Monday, September 26, 2011

CleanUp Tenterden Day - a Success!

Well, I never thought the day would arrive, but arrive it did, along with butterflies in the stomach for me (well, those arrived about a week ago and grew steadily worse). Why? Well, I've been planning this since early June, and I was worried that nobody would show up, or worse, only one person showing up. In a way that would be even more of a slap in the face - like a waiter receiving a tip of a penny. People leave no tip, you think they just forgot. They leave a penny, you know you suck. But no matter - it was, as I say, a great day!

The day before Laura and I went to have a look at the area she would be covering - the footpath in the field behind our row of houses in Shrubcote, where the local kids have set up a makeshift football pitch.

A closer looked revealed that she would have her work cut out.

But she was up to the challenge, as shall be revealed later.

Finally, the day itself...
First off, the weather was beautiful. Sunny, warm, and almost no breeze. Easy to put up the gazebo (which we are getting to be old hands at)...

That pale green tablecloth and I go back a loooong way.

Early birds showing up at four minutes past nine, my mother and stepdad (aka Deputy Mayor of Tenterden and her escort). How do I know it was FOUR minutes past? Because that's when I took this photo.

After we'd set up our gazebo with the aid of Justin Nelson (Tenterden's finest legal eagle) and the two Chris's (above) we were ready for the troops to arrive. And arrive they did.

Emma and Penny.

Sis hands out the 20% off coupons for the William Caxton.

A family thing - Heather Crease (centre) with daughters Di (from Transition Llandrindod, left) and Sue.

The piles of bags kept growing as the pickers in their various locales kept picking...

The Rotarians gave it some stick. (Sorry, couldn't resist the awful pun)

We were joined by Jo Vos, our Community Warden, and new PCSO Danielle Parker...

And yes, a few kids were there too...
Laura returned victorious with her bags of trash...

To reward the returning pickers, tea and coffee was kindly provided by Tenterden Leisure Centre...

And cake was provided by my sister and by Jean Curtis, who could not be there...

Penny Swan and Christine enjoy some post-litter picking cake and coffee.
Still the pile grew, until we finished with 32 bags in total.

The glass, cans and cardboard were taken by myself and Fiona Roberts over to the nearby recycling bins behind the Leisure Centre.

Most unusual finds? well, Emma's team found 63p, and someone found this...

We initially thought it was from a belisha beacon, but we don't have any of those in Tenterden. Looking around us we saw that it was clearly the top of a lamppost from the Leisure Centre. I duly returned it to the Leisure Centre, who were pleased to have it back. Apparently people shake the posts and the tops are so loose that they fall off.  Wow, people must be really bored.

So, all things considered it was a successful day. We did what we came to do, got our pictures in the paper (the incredibly tall photographer from the Kentish Express was there), and had a good time. And we'll do it again next year! Next - T3Tea, this coming Saturday, be there at 10 am, Highbury Hall!

Oh, and in case I haven't mentioned it enough, vote for us on the NatWest Community Force website -  . All you need to do is register and vote away! You may vote three times.

Friday, September 23, 2011

September Meeting - Minutes

T3 Meeting 22/9/11 The William Caxton
Present :- Jeff, Carolyn, Chris, Christopher, Justin, Jo Vos, Niki, Jean, Jeannie, Dave, Richard .
Apologies :- Emma, Sue F

Clean Up Day. This will be on Saturday, 24th September, 10 AM at ThePavilion. The Leisure Centre will be providing Tea and Coffee. The William Caxton will be giving 20% off food for all participants on the day. Jo Vos will have the keys to the pavilion, Christine will obtain extra electric tokens from the Town Hall.
Jeff asked that people bring cameras to take photos. Everybody to arrive at the pavilion to register at 10 AM, and disperse to collect rubbish. All to bring back their rubbish to the pavilion between 12 and 1, and help sort the recyclables etc. Jeff noted how many phone calls from interested parties he had been receiving largely due to a town-wide mailer that went out from the Chamber of Commerce encouraging people to participate. (Big thanks to Sue, who could not attend)

T3TEA . October 1st, Highbury Hall,10-4. Tea, coffee, cakes, jams, chutneys. Displays of projects, 12 Vendors. Vendors may arrive from 8AM. Carolyn asked for donations of raffle prizes, cakes, books etc. We will be having a book swap, and a seed swap. Dave offered a voucher from the Sinden Theatre as a prize.

NatWest Community Force Grant. Voting for this starts on 26th September. Jeff asked everyone to go online and vote for our project,and gave the web address.

Lights Out Tenterden. We have discussed this idea previously. We would like to arrange one night, or one week when all the shops and businesses in town have all their lights off. Possibly once the Christmas lights are on. We need to carry out an audit of the High Street, to see which businesses have lights on at night, and then contact them to find out a)why they keep the lights on, and b)would they be willing to turn them off for a night. Justin suggested we carry out the audit after the clocks go back, but Carolyn and Jo thought it should be done sooner if possible.

Boxing Day -Treasures of Tenterden . This is planned to be a walk/quiz/family activity designed to raise awareness of T3, test knowledge of Tenterden, show people bits of Tenterden they might not know, and encourage people to get involved socially. Jeff has spoken to Fraser at the Vine about using the facilities there as a base for this activity. Richard Parsons suggested he may be able to get a copy of the Lions quiz, to give us some ideas for questions. A prize for the best answers was suggested.

Zero Carbon Jam. Jeff has had an idea to hold an acoustic concert, or possibly one using a bicycle generator. He has spoken to Nina Clark, The LuckyOnes, and Tener Duende who are all interested in the idea. Possible venues could be the Millennium Garden,The Zion Baptist Church, Highbury Hall or The Sinden Theatre. Jerry Newson has already said he would be happy for us to use the church, Alan Castle has offered to lend us a stage. Dave said he also has a stage we could use,or the Sinden Theatre itself. Jo Vos said her partner is a musician and would probably be interested in this idea.

::UPDATE:: Upon returning home from the meeting Jeff had an email from local singer-songwriter Pierre Vincent who expressed interest in the idea and wished to be kept informed of our progress. Hastings band Tea Chest Blues have also joined our Facebook group.

Film Screenings. We would like to start holding film shows, to show some of the Transition Films that are available. Again we could use the Baptist Church, Leisure Centre, Millennium Garden or Sinden Theatre. We would have to think about the cost of licenses and venue hire. There are a lot of interesting films available, such as Gasland,which is about 'fracking', In Transition 1.0, Koyaanisqatsi among others.

Next Meeting will be 20th October, 7pm at The Leisure Centre. This is so that we can use the projector system, as we have our guest speaker Steve Hickmott, who will be talking about Transition Towns in Australia.

Richard asked about the Community Garden. Jeff explained how the project came about, and what we are trying to achieve. Volunteers are always welcome. Jo Vos is involved with the Infants school garden, they have recently got a bug hotel. Niki suggested we should go to the Rare Breeds centre and look at the recycling garden there.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


CleanUp Day is this coming Saturday. Ulp! Getting a little nervous, I must say, wondering whether the whole thing is going to be one momentous flop or a raving success. I seriously do not know how many people are going to show up to this thing.  One thing I do know, though, is that we shall be there come hell or high water, outside the the sports pavilion on the lower Rec field, 10 am, this Saturday, September 24th, bags, tabards, gloves and pickers at the ready, waiting to dispatch our willing volunteers to their desired locations and do a bit of neighbourhood cleaning. We will be handing out vouchers to all our participants for 20% off food at The William Caxton for that day only (thank you to Debbie Fleet for letting us do this!). The Tenterden Leisure Centre will have hot tea and coffee for everyone when they return with their bags-o-trash. We will have our town maps ready to check off those streets that get done, and hopefully the local paper will be there to take pictures of the whole shebang.

Speaking of pictures, if our participants could take some pics while they're picking up litter that would be fab, since we would like to use those pictures in future presentations, etc.

A week later comes T3Tea, our coffee-morning-fundraiser-craft-and-food-fair combined, at Highbury Hall. We have 12 confirmed vendors, a nice mix of arts, crafts, produce, and just plain quirky. Should be a blast! 10 am till 4pm at Highbury Hall, Sat October 1st. We'll have teas, homemade cakes and cookies, jams, chutneys, a mini seed swap, a book swap, and raffle for your delectation and delight. Some nice raffle prizes too, some donated by local businesses.

The Community Garden is looking better thanks to the recent addition of some winter pansy, although I must say I was a bit perturbed today when I went to plant a Monarda, some Lamb's-Ears, and a green-yellow shrub I don't know the name of, because I noticed that someone or something had pulled about 3 or 4 of the pansies out, quite randomly. Oh well.

Tomorrow is another Hike & Bike Wednesday at The White Lion, 5:30 pm till 7ish, a wee social gathering of like minded sorts who get there under their own steam for a beverage and a chat. Come along, it's free, we don't bite! (Much.)

And of course Thursday is September's T3 meeting at The William Caxton at 7pm. There is quite a lot to discuss, which reminds me, I must write my agenda....

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pretty Good Day

Busy, busy, busy!

Today started like any normal Tuesday - not that there's any such thing as 'normal', but let's not go off on that tangent! The only thing I was planning to do that was T3-related was to print some stuff for our display boards for the upcoming St. Michaels Fun Day and to go talk to Marie at Highbury Hall Preschool about the Community Garden. We're trying to get the kids involved, naturally, and I wanted to tell her where we are in terms of getting the garden ready for planting and to see what our next steps would be, what projects we can do with the kids etc. I also wanted to see how many trestle tables there are at the hall because with T3Tea happening on October 1st, we have to have tables for the vendors as well as ourselves. But I am getting ahead of myself.

I printed off a bunch of stuff and went back upstairs to find my phone in a state of distress. I'd had several voice mails and texts and missed calls, and after returning the calls, discovered they were from two people I'd been trying to get as vendors for T3Tea. Wow. Two in one morning. I was doing pretty well. Then I checked my email and found that wow, another potential vendor had confirmed. I was on a roll. While online I checked Facebook and found I had a message from a person who wanted to help with the garden! Yay!

While talking to Marie she gave me the number of someone else who wanted to help with the garden. Yay again!

This evening I was at a meeting at the Town Hall discussing possible events for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. This is my Mum's brainchild, she's the Deputy Mayor and has taken on the role of organiser for the Jubilee celebrations. We shall be doing something at the Jubilee, more details as the event plan takes shape, but I was aware of my phone (which I'd put on silent mode) vibrating in my pocket and so I checked the number. It was not one I recognised so I resolved to call it back later. The meeting was good because I was able to schmooze with a few folks, as did my sister, and we got some good results from that too.

I got home and my phone rang again. It was that same number from before. I answered but as usually happens when inside the house, I lost the signal right as I answered. Bah. Grabbed the land line phone and dialled it, and had a chat with another potential vendor who makes unique funky knitted hats. Four vendors added in one day. This puts our total of vendors up to nine, and I don't think we have room for any more, and parking that weekend is gonna be a bitch. But 4 vendors and 2 volunteer gardeners in one day - I'd say that's pretty good, wouldn't you?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Help Us If You Can

Hi folks, it's September and of course that means we are busy! The kids are back to school, and so are the preschoolers, which means that we are having a meeting tomorrow with Marie at the preschool at Highbury Hall (which, if you've been paying attention, is the location of our Community Garden project). We'll be discussing with her the level of involvement of the children in the planning and construction of the garden, and while we're on the topic, this week we'll be adding some winter pansy to the flowers already at the garden. Alan and the guys have been busy these last few days clearing out junk from the inside of the hall and it should be looking spiffy by the time T3Tea rolls around on Oct.1. However, the weeds are relentless and we need more of you to help us out with weeding. All it will cost you is ten or fifteen minutes of your time (it's not that big a garden). Give me a call on 07506 899337.

This week also we are busy getting our gear together for Sunday the 11th, when we will have our little gazebo up at St. Michaels Fun Day, which as I'm sure you're aware, is in St. Michaels. If we could have some volunteers for this event too, that would be great. We'll look like an organised crack squad of savvy motivated people rather than a couple of crackpots. Give me a call! 12 till 5, St. Michaels Rec.

CleanUp Day on the 24th, 10 am at the Pavilion on the Tenterden Rec. Need I say more? Volunteers, helpers, etc.

And in under a month, T3Tea on October 1st, 10 till 4, Highbury Hall. Mark your calendars, come along, volunteer, help out, let's do it big!

Again - give me a call.