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The vision for reuse and repair in Shrewsbury

I haven't been that long involved in Transition Town Shrewsbury, but as is my tendency I am already involved in plans for exciting new project. Although I have been so busy in the last month that it hasn't gone very far yet!

Upcycled panniersIt all started with a blog... I happened to mention the idea of having a skill sharing and reuse network and this struck a chord with one of the other members of TTS. We had a rather excited and rambling conversation about it at my birthday party and then a few weeks later we got round to having a slightly more structured meeting about it! James is an eco-architect and he has spotted some buildings near where he lives that are crying out for transforming into a community space. It is a row of coach houses and they would make a beautiful set of workshops for artisans, repairers and upcyclers and there will be plenty of room for storing a whole array of bits and bobs that can be made into new and exciting things or come in handy for repairing other items. We had a wander around them and they will take a wee bit of repairing, but we might be able to get some funding to help out with that, if we get ourselves organised! We even foraged ourselves some skipped in trays, which is a good start!

It is quite a lofty vision, so we are going to have to be reasonably strategic if we are going to make it happen. We have decided to take a two pronged approach. James is going to talk to the council and the owners of the building to scope out the possibility of getting it for a peppercorn rent for a decent length of time, so that it is worth our effort. It has obviously been vacant for quite a while and the office building next to it is empty too (expansion room!?!), so I think it is a pretty good offer.

Then my side of the deal is to start up a reuse, repair and upcycle movement in Shrewsbury. I am moving house soon, so I am thinking that having a clothes and everything else swap and repair session before I go would be a good idea! And then we can have a meeting to get together everyone else who is interested in the idea and I would like to find a venue and some enthusiastic people to start a regular repair and upcycling session. Partly inspired by the awesome restart project in London, who wrote a guest blog on here not so long ago, but also because I love making things and I just hate it when things break and I can't mend them. This idea also ties neatly in with the other projects I am involved in locally, The Rubbish Diet and The People's Design Lab, both of which have recently featured on this blog! I think it is really important to tie projects together, too often it seems to end up with lots of seperate projects happening independently, whereas if you can work together and share resources you will be much stronger and more resilient.

So there is the vision, now to make it happen!!

Photos: My panniers, which I upcycled from old army satchels


Anni Kelsey's picture

Hi Kerry

Hi Kerry

It has been really interesting reading all your blogs since you moved to Shrewsbury.  I live in Telford and work in Shrewsbury and am keen to hear about what you are getting up to.  I am sure lots of people would find the project you are planning really useful.  Keep up the postings so we can follow / join in with you Shrewsbury folk.


Kerry Lane's picture

Hi Anni

Hi Anni

It's nice to know that there are some local people reading the blog too! There is actually lots of interesting things happening in Shrewsbury, as I am sure you know and I am looking forward to telling the world about them! Hopefully I will manage to get back on the quarterly Transition Shrewsbury e-bulletins too! 

Maybe I will see you at an event some time

Warm wishes