23 Apr 2015

The lost posts – Energyshare Awards Event

Chris Hussey

Following the success of the ‘crowdfunding’ bid for local support, we were informed that the Constantine Community Windpower project had moved on to the next stage of the awards process, and the project team were invited to an award ceremony at the Eden Project, along with all the other projects that had passed this first hurdle. On the night, to our delight, our bid for funding was awarded in full (£10,000) – the funds intended to cover all the expenses needed to see the project through to a successful outcome to a planning application. The photo is from the Western Morning News article about the event, with the full article here.

Group photo at the Energyshare Awards
Group photo at the Energyshare Awards
23 Apr 2015

The lost posts – Constantine Community Wind Project

Chris Hussey

Despite a long-standing interest in pursuing a community windpower project, all the best sites in the parish seemed ‘blighted’ by alleged interference with local radar systems, especially those at nearby Culdrose. A number of small local wind turbines have been approved, though, and this gave us hope when the group was offered, as a corporate donation, two slightly used Proven 6kW turbines. The offer coincided with the prospect of a grant award from Energyshare, which was being made available to community groups in Cornwall. A ‘bidding’ process for the grants was established via the Crowdfunder website, where each project made its ‘pitch’ on the website and recruited supporting votes. The website image below shows the Transition Constantine project page – and the magnificent total of 128 supporters. We were never quite sure how the success of the bid was evaluated – but that level of support got us through to the next stage of the bidding!Screenshot from 2015-04-22 19:45:39

23 Apr 2015

The lost posts – Pre-school Solar PV Project

Chris Hussey

Several years ago we experienced the solar ‘gold rush’ into Cornwall, when proposals for solar farms were springing up everywhere – and one of them was for a site in Constantine parish. It provoked much local opposition, and a large part of the objections seemed due to the fact that the project was being promoted by large, foreign-owned corporations, with most of the benefits expected to disappear out of the country. Conversations with objectors indicated that a small-scale, community-owned project might meet a quite different reception.

Since then the group has been looking for an appropriate site, preferably a community building of some kind, to test this out. The primary school would have been an obvious choice, but sadly due to the PFI ownership a roof mounted solar PV project would be out of the question. The next door pre-school has a much smaller roof, but would otherwise be a possibility for a small-scale system. Discussions with the pre-school committee indicated that they would be interested in pursuing such a project, and that the FIT-related income would be of value. Various funding options were considered, but in the end an application was made to the 10:10 Solar Schools programme, and the project was accepted onto the scheme for the 2014-2015 academic year.

VillagePosterV1

23 Apr 2015

The lost posts – Farmers’ Market

Chris Hussey

The Transition group runs a farmers’ market in the Church Hall on the second Saturday of every month – and it’s been going long enough now to be almost an institution in its own right. A good range of local produce is always available, with some slight variability in stalls from month to month. Once a year, in August, we migrate to the Tolmen Centre, to make way for the summer exhibition in the Church Hall of the Constantine Art Society. The photo here shows Andrea, from Fox Farm in Gluval, with a tremendous display of vegetables outside the Tolmen Centre.

Andrea's vegetables at Constantine Farmers' Market
Andrea’s vegetables at Constantine Farmers’ Market
23 Apr 2015

The lost posts – Screening “The UK Gold”

Chris Hussey

One of the group’s occasional activities is the screening of a film relevant to our interests and aims. In June 2014 we organised the showing of ‘The UK Gold’ – a documentary about the role of the UK (and the City of London in particular) in global tax dodging. According to The Guardian: “The kind of film to get the blood boiling and the steam hissing out of your ears – an ambitious and admirably clear assault.” I suspect our audience agreed with that assessment.

Poster for "The UK Gold"
Poster for “The UK Gold”
23 Apr 2015

The lost posts – Constant Times

Chris Hussey

Members of the Transition group helped to revive the village newspaper when its longstanding editor was obliged to give up to health problems. It now has a new editorial and production team, but members of the Transition group help with the bimonthly ritual of the ‘stapling and folding party’. Some 750 copies are collated, stapled, folded and boxed, with the accompaniment of food, drink and much putting of the world to rights. New occupational heath problems sometimes surface – though I’m not sure that ‘stapler’s wrist’ has been fully characterised by medical science…

ConstantTimes

 

26 Nov 2013

Tool Library Survey

Chris Hussey

In issue 5 of the Constant Times Transition Constantine announced plans to consider the viability of a tool library where villagers could share those incredibly useful items of equipment that are only ever periodically needed. It is hoped that such a village resource might save unnecessary commercial hire or duplicate purchase of kit as well as encouraging people to get to know each other a bit better.

Thank you to all those who contributed to the survey at the October Farmers Market and for all the kind offers of donations or lends to help set up the scheme. As a result we have begun to piece together those items that seem most popular.

In order to get a better idea of what might items might be most useful, we would be very pleased if more people could complete the survey.  Please consider the list below and use the comments link (at the top right of the page) to tell us your top five items (the ones you most wish you could borrow).

Construction Leisure
Cement Mixer Boat
Scaffold Tower Boat Trailer
Long (extendable) Ladder Canoe
Stepladder Gas BBQ
Acroprops Chiminea
Long handled sledge hammer Gazebo
Crow bar Tent
Tile cutter Camp Beds
Block & Tackle Camping Stoves
Kango Drill/Big SDS Gym Equip/Weights
Flood Light  
Sash Window Clamps Domestic
Lathe Breadmaker
Generator Food processor
  Juicer
Garden/Outside Steam Cleaner
Garden Tool Bank (spades, forks, etc.?) Carpet Washer
Petrol/ride on mower Wet vacuum cleaner
General Purpose Trailer Wallpaper stripper
Pressure Washer
Drain Rods Domestic Emergency
Long reach branch cutter / Shrub cutter Water Pump
Large band saw / tree saw Dehumidifier
Strimmer Heater
Hedge Trimmer Sand bags
Woodchipper  
Garden Roller Infants
Saw Horse Travel Cot
Post Driver High Chair
Log Splitter Car seat
Rotavator Stair gate
Leaf Blower  
   
Mechanical Clothes Library
Van Everyone who joins contributes
Trailer  
Car Inspection Ramp Book Library
Trolley Jack  
Engine Winch  
Roof rack/roof box Misc
Battery Charger Projector
Long lengths of rope Sat Nav
Large wrench Wheelchair
05 Nov 2013

Spotted in Berlin…

Chris Hussey

Wandering around Berlin recently I came across a clutch of EVs from the Car2Go stable, all lined up and plugged in to on-street chargers.  Car2Go operate a membership-based car hire scheme (you can hire by the minute, if needed) and have a presence in a number of European cities.  I tried to visualise a similar scene in Constantine, but I couldn’t make it look quite so orderly….

IMG_2432

 

IMG_2433

14 Jul 2013

Bananas in Constantine

Chris Hussey

Yes! Bananas growing in Constantine!  OK, they’re on on the relatively hardy Japanese banana (Musa Basjoo), and I’m not expecting that they’ll be edible, but it’s still quite exciting.  Apparently, once they reach a certain size, and if they experience more than a year without a frost, they are likely to flower.  And, of course, the photo:

Bananas in Constantine
Bananas in Constantine
27 Feb 2013

Climate Week Programme

Chris Hussey

Transition Constantine will be supporting the UK’s national Climate Week with a programme of events throughout the week.   These will include:

  • Activities at Constantine Primary School
  • A climate-themed pub quiz at the Trengilly Wartha Inn
  • A screening of the acclaimed film ‘Chasing Ice‘ at the Tolmen Centre
  • A ‘Making Day’ at the Tolmen Centre
  • The first Constantine Farmers’ Market of 2013, with information on the Green Deal available

For details and times of events, please see the full programme below:

ClimateWeek2013