Garstang's main and deserved claim to fame for me is that it was the world’s first Fairtrade Town. A great achievement for a village of just about four thousand inhabitants. And that brings us to Garstang Transition.
Almost every day it seems, a new Transition initiative is born. The Transition website tells us there are 1095 initiatives registered and that new ones can be found from the Mountain Communities of Resilience in Anza USA to Mundaring in Western Australia; and from Wanstead to Wigan in the UK.
It’s Monday afternoon; below us in the street a blizzard of snowflakes. All around the shelves are piled to the ceiling with yarn, stock for the shop below, winking out its gorgeous colours and textures through plastic bags.
Lancaster must be a city – it’s got a cathedral and a market and a city council. Proof enough! But of a Saturday we all go "into town” and every seeming stranger that we meet there, knows someone who knows someone that you know.
Growing is fun, eating is interesting, saving energy by wearing an extra jumper means saving money but buildings and the construction of new buildings, particularly new homes, is the unlovely, the technical and the very expensive side of being in Transition. Yet when it comes to saving CO2 it is key.
“Heroes!” Margaret Orchard said, when I dropped in, casual-like to announce I wanted to write this blog about them. “Here, Roger, you better come and sit down.” And despite having an urgent appointment with clearing out the shed, he did.
There’s something about resilience that makes me think of cold baths, wet feet and the distant prospect of lukewarm vegetable soup. And the word, defined first in the dictionary as "the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation," only adds to the depression.
What do you read a social reporting blog for? Entertainment? Yes. Information? Yes. Inspiration? Oh definitely. A proper all round view of the many facets of Transition, the people in Transition, their friends, colleagues and fellow journeyers?
The coin you see below was the Lancaster Half Penny issued in 1794 at the behest of a Mr Ecclestone, a local trader and eccentric. Made of copper it was not currency but a token tradeable in the local area and one of many tokens in use in Lancashire, and indeed all across England in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth