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Spring 2013 Newsletter

Feel free to forward this newsletter and to include items from the newsletter in your newsletter, email updates, website, blog etc – just leave a link to our website.


Southend in Transition, is a group of local residents supporting a personal and community level Transition to a more localised, happy and resilient lifestyle. We are part of an international network of 446 official initiatives and 566 Muller initiatives in over 43 countries


Have a look at what we are working on and support local projects by attending events, bring your friends and families and volunteer.


Local News and Events


Southend in Transition:

Transition Drinks Thur 25/04, 30/05 19:00 Cricketers Inn

Transition Potluck Sat 13/04, 08/06 12-15 Growing Together, corner of Fairfax Drive/Prittlewell Chase


Transition Community Allotment – we are back to continue the work on setting the allotment in 2013. Get in touch with SiT if you are interested in getting involved.


What is on at Trust Links:

Saturday 11th May May Fayre 11am – 2pm

Introduction to Permaculture One Day Course Saturday 18th May 2013

Wednesday 19th June Midsummer Open Garden 2pm – 4pm

Full Permaculture Design Course, Essex, Summer 2013

Saturday 12th October Apple Day at St Laurence Orchard In Partnership with SEEOG and SEEWEN 11am – 3pm

Opening of new site in Shoeburyness

Big Dig


What is on at South East Essex Organic Gardeners:

Dr. Keith Tyrell, Director of Pesticide Action Network UK, Bee Declines and the Link with Pesticides 20/05/2013 19:00 to 22:00

SEEOG coach trip to Writtle College Garden Open Day: Sunday 16 June, 10am – 3pm

March Newsletter is online – packed with goodies as usual.


Pete is setting up a “discussion group looking at practical ways to move towards a more sustainable way of living, while drinking fairtrade tea and eating homemade cakes…”

Running for three months (May – July) on the first and third thursdays of each month. We start at 8pm (come at 7.45 for a cuppa) and we’ll finish at 9.30pm. Call to book a place due to limited space. Call 0781 497 9992


South East Essex Women Environmental Network:

Community Allotment work days

WEN meeting – Third Thursday of every month from 7.30pm


Spiralseed – local Permaculture training and consultancy

Railway Pub Garden Project pictures


Southend Swap Shop and Community Group

Workshop and discussion on setting up bartering systems by Graham Burnett 7 May at 19:30 Trust Links (Growing Together) corner of Fairfax Drive/Prittlewell Chase


Collective Southend – A collective of people/groups with services or things to share for free, for barter, to swap or for “pay what you want” (PWYW). Also a place to ask for (non-financial) help.


Triunity Free Lectures at Yoga Dharma


Veg Box – Southend Farm Shop and Veg Box scheme


Essex Bees – bee hive renting, adoption, training to bee-come a beekeeper


Cycle Southend events and training

Monday morning mums club: leaving Eastwood community centre 9.15 (term time only)

Tuesday Riders: Leaving Southchurch Park/Greenways 9.00 every Tuesday

Sunday Cyclers: Weekly leisurely group leaving Priory Park Bandstand at 10.00. All Welcome.

Women’s Wednesday riders: STARTING 17TH APRIL. 6.30 FROM Western Approaches Community Centre.

Comfy Saddle shop open at Southend Central Station


Any interesting business or needing help to set one up? Contact the Eco Hub


Edible Essex training and events




Southend Community in Action updates

James efforts at growing Oyster mushrooms documented

Observation hive installed in Southend Central Museum by Essex Bees

Southend has a Really Smart Home

Anni has written a book on perennial veg and is giving Oca tubers away


Transition News and Projects


April 2013 – Transition Network Newsletter


A taste of the future in the Community of Dragons


Your suggestions will help us


The newsletter goes out to over 400 local people including project and group leaders raising awareness of local community action and making networking and getting involved easier.

The content of the newsletter can be be generated by you. Please send news about activities, project updates and forthcoming events to kamilpac@gmail.com.

If you would like to write for the blog just like James does about topics of Transition get in touch as well.


Contact Details

Southend-on-Sea in Transition– tackling peak oil and climate change, together, now



part of www.transitionnetwork.org/

email: kamilpac@gmail.com

text or call 07411457259

On Twitter

Southend-on-Sea in Transition on Facebook


Californian connections!

In August I (Graham) had the good fortune to be invited to California for three weeks to teach a full 72 hour Permaculture Design Course with the Palmdale based Ars Terra collective. Well aware of the carbon footprint implications of such a journey, yet at the same time not wanting to turn down such an opportunity nor indeed the chance for cross-cultural learning and ideas exchange, my hosts and I were keen to ensure that I made as many beneficial connections as possible whilst there, as well as spreading the word about Transition Towns.

Three opportunities actually arose, first when I did an interview about permaculture and Transition Towns with Los Angeles based Sustainable World Radio on KCSB 91.9 FM, and secondly when students of the Design course asked for more information about TT Westcliff, which led to me putting together an Open Office Impress (open source version of Powerpoint) slideshow covering the basics of climate change, peak oil and a short overview of the Transition Movement thus far in the UK. I followed this with a history of what TT Westcliff have been up to over the last 6 months since our inception, emphasising the ’12 Steps’ to transition, as well as our small beginnings as a pub chat in the Cricketers Inn, and how this has led to organic yet sustainable growth as other people have come on board and our ideas have spread. I also Showed some of our ‘positive images’ of Westcliff, that we hope will be a model for a sustainable and resilient low carbon future for the region, and finished by looking at the ‘7 buts’ and how to overcome these.

A swollen ankle on the penultimate day of the course put me out of action as far as teaching was concerned, and so I spent the day laid up at Ars Terra with an opportunity to spend time in front of the computer expanding and refining the presentation, which I then showed at LA Ecovillage on the evening of August 16th to an audience including Rachel Bruhnke, maker of the film ‘The Power Of Community’. This was followed by a very lively and positive questions and discussion session, and several of the audience were clearly inspired by my closing message that “if two blokes in a pub in Essex, England can start a movement for positive change, so can you!”

In terms of my own impressions, I don’t think the true implications of the film ‘The End of Suburbia’ really hit me until visiting California and witnessing for myself the sprawl of the suburbs following the freeways out into the high desert of Antelope Valley. It brought home to me the fragility of a car based ‘American Dream’ that is utterly dependent on oil. But what impacted on me most of all was the profligate usage of water in an arid landscape that receives only 8 inches of rainfall in a year. Fed by ground water pumped up from seriously depleted aquifers or imported from other regions, sprinklers run constantly, saturating lush suburban front lawns and flooding the sidewalks yards away from erosion-scarred terrain suited only to dryland flora such as cacti, yuccas and Joshua Trees. Local talk is of spiralling gas prices while billboards display official drought notices – yet there is little evidence of any meaningful behaviour change. How indeed might this even be possible when the entire infrastructure is a monument to the hubristic notion of ‘Mankind Taming The Wilderness’? Its hard to envisage such a consumerist, artificially maintained and de-localised human habitat avoiding total collapse once the age of cheap oil, gas and water comes to an end.

Yet the people of Cuba, a nation that had to adapt almost overnight to just such a scenario, have a saying, “Sí, se puede” or “Yes it can be done.” Transition Towns in the US will be part of the solution, and by helping to inspire at least two Transition projects in Palmdale and Santa Monica, I hope my trip was worth it.