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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AGM heads up, and a new space

Its time for a Transition Loughborough AGM meeting!  We hold these every so often so that people from all the various groups within Transition can hear about what is going on, discuss future plans and check that we’re doing what our community want to be doing.  The next one will be held at Fearon Hall from 6.30pm to around 8.30pm on Tuesday 3rd September.  This will be straight after Fearon Hall’s own AGM, so many people will hopefully attend both.

A provisional agenda is likely to cover:

  1. Introductions
  2. Financial report
  3. Quick (5 minute max) updates from various groups
  4. Christmas Tree Festival involvement
  5. Fairtrade & Green Living Fair involvement
  6. Fearon Hall Autumn Fayre & repair events
  7. The garage workshop space at Fearon Hall
  8. Ideas for future projects and grants/funding for them

This agenda may be added to over the next few weeks based on discussions on our mailing list, but it will give you the idea of what we’ll talk about. Pop a note in your diary now! If you’ve been wanting to meet Transition folk and get involved more, this is a great opportunity to say hello and find out what is going on.

In the list you may notice mention of the garage workshop space at Fearon Hall.  At a meeting last Monday we agreed to rent an old garage at the side/rear of Fearon Hall for £200 per year.  It was originally installed at the Hall many years ago by a cycling group who subsequently moved on, and it has just been used as a store/dumping ground in recent years.  We will now have exclusive use of the space, which can both be for storing some of our larger items and also for “messy” workshop space for things like bicycle repairs or woodworking.

The garage needs clearing out and some repairs and refurbishment before we can use it, so we’re planning to meet up every Monday evening from 5pm from now until the end of September to work on the space. Anyone interested in helping out is most welcome to come along (wear rough clothes as it will be messy!) – we’re located down the side of Fearon Hall accessible through the large black metal gate.

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Meeting to discuss workspace space and future event plans

We’re planning a meet up on 29th July 2019 at 7pm to discuss the possible uses of a garage space at the rear of Fearon Hall that we’re being offered the rental of.  This would give Transition Loughborough dedicated space to store some larger items (such as our gazebo) and also space that could be used for workshops, especially “messier” ones such as apple pressing courses, bike repair sessions, and woodworking projects. We’re meeting at the old garage itself – accessible to the side of Fearon Hall at 7pm to look at the space available, discuss how we could use it and then decide if we want to commit some of our funds to rent it and fit it out for our use.

After spending an hour or so in the garage, we may then walk down to the Boat Inn to discuss planning for events later in the summer such as the Mela, Fair Trade Fair, the next Repair Cafe, a BBQ celebration at the allotment, apple pressings and the Christmas Tree Festival (yes, Christmas planning in July!).

All are welcome to come along – its a great chance to meet up with some Transition folk and help influence what we’re going to be working on in the next six months. Just arrive at Fearon Hall before 7pm and we’ll take you to the garage space to start the discussions.

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Fete on the Green this weekend

This Saturday sees the return of the Fete on the Green held on the grass at Fearon Hall/All Saints Parish Church (near the Three Nuns pub, just up Churchgate from the town centre) from 11am-3pm.

Transition Loughborough will have a stall at the event, and Caroline from Marches Energy Agency will be bringing the Fantastic Homes van along as well to help distribute energy saving advice. Our stall will have some plants grown by the LAGS students on the University campus, and we’ll have volunteers on hand who you can talk to about Transition, reducing your carbon footprint and how to get involved with some of other projects.

There’s lots more to see and do at the event and the weather looks set to be great this weekend, so hopefully we’ll see you at the Fete!

Fete on the Green poster

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Eco-social at The Boat Inn 24th June 2019 at 7pm

It’s time for another get together to talk about eco-friendly projects and what different groups in Charnwood are up to. Yes, it’s another eco-social evening!

As before it’s being held at the Boat Inn alongside the canal in Loughborough. The date & time for your diaries is 24th June 2019 at 7pm. If you’ve been wanting to get involved more with Transition Loughborough, find out what we do, or just want to meet some like minded folk for a chat and a drink (non-alcoholic too!) then this relaxed, informal meet up is for you! Don’t be shy – pop along, buy a drink and then join us for a chat.

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Picnic in the Park stop press venue change

We’ve just been told that, because of the expected rain & wind tomorrow (Saturday 8th June), the Picnic in the Park stalls are being moved to Fearon Hall, in Rectory Road (opposite side of the town centre from Queens Park). We’ll still be there with information on Transition Loughborough projects and energy saving advice – just a lot drier than we would otherwise have been!

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Picnic in the Park Saturday 8th June

One of the highlights of the summer in Loughborough every year is the Charnwood Arts Picnic in the Park event, and this year is no exception. The event takes place on Saturday June 8th 2019 in Queens Park in Loughborough. The Picnic in the Park is the opportunity for local people to enjoy watching dancers, listening to music and talking with community groups from the town.

We’ll be there with some stalls hosting information about Transition Loughborough. This year the Marches Energy Agency “Fantastic Home” mobile exhibition van will be with us thanks to a grant from Charnwood Borough Council to help offer energy efficiency and money saving advice. The whole event is free, so please pop round to Queens Park on Saturday 8th June and say hello! If you or people you know want to find out more about how to get involved with Transition Loughborough, this is the ideal event to come along to as we’ll have plenty of time to chat (hopefully in the sunshine!)

Transition Loughborough stalls at a previous Picnic in the Park


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Need somewhere to garden whilst helping others?

We’ve been contacted by Roz from BACA, a local charity specialising in providing specialist supported accommodation and development training for young people who are 16 years and over. They specifically work with separated young people who are seeking asylum, some of whom have been victims of trafficking.

They have recently purchased their first house in Loughborough which is a very exciting time for them. The house has a large garden and lots of allotment raised beds for growing vegetables.

Roz would like to get in touch with anyone who would consider volunteering with BACA to help them maintain their new garden space. The opportunity might sometimes involve showing the young people what is being done and how the garden is being maintained. Full training and induction would be provided to anyone joining their volunteer team, including all safeguarding training. Any volunteers who would be interested in providing them with help maintaining their garden would also be able to grow vegetables of their choice in the raised beds and keep all produce grown.

So if you’d like to get involved with this project, help young adults get into gardening and be able to grow your own, please contact Roz via email:

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Weekly Wednesday Gardening Sessions Restarting

It is March, so that means that our regularly Wednesday summer evening social gardening sessions are restarting!  From Wednesday 20th March we’ll be meeting from 5pm at our community allotment plots off King George Road  The postcode for sat navs is LE11 2PA – go through wooden gate (as shown below), down path, along on the right to find our plots.

The gate for the lane that leads from King George Road to our allotment plots

No gardening skills are necessary! Bring some good shoes though. Its a great place to garden socially with others, get in some outdoor physical activity and have fun whilst growing food and flowers.

We will be there regularly again every Wednesday, and some of us may start earlier in the afternoon, depending on availability. If there’s nobody there when you arrive, grab a seat on the patio near the shed and watch the local wildlife in peace!

For Wednesday 20th March, the plan is to plant out the first potatoes which we kept for chitting from the Potato Day. We can also plant out some more onions and garlic plants.

Come and bring some friends along too!

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