.

Janet asked that when sending out Transition e-mails, can the sender please make sure they update the message header. Some are going out with an older subject still on it and she has not looked at some because of this.

Steve wanted to highlight ‘Invisible People’ within Transition Loughborough whose full contribution is sometimes ‘missed’. Mentions were made of Jon, Suella – ‘Master-Gardener’, Emily and Caroline. We’ve got lots of talent so a collective big ‘Thank You’.

Date of next AGM will be sometime early September 2020 after the Fearon Hall AGM.

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Busy times ahead!

We’re moving into Autumn, and Transition Loughborough has a number of events and projects planned in the coming weeks.  They start this Sunday (1st September) with the initial apple pressings of the Autumn 2019 season at Sutton Bonington show, where we’ll be with the folks from Greening Sutton Bonington again turning their village’s apples into tasty juice.

On Monday 2nd September we’ll be doing two things, both at Fearon Hall.  From 5pm until 7pm we’ll be doing more work to restore the garage work space we are now renting at the community centre.  Big changes have happened in the last month – lots of “stuff” has been pulled out of the garage, sorted, some recycled, some found new homes for and some put into good use around the site.  We found the roof caps sitting on a shelf at the back of the garage, so that helped to make a start on getting the space water tight. We’re about to tackle more tasks to keep the rain out, fix the doors and hopefully get a power supply installed.

Then from 7pm to 9pm we’re holding an apple press training session.  This year we’re encouraging the groups that regularly hire our apple press each year to come to this session with a few of their local people to learn how to set up, safely use and then dismantle the press themselves.  This will not only reduce the number of TL volunteers required to do Autumn apple pressings but means that the skills and understanding of apple press construction and usage spreads out throughout communities in the area.  We’re hoping it will spark others into building and using their own presses, expanding and embedding this use of otherwise wasted local food resources into these communities. We already have pressings booked from folk at Woodhouse Eaves, the University sustainability team,  Fruit Routes, and several community groups.

Next on Tuesday 3rd September we have our Annual General Meeting. This is also being held at Fearon Hall, and indeed is just after Fearon Hall’s own AGM. Ours starts at 6.30pm, and Fearon Hall’s is at 5pm, so if you’re interested in both Transition Loughborough and the community centre you can attend both without moving from your seat! We’ll be reviewing the projects we’re undertaking, looking forward to coming events that will take us up to Christmas, including our stalls at the Fearon Hall Autumn Fayre, the next Repair Cafe, the plans for the Fairtrade Fayre and the Xmas Tree Festival.  There’ll also be discussion about Potato Day 2020. Come along if you want to meet other Transitioners and get involved with our activities.

Don’t forget that we still have our regular summer Wednesday evening social gardening sessions running at our community allotment on King George Road during September.  We’ve now got a new polytunnel erected on the site, which gives us protected growing space again (as well as some where to shelter if it rains!). There’s currently lots of fruit and vegetables to harvest, so come along to help and share in the bounty!

And as mentioned above, we’re planning events in October, November and December already. On Saturday October 12th we’re at the Fearon Hall Autumn Fayre with a stall containing lots of Transition information and goodies, as well as some folk who can darn socks and gloves, and sharpen tools to help prepare you for winter. Then on Saturday 9th November we’re aiming to run another of our popular Repair Cafe events at Fearon Hall from 9.30am to 11.30am. In December we’ll be joining in again with the All Saints Church Xmas Tree Festival by constructing a Transition themed tree – promoting reuse, recycling, energy efficiency and local resilience.


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