The monthly news bulletin from Transition Town Totnes.
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Welcome to the September TTT newsletter

As I write this I have been acting manager for a month and a half, and TTT has celebrated its 9th birthday! TTT has been out and about a lot over what remained of the summer, firstly at the Mayor’s Picnic with a “Guess the number of popcorn kernels to win a film festival pass” competition (Film Festival is 14th-15th November – mark it in your diaries!). Our stall was also groaning with fruit, veg and calendula seeds from Incredible Edible. The following weekend we were at Totnes Pride, which was the biggest, boldest, happiest yet.

We were saddened to hear the news that John Comben had passed away suddenly. John was a leading member of Incredible Edible and the abundant harvest this year that many have enjoyed is partly down to his efforts and expertise. He will be much missed. If you haven't already seen it, here is his obituary, published in the Guardian this week.
Mary and I were privileged to witness a Transition Wedding on 27th August at Follaton House - we wish Lynda and David every happiness in their marriage. Lynda is involved with the planting group at Transition Honiton. Then last week we hosted an IPC  Edge event in Totnes for a group of visitors who had been attending the International Permaculture Convergence; many thanks to Hal and Nicola for pulling it together. We welcomed our guests with a pot luck supper and they toured some inspiring local projects. We ended the week with a boat trip down the Dart with interesting commentary from Stefan and Hal, and finally topped it off with the inspiring Transition Network Conference at Seale-Hayne College.

Now we are hurtling towards October and the nights are drawing in and getting colder, but that doesn't have to be a problem. Making your home cosier or cheaper to run need not necessarily be expensive or involve complex alterations, and there is usually something you can do whether you rent or own your home, and whether home is an ancient place, or new, or somewhere in between. Gather inspiration from some of the homes that residents have generously opened to the public as part of our Open Eco Homes weekend on 3rd and 4th October, and check out the Eco Homes Fair on the following Saturday (10th). Click here to for further details and to download the programme.


Table of contents

  Upcoming Events

August Skilling Up workshop report back:

The REconomy Centre ran it's Skilling Up for Local Economic Change workshop in August and had a full cohort of 12 participants. The weekend was designed to help activists and community organisers become familiar with the theories and language of 'new economics', and get some practice with tools and methods that can help them become effective changemakers in their own communities. In other words, the course is designed to help people in other communities to do 'reconomy-type' projects like the Local Entrepreneur Forum, Totnes Pound and REconomy Centre. Are these ideas spreading? Perhaps. Attendees came from Preston, London, Plymouth, Okehampton, Exeter, Somerset, south of France, and Brazil. The next Skilling Up for Local Economic Change will be offered in the Spring.


Fruit & Nut Tree Project Summer Pruning workshop

A summer pruning workshop was held in the Town cemetery on August 29th, with Charles Staniland taking us through the rudiments and finer skills of this art on the varied trees now fruiting there, including plums, pears and apples. It was good to be able to taste the fruit as well as care for these trees, and to have the interest of people passing by as well as the group assembled there. In the photo at the top you can see Nicola and I tying boughs to improve the shape of an apple tree and stop overshading.
There are now lots of fruit and nuts on trees we have planted over the years, all over the town. So watch out for the ripest times to pick and the nuts falling, on any trees near where you live or pass by.
Forthcoming dates:
Tree care in Bridgetown September 26th, time tbc, contact Wendy
Tree care in Town cemetery and Follaton arboretum, November 28th, time tbc
Also, we are trying to organise apple harvesting and pressing ... date and venue tbc

An apple tree in the cemetery (left), and a sweet chestnut planted in Bridgetown 6 years ago, now abundant with nuts and towering over Joy (right).


Open Eco-Homes, October 3rd - 4th, and Eco-Fair October 10th

For the 7th year running Transition Town Totnes is organising an Open Eco-Homes weekend featuring homes and other buildings that have taken steps to reduce their environmental impact and household bills. This year’s event is on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th October, and should provide a wealth of information and inspiration, whether you are looking to build your own eco-home, install renewable energy or simply make your home more energy efficient. Homes open to visit last year included a house made from an old cider barrel, a Passivhaus refurbishment, a newly built home with straw bale insulation and a flat which had been significantly draught–busted. This year we have several new buildings and projects. Also featured are energy generating schemes, including a community wind turbine, the hydro scheme at the Totnes weir and the new field solar and biomass boiler at Dartington Hall Trust.
For most of the featured homes and projects there is no need to book - just check the opening times and turn up. The exceptions are the tours of the Dartington renewables and the Sunday Bob the Bus tour. The bus tour will take in a community self-build project in Broadhempston and Swete Sigford (pictured), a medieval Dartmoor half-house, once derelict and now being restored using local natural materials. The programme for the Open Homes is  available for download online, or from Totnes Information Centre.
On the following Saturday, 10th October, in the Totnes Civic Hall, Transition Town Totnes will hold an Eco-Homes Fair featuring suppliers of eco-friendly goods and services plus home energy installers. Over 400 people visited the fair last year; please email Mary Popham or call on 07815 799996 if you want to know more or to book a last minute stall at the fair.


Wildflower Talk in support of TTT Film Festival - CALL FOR CAKES!!!

Preparations for the Film Festival are moving apace and we will soon have a very exciting announcement to make - WATCH THIS SPACE! In the meantime, please put the date for our fundraiser Wildflower talk coming up October 8th at 7.30pm, in your diary. Malcolm Baldwin will be giving us the benefit of his experiences as a natural history photographer and TV cameraman with an enthralling evening of stunning images.

If you can do some baking for us, please deliver cakes from 6.30-7pm on the night at the Methodist Church. Expenses will be reimbursed with receipts. Please contact me to confirm you're bring a cake - /0790 626 5640.


Local Entrepreneur Workshop during Global Entrepreneurship Week

The Local Entrepreneur Workshop is designed to stimulate, inspire, and support enterprising change makers develop their business idea and maybe even to help prepare to pitch at the next Local Entrepreneur Forum. This workshop is a full-day session on November 21 from 9:30am - 4:30pm at the REconomy Centre. It will focus on four themes: Leadership, Innovation, Business Models, and Pitching Your Plan. The day will be productive and fun with interactive discussion, activities and lots of resources. Cost is £20 with bursaries available. Email to book.

The timing coincides with Global Entrepreneurship Week. In addition to the workshop, we will be having a LEF Networking Social on Thursday 19th at 6.30pm at the Dartmouth Inn, and Hal is organising a tour of our local craft breweries on Friday 20th. See below in the events listings for more info.


Share Shop for Totnes?

Mi from the Network of Wellbeing is leading the possible development of a Library of Things, or Share Shop, in Totnes (along the lines of the one opened in Frome). If you have an interest in seeing this happen, please can you fill out this survey.


Upcoming Events

Totnes Jumble Trail this weekend!

Totnes’ very first Jumble Trail is hitting the streets this Sunday September 27th, between 10am and 2pm. A local initiative in conjunction with Devon County Council's Re-Use Project, the Jumble Trail involves people across town setting up their own stalls outside of their homes to sell or give away items, and over 60 stalls are now registered! Click here to see where they are.

TTT will be at a stall outside the Mansion. See you on the trail!

ReStore Repair Cafe

The Restore at Dartington invites you to their monthly Repair cafe, an emergency room for broken non-electrical household objects, on the last Saturday of the month (26th in September, 31st in October), 10am-1pm. Meet the team and enjoy learning a new skill over a cuppa and slice of cake. The ReStore workshop is at the Totnes end of the Shops at Dartington, Shinners Bridge, TQ9 6TQ.

And here is the schedule of workshops for the coming months:

TTT Film Festival has some very exciting news to share ...

But we can't just yet ... Just be sure to put the dates 14th and 15th November aside so you can sure of taking part in what promises to be a very special weekend. And in the meantime, please be sure to come to our Wildflower Talk on October 8th with Malcolm Baldwin.

Bridgetown Alive flamenco fundraiser

Bridgetown Alive Community Group are hosting a fundraising event, featuring the "Mi Flamenco" troupe, at the Ariel Centre, KEVICC on November 21st at 7.30pm. Bar drinks and tapas for sale, tickets £15, £11 and £9 - call 07896 246755 for more info.

Come witness the passion, the style, the flamboyance that is ... FLAMENCO!!!

All events are open to all, so just turn up unless it says booking is required (marked *). Please see the calendar for more information on upcoming events.

Date                     Please click the link for more information
Saturday 26th         Tree Care in Bridgetown, time tbc, contact Wendy
Sunday 27th           Totnes Jumble Trail, venues various, 10am-2pm *(to book a stall)

October events
Friday 2nd              Mosaic Workshop with Mel, 10-12pm, ReStore, Shinners Bridge*
Sat 3rd - Sun 4th    Open Eco Homes, times and venues various, with bus tour*
Saturday 3rd           Furniture Painting with Becca and Mel, 10am-3pm, ReStore, Shinners Bridge*
Saturday 3rd           Braided Rag Rugs, 1.30-4.30pm, ReStore, Shinners Bridge*
Thursday 8th          Wildflower Talk: Facts, Fancies & Folklore, 7.30pm, Methodist Church
Fri 9th, 16th, 23rd   Mosaic Workshop with Mel, 10-12pm, ReStore, Shinners Bridge*
Saturday 10th         Eco Homes Fair, 10am-3pm, Civic Hall, Totnes
Saturday 17th         Peg Looming with Bridget, 10-12pm, ReStore, Shinners Bridge*

November events
Saturday 7th           Furniture Painting with Becca and Mel, 10am-3pm, ReStore, Shinners Bridge*
Saturday 7th           Braided Rag Rugs, 1.30-4.30pm, ReStore, Shinners Bridge*
Friday 13th             Transition Walks on Friday (Film Fest theme), meet TTT office, 2-6pm
Sat 14th - Sun 15th TTT Film Festival, times various, Civic Hall
Thursday 19th         LEF Networking Social, Dartmouth Inn, 6.30pm
Friday 20th             Three Beer Tour of Totnes, time and meeting place tbc
Saturday 21st          Local Entrepreneur Workshop, REconomy Centre, more info on booking*
Saturday 21st          Bridgetown Alive's "Mi Flamenco," Ariel Centre, 7.30pm
Saturday 28th         Tree Care in Town Cemetery and Follaton, time tbc, contact Wendy

Regular events
First Sunday           Forest gardening, Follaton Arboretum, 10am-1pm
First Tuesday          Edible flowers & fruit, Rockery by rugby club in Borough Park, 1-2pm
Tuesdays                Drop in chair repair sessions at ReStore, Shinners Bridge
Tues (from Oct)      Wild Weaving with Philomena, 11am-1pm, ReStore, Shinners Bridge
Wednesday am       Drop in Soft Toy Workshop, 11am-1pm, ReStore, Shinners Bridge
Thursdays              Drop in chair repair sessions at ReStore, Shinners Bridge
First Thursday        Building, housing & energy group meeting, TTT office, 8pm-10pm
Third Monday         Incredible Edible, Steamer Quay planters, 1-2.30pm
Every Tuesday        Time to Breathe, Forge yoga centre, 12.30-1.30pm

Transition Town Totnes. Registered charity: 1138865
43 Fore Street, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 5HN
Tel: 01803 867358 
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