Transition Drinks – social

    Last Wed of each month 7pm @Mile & a Third

    Open Days at the community allotment:

    Usually every 2nd and 4th  Saturday 11-3pm

    Repair Café 


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Join us on May 19th – The Power of Conflict for Building Community‏

The Power of Conflict

for Building Connection and Community

Join us for this free online TeleSeminar with three practitioners from the Fellowship for Intentional Communities. Thursday, May 19th.

Conflict is everywhere!


Thursday, May 19th at 11 am PDT / 2 pm EDT.   

If we cannot work with conflict, then we probably cannot create a resilient town, city, or neighborhood. Conflict is one of the most essential sustainability skills, and will serve us in every walk of life.

When you’re in conflict, do you want to fight, flee, or freeze? Do you ever wish there could be a better way? Something that uses conflict to strengthen relationships instead of damaging them? But how? What can we do to reduce the chances of conflict arising in the first place? And what does having conflict in a healthy and transformative way really look like?

Join three practitioners from the Fellowship for Intentional Community, Gaia Education, and the Rocky Mountain Institute as they relay tips, tools and resources on how to reduce painful conflict and instead use conflict creatively to build connection and community.

If you have not done so yet – Register here for this free event and learn how to use conflict — maybe even welcome it, for its power to bring to the surface what’s really at stake, and to unite people toward a common goal.

The Wellbeing Now Seminar 2016

wellbeing now

April 16 – April 17 at The Clifftown Theatre

Check out the sensational new show for 2016 featuring an incredible line-up of internationally renowned speakers, performers and best-selling authors at – www.wellbeingnowseminar.co.uk

Here’s what our guests had to say about our 2015 show…

“Such an impressive line-up of speakers… the weekend was filled with life-changing moments” – Linda Barker (TV personality and founder of ‘Nourish Events’)

“An amazing Event! Every single speaker was phenomenal” – Hayley McAlinden

“It’s given me the inspiration I’ve been looking for!” – Jackie Callow

“A magical weekend!” – Jan Marchant

“The speakers were phenomenal… the whole weekend was so inspiring.” – Jill Shepherd

“Anyone who wants to change their life for the better, I advise to get down to the next event!” – Colin Wyatt


See the facebook page for further information.

Transition Town Totnes Reconomy Centre on Radio‏


OUR WAVELENGTH 2.1 : with Jay Tompt at REconomy – a business incubator for Totnes


Sarah and John were invited by Jay Tompt to Totnes’ REconomy Centre in February 2016 to see the place. We met people running really interested projects in Totnes and the surrounding areas. We discovered a place where we can set up a laptop for some quality time to work on our own projects as well as opportunities to network with others.


Lucinda Guy speaks to Sarah about community radio and describes how Soundart Radio can deliver a healthy and exciting mix of sounds into your home and work place.
#vegboxradio #wonkyveg


Please, join our Wavelength:


Lets Improve Public Speaking in Southend-on-Sea

lets improve public speaking

Lets Improve:- Public Speaking in Southend-on-Sea

The Best way to improve public speaking in Southend-on-Sea, Essex

Our Next Event:

24th November 2015


The Tickfield Centre

Southend on Sea



Our Website:  www.letsimprove.co.uk

Talk by Prof Jules Pretty Thursday 31 October 7.30 – 9.30pm

This month instead of our usual Transition Drinks we decided to go to a talk by Professor Jules Pretty at the new library Forum.

The website describing the talk states ” A greener world economy isn’t just better for the planet, it could also make us happier, argues Jules Pretty OBE, Professor of Environment and Society University of Essex.”. His website lists a number of books he authored and the research completed – it promises to be an interesting talk so looking forward to seeing you there.

Tickets still available

SEEOG Talk: The Peckham Experiment, Mon 16th Jan

Still pioneering: food, farming and the Peckham Experiment    

In 1926, two Doctors in south London set up the Pioneer Health Centre, a unique health centre which placed good nutrition, organic food, social interaction and self-direction at its heart. Recognising that good health rested on much more than simply an absence of disease, the Peckham Experiment – as the Centre soon became known – remains a highly relevant and compelling example of the benefits of linking food, farming and health care provision.  This talk by Kate McGeevor, Trustee and Secretary of the Pioneer Health Foundation, will discuss the unique approach employed by the Pioneer Health Centre and what we can still learn from its findings over 80 years later.

Big Issue at SEEC

We’ve had the pleasure to give a presentation to SEEC students – Art and Design – few slept:) many listened and left us loads of ideas as expected – thanks for that and for the invitation.

We gave to the students on the topic of climate change and peak oil and that they are living in a different time then their grandparents and parents. A time which requires from us to face the challenges and pick up on the opportunities by transitioning to a low energy future.

It took ages to type up all their ideas but was worth with many very serious answers and also some which brought a smile to our faces – we can’t forget humor in the transition, can we?

We’ve asked the students what can be done to prevent runaway climate change, prepare us for the consequences of peak oil and set us in the direction of a more happy and localized future.

1. What can I do…

Stop leaving my hair straighteners on :)- I can recycle more-  think – more organic food – buy organic food – grow my own food – turn the lights off – stop driving everywhere: walk, cycle, bus – buy organic cotton clothing – continue doing what I do – reduce the amount of these post it notes we are using!!! – more recycling to save energy – do more recycling to save energy – recycling – walk more instead of going in the car – learn to ride a bike – walk or cycle to college – walk more places – reuse things, make my own clothing, don’t drink so much then save water – save using petrol and walk more on short journeys – walk to college – walk – get married – start growing vegetables, fruit – turn stuff off – switch of the tele istead of leaving on standby=) – turn stuff off – fight oil corporations and boycott businesses – turn my electrical items off when I leave – be encouraged to grow my own food – ride my bike everywhere more – don’t leave my TV on standby – get married and have lots of babies – walk more often – bake a cake – use a bike more, less use of car’s – go to sleep – grow vegetabables – growing food – walk more places instead of driving when it is in walking distance – buy organic fruit and veg – don’t ride my motorbike for a short journey – start caring because I am a pesimist towards global warming 😐 – walk more – cycle – save electricity by turning lights of when not needed – save paper by using one piece of paper instead of four! – I could stop leaving my hairdryer on – recycle, RECYCLE! be good, behave – exchange car travel for bike and walking – nothing – grow own food – walk more places – keep doing what I can do – I can start taking public transport – give up smoking – reduce using electric – conserve energy – walk more often, recycle, use less energy – walk to the train station instead of poncing a lift – cut down on unnecessary energy wasteage ie to many technologie stuff – stop smoking and + be green – more recycling bags at home – recycle –

2. What can Southend do…

buy more energy saving items-  start a ‘lets change climate change’ group – more organic choices in shops – more organic produce, shops, cheaper – create more cycling paths – turn of Leigh lights – organize people to take part in a piece of Art, grab people attention (public) – people to take part in big discussion or do something to grab attention – use wave power – advertise help – put more police on the beat and use less cars – import pelicans to kill the pigeons (the real polluters) – turn off light during daylights – stop leaving rubbish on the streets – fight the power – recycle – put wind turbines in the sea – have recycling bins around town – save paper – get as much oil as they can – use less transport – change petrol to chip fat oil – dunno – energy saving light bulbs – be encouraged to use our local sources instead of imported – be more energy efficient ex. lightbulbs – worship me as your lord and saviour. I shall deliver you from absolution – discuss options – recycle – encourage groups, advertise more – sort out seegull mess – sort out more programmes – reduce the communities carbon footprint – give out free bike riding courses – cycle paths – grow veg in allotments – trade locally, fruit, veg etc – trade locally again – recycle more – wind farm – more recycling bins – stop littering – be more ecofriendly – get together – everyone, recycle – trading within a community – more recycling bins- stop littering, tidy up your rubbish – southend can be more ecofriendly sumhow

3. What can the government do…

produce more non-oil reliant items – stop us using all the oil, create a new law or something – invest in solar panels – stop worrying about money, put money to good cause, give money for solar panels – educate people on being more energy efficient – be overthrown by environmentalist because they don’t care now – organizing events for public, students – concentrate on what people think and not what they think, listen to people, not so much fuel travelling and stay local, – take thire thumb out thire… – implode… – ban make up – make more bins – take over the world and force everyone not to use oil – help us!:o – organize an event for people to get involved – drop stop and roll – Ban the gov, they go on about oil but sit compfy in their CARS – use the oil while it is there – raise awareness – change petrol to cheap fat oil – stop going to war – sort out the credit crunch – listen to people’s views! – recycle more – fix global warming – ? – abolish money – improve transport – compulsory recycling- supply ours sources and put bands on imported products, work together! – actually do sth and put plan into action – advertise the issues to raise awareness – make public transport cheaper so more people will use it – fund research of non- consumer ways of travel eg not frying oil – encourage recycling, renewable energy – encourage other ways to make energy, wind farms – make things cheaper be nice, make more electric cars – make cheap bikes – become hippies – make public transport cheaper so people can is it more then cars, petrol, oil etc – grow fruit and veg in allotments  – take greenpeace more seriously, geez! – put plans into action to actually do something – actually do their job, I love Becky! woow! – make more groups around England, make more people aware – get their act together – more recycling, a must do … Everywhere –

4. One other thought…

use the oil we have left to produce non oil reliant things – gov should stop worrying about how much money they have and worry about whats going to happen to Earth in the future – don’t drive if don’t have to – small changes make big differences – cover the poles with white stuff to deflect the heat – climate change is BAD – stop making film wasting energy, actually do sth – we should all help SAVE ENERGY – Fire the Oil – knowledge is the key, spread the word, – limit the amount of time people use cars a week using tokens in cars, use more efficient cars, NO BIG CARS!, celebs don’t fly so much!!! – we may as well live life to the full, climate change will occur anyway – solar power lights in dark building – hypotenus – I keep imaging myself in bed with other men, is that normal:) – save our world, save energy!:) – stop leaving lights on – its too late, people won’t change, might as well enjoy life now while we can – come up with exciting ways to save energy! – let the people get what they deserve. I am too good for this world – global warming doesn’t exist – use less paper – use less paper, one post it instead of 4!!- how much energy did it use to create and give this presentation? – get over it – don’t give 300 students 4 post it notes each 😉 – I like cheese – buy local, fresh produce – stop using oil so much in so many products – don’t worry.. be happy coz…every little thing.. is gonna be alright!!:) – go back in time – greedy corportations are to blame – welcome to the space olympics – donate land for projects or just to try and stop houses being built – things on to do list, buy a bike – make people more aware – promote walking and skating – I wanna go for a swim – save the mice – make new homes eco friendly by adding solar powered cells – make it cheaper to buy healthier foods, this will prevent more littering of fast food packaging etc- more people to buy organic food and veg – start growing own fruit and veg, recycling – SAVE THE WORLD! – don’t eat yellow snow – start growing food and veg – save the trees and chpmunks, E. Rocks:) –

Transition Drinks on 29.01

Transition Drinks

First one of its kind and many to come. The idea behind the Transition Drinks was to create a space for local people to come together in an informal setting and chat about local groups and projects working on sustainability issues in Southend-on-Sea.

We got what we wanted! There was an interesting mix of people representing different groups and themselves:)
A member of the public, Friends of the Earth, Transition Westcliff, Milton Community Partnership, local horticulture teacher starting organic seminars and Emerge – a local art group working within the community to increase awareness of the environment.

I felt The Cricketers was a good choice of venue as it is on a main road, recognizable to local people, clean, the volume of music just right to have a conversation and offers a selection of regional ales.
The Drinks

We chatted about all sorts of matters – some of it was informative like what the groups are doing and planning to do in the future, some of it was informal with laughs and getting to know each other and some resulted in beneficial networking like which hall to use for meetings, where to print posters and how to go about other activities connected to organizing and activism.
Information and Inspiration

There is a folder for the Transition Drinks where we keep posters and leaflets of local projects, groups and events so people can have a browse and learn about the bustling grassroots scene in Southend on Sea and take a leaflet away if they are interested. A simple browsing of this folder is inspiring in itself and gives a sense of hope for the future seeing so many people working on issues important to our locality.
See you there

These drinks are open to members of the public and people already involved in initiatives so I’m looking forward to seeing you.
individuals – this is just the right place for you if you want to learn about local groups and chat about issues important to you in an informal setting.
groups – come and network with other groups, make valuable links and enjoy the feeling that you’re not alone in your activism. Bring or send leaflets to me so I can add them to the Transition Drinks folder.
Next one

26 Feb 2009, 19:00 onwards. Cricketers Pub, crossroads of Milton Rd and London Rd, Westcliff-on-Sea (map) Transition Drinks, Transition Chat – a chance to meet for an informal chat about Transition Town Westcliff and green organizations and projects in Southend-on-Sea.

Wood Fuel for a low energy future

On the evening of Thursday 19th July Transition Town Westcliff supporter and wood burner installer Jay Scarlett gave an excellent presentation regarding the potential of wood as a fuel for a low carbon, post-cheap oil future;

Current energy and environmental issues are on all our minds. With gas and oil prices rising and stocks depleting the mention of renewable energy is no longer just the concern of the green ones among us. One answer lies in the sustainable management (coppicing) and replanting of our local indigenous woodlands in harmony with urban and rural society.

Coppice is an ancient woodland industry, mastered in the Tudor era. Sustainable sections of forest were harvested to produce a variety of products, from firewood to battleships. The coppice was regulated by a statute of Henry VIII, which required woods to be enclosed after cutting (to prevent browsing by animals) and 12 standards (mature uncut trees) to be left in each acre and be grown as structural timber.

Traditionally the coppice takes place on a 10-20 year rotation depending on the product needed. Young tree stems are cut down to the stump (stool), which re-grow producing multiple stems called poles. This process is especially beneficial for plant and wildlife as a wide variety of habitats unfold. The sunlight (previously blocked by dominant trees) reaches the woodland floor to release dormant flora such as bluebells and orchids. Trees that are well managed live longer, support local biodiversity and consume more carbon dioxide.

As a tree grows it absorbs carbon from the atmosphere, when the tree is burnt or left to rot, the same amount of carbon is released again. This is known as a carbon neutral cycle. The heat produced by burning wood can be seen as the warmth of the sun, stored in the trees through the process of photosynthesis. When the sun abandons us during the cold dark days of winter, we liberate the suns heat through reverse photosynthesis, like every other cycle in nature, every process has its opposite.

Our concept is to make woodlands self sufficient. We show daily that wood burning can be eased into modern lifestyles through the education of ours and our children’s generation to use sustainable wood as a real and necessary carbon neutral alternative to fossil fuels. Heating your home with logs can mean that your energy bill incurs no standing charge and is paid directly to the local forest industry that manage our woodland, street and garden trees. In turn, local councils, farmers and land owners see tree planting more favourably.

Having put wood burning and coppicing into a historical context, Jay then went on to explain its relevance as a potential low carbon fuel source for a future Westcliff, a large urban area. There have been some questions from sections of the Transition Movement about the viability of wood burning as a long term energy descent strategy, however Jay was clear that wood fuel is only part of the picture, stressing that in order to be a carbon neutral solution it needs to be;

* Chopped by hand or using minimal machinery
* Left to dry (season) in the woodland or local compound
* Delivered to the end user locally from where it was processed in measured quantities
* Graded for specific wood performance (calorific value) and stacked
* Burned in a well fitted, high efficiency stove, by a consumer educated in good user practice

Wood that is processed by large, oil-dependant industrial machinery and delivered around the country in diesel lorries is not carbon-neutral.

Furthermore, wood burning can be combined with other renewable technologies such as using solar heated hot water and increased energy efficiency measures such as double glazing, draught proofing and insulation in order to meet our heating needs through the year. Jay is currently working on developing a prototype solar heated wood store in order to efficiently kiln-dry stacked fresh cut timber, what he describes as ‘permaculture in action!’

On the question of fuel availability, in the longer term we will need to implement massive tree planting and re-afforestation programs, but Jay also pointed out the vast amounts of wood generated by the pollarding of street and garden trees, most of which is currently chipped. Eddie, a local demolition contractor, commented that he sees vast amounts of scrap wood wasted in the course of his work alone that could be a potential fuel source.

Re-instigating local deliveries from the woodlands to the doorstep by horse drawn cart as was the practice of our forefathers is another possibility for exploration, much of the infrastructure in terms of old stable buildings are still in existance, even though most have of course now been converted to other uses.

After a lively and informative question and answer session we enjoyed a summer social evening in the shop, well lubricated by plenty of glasses of Pimms and food cooked on the log fueled Rayburn courtesy of Jay’s wife Mel.

Many thanks to Mel and Jay for their hospitality and an inspiring and informative night, the first of many more to come we hope!

For more information see www.designafireplace.com