20 Nov 2019

General Election 2019 – Transition Hosts Another Hustings

Chris Hussey

Having hosted village hustings in 2015 and 2017, Transition Constantine once again rose to the challenge of organising the event and the candidates for the 2019 general election. As before, the hustings were held in the Tolmen Centre, with Monday 18th November providing the magic date when all the candidates diaries were in alignment. We were fortunate to have Kim Conchie, CEO of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce to chair the proceedings, which was held in ‘Any Questions’ format, with members of the audience writing out questions on arrival. These were sorted by Kim into topics (such as health, education, brexit, etc.), with the aim of getting a broad spread of questions. After each candidate had given a short ‘pitch’ for themself and their party, Kim asked the originators of the chosen questions to put them in person to the panel of candidates. This worked well, with the candidates receiving over an hour an a half of grilling, and being given a very fair opportunity to give their personal and party response. The candidates attending are listed in the final poster:

 

Hustings Poster 2019

 

20 Nov 2019

Transition builds on success with another Community Day

Chris Hussey

It can’t have escaped many villagers’ attention that Transition’s 2019 Community Day was held on Saturday 14 September. In thankfully beautiful weather, even more people than at last year’s event came to see and engage with the host of interests, causes and activities on show in the Church and at the Tolmen Centre during the day. Many also sat down for the Big Lunch in the Tolmen Centre garden where every last mouthful of the enormous spread of wholesome foods brought and shared by the diners disappeared! The day started with the Farmers’ Market in the Tolmen Centre whilst in the Church, W.I. refreshments, a Repair Café, Bosahan Woodland Management, Constantine Cottage Garden Society, a children’s clothes swap stall, Extinction Rebellion T-shirt printing, Climate Vision and a chance to try bell ringing in the tower saw a steady flow of interested visitors.

Community Day - Tolmen CentreCommunity Day - childrens' activitiesCommunity Day - The Big Lunch

Outside, 1 st Constantine Brownies were being creative with recycled plastic! Meanwhile back at the Tolmen Centre, the Big Village Lunch kicked off at 1.00pm with a fantastic spread of home-made and (mostly) wholesome fare brought by the diners for all to share in the garden under the specially-erected marquee, the brainwave of this year’s Community Day co-ordinator Laura Brittain-Long. Entertainment followed with poetry performance by our own Kerry Vincent, singing from the children of Constantine School, and an accompanied musical performance by Misri Dey.

Whilst activities up at the Church continued into the afternoon, inside the Tolmen Centre representatives from a host of local organizations shared information with villagers about their aims and activities. Clean Ocean Sailing, Friends of the Earth and Transition Constantine all had stalls manned by their volunteers. Cornwall Council Waste Management Team “had lots of positive conversations” with Constantine folk – interested in the new waste management and recycling arrangements that arrive next year. Constantine Primary School and Pre-School had a chance to showcase their exciting outdoor education programmes – the Forest School, and the Bee Project.

Daisy Chapman Gardner had a stand and had many conversations explaining the background to her recent conservation trip to Honduras. Charlotte Barry from the Camel Community Agriculture Project held a raffle of fresh vegetables on her stall which raised funds donated to Helston Food Bank. On their adjacent stall they explained the operation and function of Helston Food Bank, run by volunteers. They were accepting donations to the food bank – and recruited two new hands!

Last but not least, Tracey Clowes raised valuable funds and pledges for the Tolmen Centre Restoration Project through its ‘sponsor a roof slate’ scheme. Lastly, a big thank-you to all the contributors and volunteers who helped make the day such a success: a day worth remembering, and one to be repeated next year!

(Reproduced from Constant Times Volume 8, Issue 5; authored by Robin Curtis)

24 Feb 2019

Constantine Pre-school Going Solar

Chris Hussey

In 2015 Transition Constantine was working with Constantine Pre-school to raise funds for a solar PV system to be installed on the pre-school roof. This was done in partnership with the 10:10 Solar Schools organisation. The funding target was not achieved and the project was suspended – but the idea never went away. At the turn of 2018, it became clear that Transition Constantine had a source of funds available that could be used to revive the project. With the solar PV Feed In Tariff no longer being available after March 2019, the project was rapidly relaunched with the support of the pre-school committee. Things then moved very quickly, with ZLC Energy engaged to install a 4kW system over the February half-term holiday. A set of timelapse photos of the installation was obtained and can be seen in the movie: “Constantine Pre-school Going Solar”:

26 Jan 2019

Second Helping For Transition’s Big Lunch

Chris Hussey

Following the success of the communal lunch on the Community Day last October, Transition Constantine held the first of what it hopes will be quarterly Big Lunches on Saturday 12 January.

The people of the Constantine area didn’t let them down and, as before, the Tolmen Centre was packed with families, young and old, who tucked into a huge variety of home-made dishes and delights brought by the diners themselves for others to enjoy. The atmosphere was all the more enjoyable as local band Akoustek played and sang a live set throughout the meal.

The next Big Lunch will be announced in due course. Transition would love to see even wider village participation so if you haven’t been already, do come (and it’s free!).

(Reposted from an article by the editor of the Constant Times (February / March edition, 2019)

26 Jan 2019

Constantine Community Day – Likes & Dislikes

Chris Hussey

At Constantine Community Day on Saturday 13th October 2018, one of the activities was to gather residents views about Constantine. As part of this, people were invited to suggest aspects of Constantine life that they liked and disliked. These have been collected together and documented on the Community Day page on the menu above.

15 Nov 2018

Constantine Community Day – The Challenges

Chris Hussey

At the recent Constantine Community Day there were a couple of activities that prompted people to reflect on how they might like things to be different in the future. One was a ‘wishing tree’ where wishes for change or improvement could be hung. Another was a display about Constantine in the past and present, that also invited people to say what they would like to see in Constantine in the future (with a timescale of the next 10-20 years). The contributions from both have been consolidated and summarized below:

Atmosphere and Community Spirit

  • More willing volunteers
  • Volunteer Register – people available to help others in village when needed – Seconded!
  • A Christmas Show!
  • More community days *****
  • Befriending system

Services

  • Community cafe like Saracens’ plate in Penryn
  • A community cafe/restaurant – Seconded
  • Nice to have a café with young and old
  • More inter generational events
  • Shops *****
  • More shops (child)
  • Community swop shop
  • Community run pub
  • A Post office counter ******
  • Access to local, good organic food.
  • More local food – veg & dairy available to buy in the village
  • Ability to buy milk from our local farms
  • Village Policeman!!
  • Community composting collection/delivery point – bike plus trailer

Outdoors:

  • More flowers in public spaces
  • More people taking up allotments 

Transport

  • Village community with bus charity
  • Community bus for elderly/young families for shopping and recreational trips – run by volunteers and funded by events
  • Concerned that when no longer can drive that will be stuck indoors
  • More connection to the other nearby villages
  • An affordable, responsive public transport network **
  • Minibus services to Helston/Falmouth with more frequency
  • More transport routes in outlying areas
  • Would like to have a bus into Truro
  • Cycling routes from Constantine to other villages/towns
  • Cycling routes ***
  • Buggy park, a buggy collective
  • Traffic control in Main Street
  • Enforcing 20mph limit **
  • Road signs need cleaning
  • Electric car charging points **
  • New gate on footpath between Church and Bridge

Housing

  • Community affordable eco-housing with integrated care for the elderly **
  • Somewhere to live in Constantine for older people nearing the end of their lives
  • Community provision for elderly so they can stay in the village – sheltered housing/ Old people’s home **
  • Would like a place – residential for the elderly with café for all as part of it
  • More people looking after older members of their family in their own homes
  • More affordable housing **
  • Proper low cost sustainable housing
  • Affordable eco co housing/ co operative **

Climate Change/Emergency Plans

  • That action towards a just transition for post carbon proceeds now & urgently
  • Plastic free Constantine
  • A more sustainable future
  • Community energy project
  • Idea re coping with extreme weather events
  • Emergency plan for extreme weather events
  • More sunshine (!)

The items with asterisks reflect a number of responses on the same topic. Transition Constantine will be discussing how to take action on these ideas, particularly in relation to the desire for more community days and more affordable housing.

23 Oct 2018

Constantine Community Day

Chris Hussey

On Saturday 13th October Transition Constantine held a ‘Community Day’ in the village. This grew out of ideas shared at a meeting of Transition groups at the Tremough Campus in Penryn. The Sustainable St. Agnes group described how they had taken to having a few regular, annual events. The aim was to put a marker in the village calendar (alongside all the other events) for sustainability. The Transition Constantine group decided to give the idea a go, and a sub-group debated the form such an event might take. It was decided to hold it on a Farmers’ Market day, merge it with the successful ‘Big Lunch’ that had been held before, and also combine it with various community and Transition themed stalls and activities. The result was ‘The ConConstantine Community Day Posterstantine Community Day’.

Despite the adverse weather conditions (which meant that some outdoor activities had to be cancelled) it was felt to be a very successful event. It began with the Farmers’ Market in the morning, followed by ‘The Big Get-Together’ – a pot luck lunch for everyone to share; the rear of the Tolmen Centre was packed out for this. During the lunch, the Trengilly Singers gave a fine performance of a range of enjoyable pieces. This lunch was followed by a mix of events and activities spread across the Church Hall and the Tolmen Centre. Some of these were on Transition themes and activities, such as the Constant Times (village newspaper) and Who’s Where (the village directory), plus some focus on what people were looking for in the community in the future.

There were also local stalls such as those run by the Church and the WI, and a theme of plastic awareness, with representatives from Plastic Free Falmouth, Falmouth Marine Conservation, and Ocean Clean Sailing from Gweek. There were many activities for children, with a quiz trail, face painting, and stalls run by the Scouts, Brownies and the Pre-school. We were also pleased to be able to host the Falmouth Repair Cafe in the Church Hall, who were able to perform a number of successful repairs, while raising awareness of the importance of repair, as opposed to simply disposing of non-functional items. The Ambos Co-housing Collective were also represented, promoting a new approach to affordable housing. A display of electric bikes was to be seen in the Church Hall, with an electric car also on display at the Tolmen Centre. The Museum was open during the afternoon events, receiving a good number of visitors. We will hold an evaluation session in due course, to learn as much as we can from what happened – to help the planning of next year’s event!

07 Aug 2018

The last horse-powered farm

Chris Hussey

Having a week’s holiday in Northumbria recently, it turned out that a farm very near to where we were staying is reported as being the last farm in the UK to be worked by horses. This is Sillywrea farm near Langley-on-Tyne. Walking a footpath through the farm I could feel there was something different about the field of barley we were walking alongside; it dawned on me that the difference was the absence of tractor ‘tramlines’ running across the field. Walking on we passed by the farmyard, seeing horse drawn equipment –  a roller and trailer, and later saw two horses with hay rakes at work in the fields. The farm has featured in various articles, including:

“The land where heavy horses reign supreme” (2009)

And a book: “The Last  Horsemen” (Charles Bowden, 2011 [Andre Deutsch Ltd.])

06 Aug 2018

It’s been very quiet…

Chris Hussey

You may notice that there has been little activity on the Transition Constantine website for a long time. Since setting up the TC Facebook page, most of our communications activity has happened there. Very many people use Facebook, and its ‘push’ mechanism means that no-one has to go out of their way to look for a specific website.

Facebook is good for getting attention, but less suitable for providing directly the ‘longer read’, where someone is interested in a particular topic. We are going to try using the Transition Constantine website for providing a bit more depth, via links from Facebook posts. So if someone is interested, they can easily follow the link to the TC website; if not, they can easily pass it by without being overloaded with unwanted information.

03 Jan 2016

Potential for hydro power?

Chris Hussey

There are a number of streams running through Constantine parish and out to the Helford river.  One with perhaps the largest catchment area flows out to Polwheveral Creek.  Given the rain in recent days there is a good flow of water at present:

Only five or six valleys along at Helston, Western Hydro Ltd. has installed a 200kW hydroelectric generator on the River Cober:

Western Hydro powerhouse, River Cober
Western Hydro powerhouse, River Cober

Although there’s a smaller flow here at Polwheveral, there may still be potential for a small hydro scheme?