02 Nov 2020

Glebe Garden update 2

Chris Hussey

Bringing the Glebe Garden story up to date, after the inevitable long delay in sorting out a lease, Caitlin DeSilvey published the follow-up article below in the November / December / January issue of Constant Times:

Community Plans for the Glebe

Back in February when Transition Constantine updated readers on progress towards securing a lease for community use of the Glebe Woodland Garden, it seemed plausible that we would have an agreement in place by Spring. As with so many other plans and projects, it was not meant to be. The trees haven’t complained about the delay, though, and we have made very slow progress over the last months. The Constantine Enterprises Company (CEC) Board reviewed a revised version of the lease agreement at its October meeting. If all goes to plan, we should now have a lease signed by the end of the year. The hope is that we can celebrate community stewardship of the 2 acre parcel with a socially-distanced, staggered-shift work party on New Year’s Day. We already have about 50 individuals and households who have pledged support as Friends of the Glebe, and offered to pay a small annual subscription (£10 suggested, more welcome) to help cover the costs of the lease and the insurance. If you are interested in becoming a Friend and contributing to conversations about future plans, please email me at c.desilvey@gmail.com. Even before COVID-19 slowed down the world, our intention was to begin very gradually with light touch maintenance and restoration of some of the overgrown paths and features. We’ll take down the estate agent’s signs from Sentry Path and ensure access for all villagers into the future. The special place through the old granite gateposts will stay mostly as it is now, with a bit more care around the edges.

02 Nov 2020

Glebe Garden update 1

Chris Hussey

January 2020 now seems to belong to another world, but it was then that the Transition group started making plans to rent the Glebe Garden, in the valley below the Church, on behalf of the community. To announce the plans, Caitlin DeSilvey published the article below in the February / March issue of Constant Times:

Transition Bid to restore Glebe Garden

The Glebe Garden is an area of 2.12 acres adjacent to the Brillwater stream, owned by the Diocese of Truro. It was developed in Victorian times by one of the village vicars and was later planted as an orchard by a local family. More recently, the lease was taken in 1989 by the Parish Council, and substantial restoration and maintenance was carried out in the early 1990s. The Parish Council lease lapsed some years back, and although a footpath through the land remains, it has largely reverted to an un-maintained woodland with informal public access. At the end of 2019 the Glebe land was advertised for sale or lease. After initial discussions, Transition Constantine submitted a tender on the 2 January dead-line with a tentative proposal to lease the land and secure continued public access. The Diocese has now confirmed that it is willing to offer the woodland to let to Transition Constantine, pending approval from the Constantine Enterprises Company (CEC) Board. Transition Constantine is interested to consult with the wider community to establish the scale of support and the focus of interest of those wishing to be involved, should the proposal go forward. Some general principles for future management are emerging from conversations with interested parties: there will be no commercial activity; the land will be lightly managed as a community woodland and wildlife reserve; any restoration work will be carried out gradually and incrementally, to preserve the special character of the place. Transition Constantine is currently gathering expressions of interest and support from local residents. If you would like more information, please email Robin Curtis: tmconstatine@btinternet.com.

The Glebe Garden – as represented in “The Book of Constantine”
12 May 2020

Covid 19 impacts – Constantine Village Services Available

Chris Hussey

While so much is closed down, many of the local suppliers are finding new ways to keep going, along with some new initiatives such as the Constantine food bank and help line. In no particular order, here’s the current list:

1) The Spar is open and will take telephone orders and provide  deliveries.  (Kevin doing a great job).
2) The Stores are “open” in the mornings until 1pm.  – in that you can request items at the door – and they will bring them to you.
3) The Pizza Van (Slice) has returned on Saturdays – you can phone though an order and collect. Social distancing  at the van. (07546  496730)
4) West Country Foods takes orders by phone – and delivers. Assemble what you want from www.bulkbuygroceries.co.uk  then ring your order through. (01326 331900)
5) Sylvia Dunstan takes orders be phone for pork as per Farmers Market – deliveries organised / or by collection. (01326 340548)
6) Dominique takes orders by phone for beef – as per Farmers Market, they deliver. (07891 052018 or 01326 340853)
7)  Cider man takes orders online  www.gwealmellincider.co.uk/shop  and delivers.
8) Helston Food Hub is operating: http://www.openfoodnetwork.org.uk/helston-local-food-hub/shop
9) Stewart (Vicar)  is co-ordinating volunteering effort / food bank operation etc  (01326 340259 – mobile for texts only 07807 134606). He writes:
“The food bank in Constantine has been open now for several weeks in the lower vestry (the room below the council chamber) on Wednesday mornings between 10 and 12am, It can also be accessed at any time through the help line. Whilst this facility cannot supply short life perishable items such as bread, milk, eggs, butter and such like, we are also issuing £20 food vouchers (funded by the vicars discretionary fund) which can be exchanged for these items at the Spar shop so that we can meet the needs of those most in need in our community. If people are self isolating we can also deliver food boxes to them.
To date I have 103 volunteers who have signed up to the community help line there is an e.mail address for this as well as the pone and text numbers rev.stewart@stconstantine.plus.com
10) Trengilly is delivering takeaway meals on Thursday and Friday evenings Orders taken Wed, Thur, Fri morning 10:30 – 12:30. Menu on Facebook page  (01326 340332)
11) Lot of impressive growing activity at allotments.
12) As we don’t know when the Farmer’s Markets will be up and running again, Sally (of Sally’s Cakes) says:

     “I will be baking on a Thursday for a Friday collection/local delivery, and on a Sunday for Monday. For deliveries further than Constantine I will have to charge a small fee.”

Sally’s list of offerings and prices are on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Transition-Constantine-520422917968856/   Please email  (sallycakes@hotmail.co.uk) or DM for orders and collection/delivery information.

Some extra things to add:
  • Natural Store (Falmouth/Helston) do deliveries to the village, currently £5.00 delivery charge or free if over £80.00
  • Virginia writes: “I also have sourdough bread starter if you are interested in making sourdough bread (best if you have a banetton and a cast iron dutch oven/large casserole for baking) (vrendell05@gmail.com)”
  • For anyone who was running dangerously low on compost  Trevena Cross Garden Centre are doing deliveries and Falmouth Garden Centre are doing  a Click and Collect service as well as prioritising the vulnerable, elderly and isolated with local deliveries.Although Garden Centres will probably be allowed to open soon, that compost will be flying out the doors.
  • Incredible Bulk are still visiting the village. Details can be found on their web site : https://www.mobilezerowasteshop.co.uk
11 May 2020

Helston Local Food Hub

Chris Hussey

Produce from a number of local traders who have stalls at Helston Farmers’ Market is now available via the Helston Food Hub. To quote from the Food Hub’s website:

“Helston Local Food Hub is a new way of shopping each week for your favourite local food that you can usually only buy once a month from Helston Farmers’ Market. This is like a ‘click and collect’ service you might be familiar with at a supermarket but using the Open Food Network website to trade from and drawing in produce from a number of local producers who currently all trade at Helston Farmers’ Market. You can filter the items by producer or by the product type e.g. ‘Dairy’ or ‘Bread and Baking’.

We work in order cycles, opening up the online shop for a few days each week for you to shop from. We will then collect all the orders at the Old Cattle Market in Helston and give you a time slot to come and collect your order on the Saturday morning.”

Here’s a link to the ‘shop’ page of the Helston Local Food Hub where there is much more detail about the service:



30 Mar 2020

Constant Times April / May issue – Digital Distribution

Chris Hussey

Due to the movement restrictions associated with the Covid-19 epidemic, there will be no door-to-door distribution of the April / May issue of Constant Times. As always, the digital version of Constant Times is available as a pdf on the village website:


We hope as many people as possible will take advantage of the digital version to read the village newspaper online. The cover page is illustrated below:

30 Mar 2020

Constantine Community Help Line Established

Chris Hussey

In response to the Covid-19 epidemic, a number of village groups are collaborating to set up a support network for those alone or housebound, sheltering, undergoing self-isolation, or suffering from the infection itself. The aim is to provide day-to-day support with shopping, deliveries, prescription collection, pets and so on. The vicar, Rev. Stewart Turner, is providing the initial point of contact, with details in the flyer below.

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)