Transition Stroud

This is a shared history blog. Together we can write the history of our process of transition as it happens.

Friday, 27 April 2007

'Transition Drinks' Wednesday 23rd May

'Transition Drinks' Wednesday 23rd May 7.30 in Nine Bar, 9 John Street, Stroud

All this good stuff happening in Stroud and there is often no time to talk and share. It has been long suggested Stroud needs an informal Green Drinks - it was tried once but not with this broad group - the huge success of the Coffee House Discussion group each month shows it could work - now with Transition Stroud I think the time is right.

We are giving the first meeting a ago in May at the Nine Bar - see above - we then could make it the fourth Wednesday of the month. Meanwhile Nine are exploring the possibility of getting Stroud brewery and seemed very keen to support local enterprises; they already source some food locally. I understand coffee and other drinks are also served.

The idea comes partly from Green Drinks International who have lists of groups across the world who meet up monthly. They suggest newcomers who don't know people ask "are you green?" - perhaps we should make it "are you Transition Stroud?"

In other places it has become a great way of catching up with people you know and also for making new contacts. Everyone invites someone else along, so there’s always a different
crowd, making it an organic, self-organising network. These events are simple and unstructured, but many people have found employment, made friends, developed new ideas, done deals and had moments of serendipity.

Please pass details of this on to others - all welcomed. All are also welcomed to tomorrow nights' Coffee House Discussion on Nanotechnology :

Friday 27th April - The perils and possibilities of Nanotechnology. Whose afraid of the big grey goo? Is the grey goo scenario real? Do advanced technologies have a place in a greener world? What can nanotechnology do for you? Can nanotechnology make solar power affordable for all? New pollution, new health issues are the risks too high? Open to anyone - 7.30 to 9.30pm at Star Anise Arts Cafe at the Painswick Inn, Gloucester Street, Stroud.

See more re Coffee House discussions here:

Creating our Future Together

We had a brilliant evening, planning out the Transition Stroud banner and patchworking our ideas for the future.

Ali and Dave were excellent hosts with ready supplies of wine, crisps, flapjacks and cheese. Their living room was packed with excited women, while the men lurked on the edges. I had brought a crudely drawn design that came to me one morning as I was waking up. It showed hills in the foreground with 'Transition Town Stroud' written on them, with a sunrise of oranges, reds and yellows behind. Sillhouetted on the outline of the hills were aspects of our sustainable future: a bicycle, a wind turbine, and so on.

This was rapidly improved on by Jane Ford of the Stroudwater Textile Trust, and an experienced banner-making. She produced a much more impressive sketch on the back of a receipt she found in her handbag. She and Rosemary and Fran got together over the background cloth (a second-hand curtain from a charity shop) to put the design together for real.

Meanwhile, Ali had suggested the rest of us produce words on small pieces of cloth to patchwork around the edge. We brainstormed words that represented the future we are seeking to create. I got stuck on 'holism' but others had more encouraging words like love, hope, caring and sharing. We were free to choose how to put the words onto the cloth--applique, beading, embroidery. No limits to creativity.

We did find time to discuss the business of the textile network. Jane mentioned some of the highlights of the Textile Festival in Stroud from 1st to 21st May. Fran and Rose told us about their plans for a Fashion Show in October. We discussed trips to Filkins (our local woollen mill) and the House of Hemp and Eden Project in Cornwall. The depressingly obstructive response from the Home Office to our attempts to grow hemp were reviled.

We're aiming to have the banner ready for the launch of Transition Stroud with Richard Heinberg's visit at the end of May. We have decided to meet weekly in the Waggon and Horses until it is done.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Fortune cookies

Following up on the massive success of the first showing of The Power of Community together with StroudSown food and music by the Laery Fairies a much more restrained gathering was held in the British School on 20th April. The film was shown again, but this time to a much smaller audience, followed up by a group discussion and networking over tea and cake.

Most of the reaction was very positive, with people feeling excited about the possibility of being able to make major changes for the better in society as a result of the pressure from climate change and peak oil. People were confident of the power of their community here in Stroud.

The Connection group had decided to suggest to the core group that showing films to small groups, together with discussion, is the best way to encourage people to make change. The next step is to encourage people to form small affinity groups to get together to discuss changes in their own lives. I have a horrible fear of the champagne socialists of Bremner, Bird and Fortune but feel sure we can overcome this!

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Monday, 23 April 2007

'Peak Oil' Will Be Reached by 2018?

snipshot_e4feprtdgb9.jpg Global oil production will peak sometime between next year and 2018 and then decline, according to a controversial new model developed by a Swedish physicist. Read more here.

Here in Stroud we are lucky enough to be having a visit from one of the world experts on Peak Oil - Richard Heinberg - he is due to visit at the end of May/early June and TTS are hoping to help organise a public talk. In his work he notes
that some scientists and researchers say we might even have reached the point of Peak Oil already - or will reach by 2010 - clearly none of this is an exact science but all lends support to the urgency of projects like TTS.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

National Downshifting Week

Saturday 21st to Friday 27th April 2007

7 days and 7 ways - to Slow Down and Green Up

See more here:

Saturday, 7 April 2007

TTS Transport group meet

Some aspects of campaigning are hard work but have to say a meeting last week of the Transition Town Stroud (TTS) working group looking at Transport was very pleasant indeed - 7 of us met at the Village Shop and took our tea, coffee and cakes out into the sun.

Photo: TTS meeting

This was the second of the TTS transport group meetings and the discussion was wide-ranging from the needs locally for improved bus and train services and better cycling and walking to what individuals can do to reduce their car use - all those coming to Whiteshill (2 miles outside Stroud) for the meeting had walked, cycled or caught the bus - but how can we best change the way we use the car? For many it is a habit and our world has been designed around it's use - despite the fact that so many don't have access to a car.

Photo: Big Green Thumb advert

There was talk of a Transport Manifesto which included the need the bus interchange in Stroud, the canal having proper commuting cycle facilities and more plus actions like Driving Greener (see Philip's blog on 29th March) and a Big Green Thumb project to encourage hitching.

It was exciting to see the enthusiasm in this group to help make the changes we so need - in coming meetings there will be more looking at aims the group wants to achieve.