"It was a cool and breezy day in bustling Berkhamsted: regular stalls on the monthly Farmer’s Market were joined by a new one – for the Transition Roadshow – welcoming visitors from Ipswich, Bedford and even as far afield as Norway," explained Tessa.
"We were there to hear Rob Hopkins speak, to learn and share knowledge in workshops and to chat and meet fellow souls. After an engaging opening session led by a member of Transition Network I found my way to the venue for my first workshop, on Transition Streets. Within the white-washed brick walls of this reclaimed outbuilding a group of us learned how we could use this project to connect to our neighbours, share knowledge and learn about ways to improve domestic energy efficiency, save water, reduce waste and think about our travel choices. Groups that run the project usually comprise around 6-8 neighbours and our workshop leaders reported that, aside from the reduction in carbon generation, the main benefit is the strong community feeling that the initiative creates. Definitely one for us to consider launching in Letchworth."
"It felt very comfortable to be amongst so many like-minded people. It was good to find out what other Transition communities had been doing. In fact, in the morning session which I attended, there were about 8 different groups represented...
The practical aspect involved a 'Dognastic' health check , discussing in pairs the strengths and weaknesses of our groups. I've ben able to bring the ideas back to Letchworth so that our group can engage in the same exercise in more depth. It's a really good idea to analyse what we're doing and where we're going from time to time."
After a chatty lunch with new friends in a local café Tessa headed off to an afternoon session on Permaculture. "This practical session was all about closed loop gardening: how we can use outputs from one part of the garden as inputs in another in the same way that nature does. We explored how we can follow this principle within our own gardens so that we reduce our use on chemical fertilisers and herbicides while producing the fruit and vegetables we need. This was an inspiring session and I am grateful to the leader, Nigel Crawley, for permission to use his activity in a meeting we held on Permaculture on 28 April here in Letchworth."
Meanwhile, Diane headed off to an afternoon session entitled 'The Big Question'.
"We got into groups to discuss various topics suggested by the attendees. It covered the whole breadth of challenges and topics covered by Transition Intiatives and there was a lot of useful discussion at the tables I joined."
Dinner was shared and Rob Hopkins spoke to the attendees. Tessa explained further.
"After the workshops there was a busy and noisy meet-up for us all in a local school where we could eat, chat and share thoughts with fellow Transitioners before the evening conversation with Rob Hopkins. After the food ran out and a very generous emergency delivery of freshly cooked pizza was received we moved into the school theatre to hear from the great man and he did not disappoint. A rousing session on the multitude of successful initiatives being run by Transition groups up and down the country served to encourage and impress us."
Both agreed Rob's talk was a fitting end to an inspiring day and huge thanks must go to Transition Berkhamsted who led the organisation of the day with help from other local Transition groups including our own here in Letchworth.