Textile Repair Cafe

We’ve got another in our popular line of Repair Cafe events coming up on Saturday 20th May from 9.30am to midday at Fearon Hall. The slight difference this time is that we’re focusing on clothing and textile repairs. So if you have some clothes that need a bit of TLC or the elastic has gone in your trousers waistband, bring them along to Fearon Hall and see if our volunteers can show you how they can be mended.

We’ll also have someone on hand who can sharpen things. This can include scissors that you use for needlework, but they’re also happy to sharpen secateurs, loppers, shears, etc!

For those who haven’t been there before, Fearon Hall is the community centre on Rectory Road in Loughborough – postcode LE11 1PL. There’s limited parking at the hall itself, but the Rushes shopping centre has a large car park just a only a few minutes walk away, along with several bus stops.

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Good to Grow event

On Saturday, 22nd April we’ll be holding an event at the Transition Loughborough community allotment as part of the “Good to Grow” campaign by Sustain – The Alliance for better food and farming. At it we’ll discuss how more food can be grown and harvested locally, and we’ll have a space for people to swap seeds, plants and produce. So if you’re interested in getting more local food produced in the town, or you have a glut of tomato seedlings & home made jam you’d like to share with others, or you just want to see what the community allotment is all about, pop along between 3pm and 5pm.

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Minutes of Transition AGM held on Thurs 30th March 2023 at John Storer House

Those present:- Bertil, Caroline, Janet, Jason, Julian, Ken, Martha, Mo and Sarah.

Apologies from:- Emily and Sue.

Caroline Harding was introduced to the group.

The previous minutes were read and all on going items were addressed in detail during this meeting.

Treasurer’s Report

Main Account stands at: £2696.05

Potato Day 2023 (cash to bank after final query dealt with): £152.65 (plus £81.40 paid directly into a/c from Transition Chesterfield)

Cashbox: £187.01 (will bank £100 of this after account book updated) – This includes £170 handed over from Fearon Hall on 10/3/2023 that was kept in their safe from 2019/2020 plant sales etc.

Ins and outs

Main incomes over last 18 months have been potato days (2022 and 2023), various plant sales, several apple pressings and a Charnwood B.C. grant for carbon literacy course provision.

Main outgoings have been allotment rent, bits for the new shed e.g. water butts etc. (shed itself was donated), carbon literacy course 3rd party provision (Caroline), room hire (meetings + repair cafés), public liability insurance.

Expenditure already agreed: manual /electric pump for allotment (£100-200), replacement water butt for old shed

* Changes since last AGM, 21st October 2021 – a gain of around £600 in monies held by the group

Janet questioned whether we should be raising our public liability insurance from £2,000,000 to £5,000,000. Any event run by the council requires the latter amount. Jason to discuss with insurer on renewal.

Food and Gardening

Incredible Edible – Julian reported on the progress of Incredible Edible since the overwhelming interest shown at the launch evening. The gardening courses are underway and making good use of the greenhouse at the back of Fearon Hall. Jerry’s shelving is making all the difference. The corner garden ended up being set up by just Martha and Julian but many locals have pitched in by watering when needed. It is proving useful as an example of what can be done. There is an interest in setting up small growing plots around the town. Julian would like these interest groups to be in contact with each other for support.

Further discussion continued regarding Transition’s ongoing partnership with I. E. A hard consensus was not formed but it was felt that we are two bodies with similar aims which could at some point come together under one umbrella organisation, Julian did state he felt I.E. was part of Transition Loughborough but the group at the A.G.M. were keen for I.E. to maintain its individual identity although still working closely with them.

It is early days, but it has been suggested that we could join forces and become a Community Interest Company (C.I.C.) or a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (C.I.O.) to help with grants etc. It was suggested that we see how Transition Chesterfield is set up and that we could learn about charitable status from the Rectory Wild Life Garden. At the moment, I.E. has its own insurance but it could come under our banner in time. It was agreed to review the situation over the next year. Jason will meet with Julian to further discuss any moves forward on this.

Potato Day – Janet reported that the event went well again this year and told us:

‘‘57 customers placed an order last Autumn. 7 more than last year. It was good to see some new names appearing on our data base.

We raised over £200 on orders, just under £200 on Potato Day and £75 from after sales. £482.71 in total. Expenditure, which included stock to sell, printing and room hire came to £248.65.

The final profit was £234.06.

Running the event from John Storer House was a good move. More effort will be made to encourage the customers who bought on the day to order in advance next time.

We will be packing our orders in L’boro from now on. Keith, Sarah, Nick and myself did the collecting from Chesterfield this time. We have a problem with the quality of the paper bags and are following up one suggestion. Any help locating strong bags would be appreciated.*

We had a lot of tubers left over, not because we had over ordered, more because we bring the stock here in bulk and there were more in the sacks than expected. As well as the after sales, we gave tubers to 5 Allotment groups. J S House asked if they could give some away in their Your Store shop. This led to us making up ‘growing kits’ at Transitions expense with a few tubers, compost, a container and instructions. We plan to make more available on next year’s Potato Day. Please save any spare containers, pots or sacks for this project.

Going forward, we always need help with publicity esp in local publications.

Thanks go to the team of Keith & Sarah Hillier, Mo, Suella, Sarah and Jon. Also, to the shopping bag makers as we needed more than usual this time.

We look forward to working on our 10th event later this year.’’

* Mo offered to talk to the Zero Waste shop on Baxter Gate as their bags seem stronger.

Sarah raised the issue of using Mail Chimp to keep in touch with our customers and stressed the advantages of using this system of communication. All agreed that this should be done.

Sarah will contact Jon on this to work out if any changes to the current set-up are needed.

Allotment – Martha reported that the 3 plots are in good order with a recent top up of horse manure etc. More helpers are needed to share the work load. It is hoped that some of those interested in I E will join in, either on Wed evenings from 4pm and/or on the occasional Saturday working party. Plans are in hand to buy a small pump to make obtaining water from the ajoining stream easier and safer. Ken is installing water butts around both sheds as last summer’s hot weather showed that we need to harvest as much water as possible during wet weather. The donated poly tunnel will be in situ shortly and Ken is looking to place more slabs around the site. There are plans to add more storage shelves to the new shed now that most of the equipment has been moved there. A small gas burner would be useful when it comes to offering refreshments to helpers – Martha to relook at old stove and request a new one if that is beyond repair.

Apple Press -Janet reported that all the equipment has been overhauled, some is stored in the allotment shed and some in Julian’s wife’s garage for easy access. It will be available to attend events in the Autumn and a team of helpers will be needed. The requests for pressing sessions usually go through Jon and the website. It was felt that someone from Transition should be with the equipment at all times. The hire cost was mentioned. Bertil pointed out that groups that use it and make no charge at the event could be put off by the hire cost esp. if we raise it from the present £15. Events that charge an entrance fee should be charged more. No decision was made and further discussion is needed. At one time a deposit was charged. Janet is to speak to Jon for the background on this.

Other Events

Repair Cafe – The next one has been booked for Sat 20th May from 9.30 – 12noon at Fearon Hall.

We need more general, electronic and elecrical repairers. Jason to approach Leicester Fixers and see if B-Buddies will attend again. It was suggested that we ask Gemma if any of the Woodhouse Eaves repairs would be able to help. We will be paying for someone to run the cafe.

Now is the time to start advertising, poster, website etc. Janet to run off a basic flyer to be available at the Seed Share. We hope to run 2 more repair events this year. Jason to get dates from Dawn/Meg at Fearon Hall.

As yet, we have no other events planned for the summer months. Eco social? Ideas welcome.


Janet wanted to acknowledged the suggestions that had been made via the google group since the last meeting. There have been many good ideas that would help boost our appeal and get more people involved. Much as we would like to follow some of them up, there is a need for volunteers to process them. Please don’t stop them coming owing to lack of response.

The date of the next meeting was not discussed. The meeting ended at 9.15pm.

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Reminder: AGM Thurs 30th March – Seed Swap Sat 1st April

Reminder: AGM Thurs 30th March – Seed Swap Sat 1st April

The 2023 Transition Loughborough AGM will take place on Thursday 30th March in the downstairs Forest Room at John Storer House. Time – 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start

All are welcome to attend – this is meeting is a chance to review what the group has achieved in the past year and plan for the coming one, as well as meet with other Transition Loughborough volunteers. So if you want to find out what is happening, and maybe even get involved with one of the projects, please pop along.

We also have a second seed swap of the year at Fearon Hall on Saturday, where you can pick up some free seeds just in time for the growing season and we encourage leaving any unwanted seeds you might have that could be useful for other growers. Time for this is 10am-12pm and the cafe is serving a fine vegan breakfast/brunch as well: https://fearonhall.org.uk/

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2023 AGM date

The 2023 Transition Loughborough AGM will take place on Thursday 30th March in the downstairs Forest Room at John Storer House. Time – 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start

All are welcome to attend – this is meeting is a chance to review what the group has achieved in the past year and plan for the coming one, as well as meet with other Transition Loughborough volunteers. So if you want to find out what is happening, and maybe even get involved with one of the projects, please pop along.

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Last few potatoes, onion sets and seeds for sale

We had a great Potato Day last weekend – thanks to everyone who took part. We should end up with over £200 profit once all the expenses have been paid, and this is used to pay some of the Transition Loughborough bills for the rest of the year (for example our event insurance cover and the rental of the community allotment plots). Being able to “self fund” by schemes such as Potato Day rather than relying on grants makes Transition Loughborough more resilient and we couldn’t do it without all of our great supporters. Thank you all!

After the on-the-day sales on Saturday still have some varieties of potatoes, onions and beans to sell on a first come, first served basis. The seed potato tubers are 20p each and are as follows :-

  • 1st early – 10 Swift
  • 2nd early – 4 British Queen, lots of Charlotte, lots of Kestrel (organic), 4 Nicola and 5 Wilja
  • Main crop – 9 Desiree, 133 Maris Piper, 4 Picasso, 100 Pink Fir Apple and 43 Sarpo Mira

Also :-

  • 3 Sturon and 3 Red Baron Onion Sets @ 80p each (approx 25 per bag)
  • 4 Aquadulce Broad Beans @ £1.20 each (approx 50 per pack)

Sales are on a first come first served basis and will be processed by Janet Smith – email transitionlboro@gmail.com with the varieties and numbers you’d like. Collection with cash payment will be from The Purple Pumpkin Patch, Ashby Rd. or by arrangement.

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Seed swap at Fearon Hall

We’ll be holding a seed swap event for local gardeners at Fearon Hall on Saturday 4th March from 10am to noon. This is free for all to come and swap seeds with other local growers. If you’ve unwanted, old, partially used or self saved seeds bring them along, pop them on the sharing tables and then see if there are other seeds you’d like to pick up. Vegetables, fruit, herbs and flower seeds all welcome.

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Public meeting to announce the launch of Incredible Edible Loughborough

Incredible Edible is a community food growing scheme. We are local growers of fruit and vegetables committed to making food local, healthy and freely available to all. Incredible Edible grows food on public spaces in urban settings at many projects throughout the UK. More information can be found at: https://www.incredibleedible.org.uk/

We have two projects in Loughborough, the public garden on Cambridge Street and the garden on Rectory Road. In 2022 we grew a wide range of food through the summer and autumn. The food is free to the community to help themselves and conversations showed how enthusiastic people in the area have been about this. Incredible Edible has plans to expand further and we are holding a public meeting at Fearon Hall on the 15th February 7pm to 9.15pm to bring the project to the notice of a wider public and also to promote our “How to Grow” courses. These will be courses for beginners or people with some experience in how to grow their own food, using the greenhouse at Fearon Hall and planting out in the Incredible Edible gardens.

At Fearon Hall on the evening of the 15th there will be a talk on Incredible Edible, and the various crises facing our food supplies, debate, discussion, resources to look through, and after food and drinks we will show a 20 minute film on regenerative agriculture.

All welcome. If you eat, you’re in.

For more information email jmrees55@yahoo.com.

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Potato Day is 28th January 2023!

With the New Year comes the first of Transition Loughborough’s major events of the year: Potato Day!  We’re holding this on Saturday 28th January 2023 from 9.30am to 1pm and this year we’ll be in John Storer House, which is located on Wards End, Loughborough, LE11 3HA.  If you made a Potato Day pre-order last Autumn with us, please come along then to pick up your potatoes, seeds and other items you’ve ordered.

But what if you missed out on placing an order?  Well you’re in luck: we’ll have a limited range of seed potatoes there for sale on the day at 20p per tuber. We’ll also have some onions sets at 80p per 100g bag (approx.25 onions), broad beans at £1.20 per packet (approx. 50 seeds)  and peas at £1.20 per packet (approx. 200 seed). We should stress that we’ll only have limited numbers of all of these for sale on the day, so if you want to pick some up, please make sure you get there early.  They’ll be sold on a first come, first served basis and when they’ve gone, that’s it!


For more details see our Potato Day page.

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Potato Day bag making session

To save on plastic, we have been packing the Potato Day orders in fabric bags for 2 years now.

We have arranged a social get-together to make some more to use this time. We would love to see anyone who can use a sewing machine, pin fabric together, run the iron or give us moral support. We will have cut out bags ready to be made up.

If you are free, it’s at the Purple Pumpkin Patch, 102 Ashby Rd on Monday 16th Jan from 6pm to 8pm. It would be helpful if you can let us know if you can pop this in your diary & come along to help.

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