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A bit of history…

Transition Town Westcliff originated from a pub chat between Steve and Graham back in July 2007. Steve had a copy of ‘The End of Suburbia’ and thought it might be a good idea to put on a public showing. Graham had attended the Peak Oil symposium at the national Permaculture Convergence the previous year where he saw Rob Hopkins talk about the Transition Movement. This had emerged from work he had done with the students of Kinsale Further Education College in producing an Energy Descent Action Plan, and in preparing the ground work for a low energy future for the town (more here ). The idea of ‘Transition Towns’ was subsequently rolled out to Totness before becomming an almost viral movement across the country as more and more communities began to consider how they might develop resilience and be able to thrive in a post peak oil/climate change future. So we thought ‘wouldn’t it be good to set up a Transition initiative for Westcliff?’ When Graham got home he promptly emailed Ben Brangwyn and asked what the next step would be. Ben emailed back a very useful document explaining the ’12 steps’ recommended for a new Transition project, which can be viewed here. With Graham having major work carried out on his house with the instalation of a wood fueled central heating system (carbon nuetral!), and both of us having impending weddings, we promptly put the idea on the back-burner, but were quite chuffed to see that 2 chancers chatting in a pub constituted a new ‘mulling’ Transtion initiative when we next looked at the Transition website!!

In the meantime we’d mentioned the idea of Transition Towns to a number of other people, and at very short notice were offered the chance of a week long display in Southend Library in early Jan 2008. We decided that part of our display would be about presenting positive and hopefully inspiring images of the town, which involved plenty of charging around on our bicycles with digital cameras on the last days of the year, as well as plundering others’ photo collections, so big thank you’s to Simon Wallace, Keith Baxter, Jay Scarlett of Scarlett Fireplaces and John Williams at Growing Together!!

The display generated plenty of interest and comment, and led to our first public event, the showing of The Power of Community at Southend Library, which just about brings the story so far up to date…

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