Friday, December 30, 2011

Past, Present and Future

As tomorrow is New Years' Eve, and this is traditionally the time of year when people reflect on the events of the fading year, I thought it might be apropos to make a little timeline, a potted history if you will, of Transition Town Tenterden. So here goes:

12th May 2011: T3 is founded as a concept by myself, Jeff Hickmott. Facebook page, blog, and profile on created. I invited various Facebook friends to join and spread the word on Tenterden Town forum. Logo designed from a photograph I took of the High Street featuring the familiar spires of St. Mildred's Church.

By the time of the third blog post on 17th May we were already up to nine members - a promising start.

19th May: Dan Bloom interviewed me for the Kentish Express.

8th June: First meeting, with eleven people in attendance. Date set for CleanUp Tenterden Day - Sept. 24th.

26 June 2011: Several of our number volunteered to help out at Highbury Hall with a major weed-clearing day. This event spawned the idea of turning the hall's overgrown and under-used plant beds into a 'Community Garden'.

June 29: 2nd Meeting

July 1st and 2nd: Myself, Emma Isworth, and Andrew Bennett wore our T3 T-shirts and mingled with the crowds and handed out info cards and flyers to the crowds at Tentertainment. Made a few new contacts and also had our banner up on the railings!

July 6th: First of our weekly after-work meetings at the White Lion, originally named Bike to Work Wednesday, now running under the monicker Hike & Bike Wednesday. I think we've only missed one Wednesday since then (this week!).

 July 12th: We got our own page on the Tenterden Town Website.

We submitted a proposal to Highbury Hall's committee for our Community garden project around this time and it was accepted on July 15th.

July 27th: Third meeting, this time at Number 75 restaurant, during which restaurant co-owner Lizzie Power unveiled the restaurant's "Crop Swap" scheme which we tried hard to help publicise. We also announced that our T3Tea fair would take place on October 1st.

In August we submitted an application to NatWest CommunityForce to be eligible for an award of £6k. We didn't win it, but it did spur us into creating a bank account for the group so that any donations, awards or grants had a separate place to go.

August 11th: Justin, Carolyn and myself made a presentation to the Rotary Club of Tenterden.

August 23rd: It was suggested to me that I start a Freegle group for Tenterden and I duly filled out the online application and waited to hear back. Last month (November) the group became a reality!

September 11th: We had a tent at St. Michaels Fun Day! Great fun and lots of people interested.

September 24th: Tenterden Cleanup Day was a big success, with over 40 participants and 32 bags of rubbish cleared, about half of which was recycled.

October 1st was T3Tea day, a great event which we are going to repeat in a slightly expanded form in March.

On October 20th our meeting featured a talk from my Uncle Steve Hickmott who lives in Loch, Victoria, in Oz. Loch is a Transition Town and Steve gave us a PowerPoint presentation showing us their efforts.

Nov 20th: Weeding and Winterizing the Highbury Hall Community Garden. Installed some bug hotels, pulled out the weeds and covered the flower beds with wood chips to block the weeds.

December saw Lights Out Tenterden on the night of the 9th, and our walking quiz Treasures of Tenterden on Boxing Day.  Waitrose Tenterden also put us in as a group for their 'Community Causes' box. Tomorrow's the last day folks, so pop in and add a green coin while you have the chance!!

So there you have it. I think all things considered it is amazing what you can do in seven months. And what of our plans for 2012? These include, but are not limited to:

  • A Zero Carbon Concert
  • A Spring Fair
  • A project involving Tenterden's senior citizens
  • Installing bug hotels and wildlife stacks in various locations: churchyards, schools, etc.
  • Acquiring a bike generator, and using it to power P.A. equipment and a smoothie maker etc.
  • Film screenings
  • Book swaps, plant swaps and tool swaps (I also like the idea of a tool lending library)
Anyway folks, here's to a great New Year, full of hope and endless possibility. Peace, love, harmony and recycling.


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