There's plenty of transitiony things going on in London. Some groups are taking a step back, others holding firm or coming into their own. One thing is obvious – transition has definitely 'stuck' in the city, though it's not obvious how! With incredibly high population turnovers, a very disparate sense of locality and millions of distractions every night of the week for even the most enthusiastic participant, it's a wonder that we manage to get anyone to organise or attend our events. But we often do! Read on to get a taste of what's happening...
Over the summer, TRANSITION BELSIZE'S activities have mostly been concentrated on its three public food-growing sites, in a hospital garden, a churchyard and a hotel car park. Despite the soggy start to the summer, the gardens are now flourishing. They also started 'Restart', a project to help people repair their broken electronics and held a number of "Restart Parties" around Belsize. Their draught busting project continues; Transition Kids ran an event at a local farmers' market and built a cob oven at a school; and the Abundance project has been busy harvesting from local fruit trees. Summer will officially come to a close with their fifth annual Green Fair at the end of September. (From Carla Ranicki)
BETHNAL GREEN TRANSITION started in January 2010. They had a particularly vibrant year between July 2011 and 2012, when a local food growing garden project finally took off and several project groups branched off: an Energy Group (currently offering Draught Busting Workshops); a Reskilling Group (currently running knitting and crochet workshops); and an Inner Change Group experimenting with a method called Community Dreaming. They also started hosting monthly open meetings at the Larder Cafe, awareness-raising films at the Gallery Cafe, and green drinks at the famous Approach Tavern. They are currently going through a bit of a lull, because several key core group members moved out of London. This might mean they will temporarily scale down their activities in order to 'regroup'. (From Akashadevi)
TRANSITION CROUCH END, four years old, is offering monthly films, food growing, local currency, draughtbusting, reskilling, community supported agriculture (CSA), recycled crafts, community cafes using surplus food, community choirs, reclaimed land use, Eco-building, seasonal celebrations and events. At their recent AGM they had tea and cocktails from Urban Harvest, (the local foraging project), food from Church Farm CSA and vegan chocolate cake was traded with local currency - they are a member of the local LETS scheme. Film clips and slides were provided by the Green on the Screen team showcasing their projects. This event showed how they have evolved into a Transition Initiative that is unique to them, their community and culture as a creative 'village' in the city of London. (From Chris Setz)
TRANSITION DARTMOUTH PARK began last September and since then they've held many events and workshops, including several film nights, their Christmas Give & Take launch party, a spring Seedy Saturday, their Festival of Transition cycle-powered outdoor cinema, potluck meals in their community garden and monthly food-growing and craft skill-shares. They've also started several projects. Following the intro to permaculture course they ran in February, they've gone food growing crazy and have transformed the garden of Highgate Newtown Community Centre, started a children's gardening club at Brookfield School and have begun a garden sharing scheme. They also have a regular monthly knitting group, a fruit-tree mapping and picking project, and they're about to launch an energy saving competition to encourage residents to meter and save electricity use. (From Sara Ayech)
There are currently no plans for a formal transition group in FINCHLEY / EAST FINCHLEY, but there are a number of people who work together and with others, on an assortment of initiatives, such as bicycle rallies, saving a local library, cultivating derelict areas for wildlife and humans and involvement in organising other local activities. (From Harriet Copperman)
EALING TRANSITION – see Wednesday 3rd October post
FINSBURY PARK has been going since the end of 2008 with a variable number of projects and active members. The main projects at the moment are monthly Crafternoon Tea sessions at Islington Ecology Centre, regular gardening at Edible Landscapes London (a plant nursery and training centre, offshoot of the Transition group) and occasional foraging sessions. They have just started trying out the People's Kitchen and are taking part in the Festival of Mint in a couple of weeks time. Transition Finsbury Park was the initiating partner in a recent successful £1 million lottery bid for the Manor House area. They will be helping implement many projects, including three festivals, accredited training and energy reduction initiatives. (From me)
TRANSITION HACKNEY has been running a monthly film and discussion nights for over a year and these came to an end in the summer, after some great work from those involved. They are currently in the process of reorganising and hoping to lay some good foundations for future work. There's some energy for a new run of film and discussion nights; a communal meal sharing project based on food that would usually go to waste; and the next stage of a home energy advice project that some Transition Hackney people were involved in in the Spring. (From Anna O'Brien)
On March 1st 2010, TRANSITION HEATHROW reclaimed a patch of disused agricultural land in the village of Sipson as Grow Heathrow. 30 tonnes of rubbish was cleared off the site which is now a thriving organic community garden, with aubergines under greenhouses and potatoes in stacks of old tyres. All this land would be tarmacced if plans for a third runway at Heathrow were ever realised. With solar panels and a wind turbine, they are completely off-grid and it's well worth visiting them as a volunteer - email email@example.com. They are currently very busy foraging and preparing for the Court of Appeal hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand on Tuesday 23rd October. If you can't make it down to Grow Heathrow then get down to show your support on the 23rd! (From Joe Rake)
The TRANSITION HIGHBURY Community Garden beside Christchurch Highbury has a fine new noticeboard donated by Islington Council, which will help to recruit new volunteers, and develop this small garden as a rare local example of urban food growing. Highbury Timebank, which was prompted by Transition Highbury, is keeping the Islington Ecology Centre open on Sundays by running a cafe there - and Transition Finsbury Park are running activities with them. (From Antony Melville)
Transition KENTISH TOWN has launched a new and exciting food co-operative in Kentish Town. Vegbox is a community-led organic vegetable box scheme with a weekly selection of fresh seasonal produce, sourced from sustainable farms near London. People pick up their weekly veg every Wednesday from one of several pick up points round Kentish Town. They have also launched a popular monthly Bike Workshop on the first Monday evening of every month. People bring their bike along and mechanics help them repair their bike themselves. They set it up with the help of Hackney Bike Workshop. They learnt from them the key importance of having cake at every gathering! (From Tom Allen)
TRANSITION TOWN KINGSTON – see Friday 5th October post
TRASITION LEYTONSTONE – see Thursday 4th October post
TRANSITION STOKE NEWINGTON continues to maintain its community food growing space; a monthly cycle maintenance workshop in collaboration with a local cycling group, and the Hackney Harvest which gathers fruit from local trees. Some new projects might be added to these as a result of the Open Space event held in April. (From Anna O'Brien)
At present TRANSITION TOWN SYDENHAM is inactive although they hope it will revive as people see the need. There are a few people with an interest locally but they are all involved with other community initiatives. (From Alona Sheridan)
TRANSITION TOWN TOOTING – see Tuesday 2nd October post.
Images: Belsize Restart party (Transition Belsize), Dartmouth Park food foraging along Parkland Walk with Urban Harvest (Transition Dartmouth Park), Joe watering at Grow Heathrow (Transition Heathrow), Veg box logo (Transition Kentish Town).