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?

15 Dec 2015

Eggs from rare breed hens

Chris Hussey

A wonderful assortment of eggs from rare breed hens – thanks to Fox Farm Growers (near Hayle), via Constantine Farmers’ Market.

Rare breed hens' eggs
Rare breed hens’ eggs
21 Nov 2015

This Changes Everything

Chris Hussey
Outside the Tolmen Centre
Outside the Tolmen Centre

To help raise awareness of the upcoming COP21 climate conference in Paris, Transition Constantine organised in mid-November a screening of the film ‘This Changes Everything’ at the Tolmen Centre in Constantine.

The film is, of course, associated with the book of the same name by Naomi Klein, and it provides some intense coverage of various groups around the world on the front lines of ‘Blockadia’.  From tar sand development in Canada, through gold mining in Greece, and coal power station development in India, the film exposed the impact of global corporations on communities, climate and the natural world.

As an event, it was well supported, with over 30 attending and many new faces in the audience.

19 Oct 2015

Fund-raising for the Pre-school solar roof

Chris Hussey

pre-school thermometerA wonderful total of over 200 supporting votes was achieved in the pre-school’s bid for a share of the Marks & Spencer Community Energy Fund. Sadly, this wasn’t enough to over-top the sheer weight of numbers from other projects in a first-past-the-post voting system.  In Cornwall the funding went to the Hayle swimming pool project.  So, the pre-school’s fund-raising continues, and the traditional fund-raising ‘thermometer’ has been re-erected (somewhat refurbished) at the school.

27 Apr 2015

Constantine Community Land Trust – Launch Event

Chris Hussey

On Tuesday 28th April the Constantine Community Land Trust will be holding the LAUNCH EVENT of the new organisation (and it will incorporate the AGM of the initial set-up organisation).  For the new organisation, the meeting aims to:

  • Adopt a constitution
  • Elect a board of directors
  • Discuss prospective sites
  • Recruit new CLT members

The meeting will be held at the Tolmen Centre in Constantine, with doors opening at 7:00 pm for a start at 7:30 pm (drinks and nibbles available).

For more information and an agenda, see:

http://constantinecommunitylandtrust.co.uk/

23 Apr 2015

The Lost Posts

Chris Hussey

In the course of a migration to a new hosting service, the most recent posts to the Transition Constantine website went missing. To give a flavour of what happened in the last year or so, here below are some new posts to summarise some of the key events (and regular activities) of the Transition Constantine year.