Meeting on Tuesday

Dear Transitioners

We hope you were able to enjoy some of the many activities and events that the Climate Future Festival provided.  It was a great coming together of the community, and a phenomenal effort by the organisers – 100 events in seven days! – to raise awareness of the issue that we all think paramount.  The aim, of course, is to generate Action on the Climate Emergency!

Planning for next year’s Festival has already started and yes, it was great and we all learned a lot, but, as always, there is room to do things differently and better.  So – please come to our meeting next Tuesday, 19 October, at 7.30 outside the front of Monmouth Comprehensive School and give us your thoughts and ideas for the future, and offers of help too, of course!

We also need to look at taking forward our various other projects – Green Grow/Green Spaces, especially since the tree planting season will soon be upon us, Benthyg – opening very soon, the new water fountains – and yes, the formal opening of the one on Chippy will coincide with the opening of the new children’s playground – congratulations to Rachel Jupp for her persistence, Plastic Free Monmouth, the dreadful state of our rivers – in particular the River Wye, and of course COP26.

If you missed our apple pressing at the Festival there is another opportunity this Saturday, 16 October at the Usk Farmers’ Market, Willows Garden Centre – www.willowsgardencentre.co.uk – bring your apples, pears and bottles or just go and look.

Working parties are resuming at Claypatch Woods on Sunday 17 October at 2pm (also the following Sunday) in preparation for the Spooktacular Halloween event on Sunday 31 October at 6.30pm.  Further working parties are planned to undertake tree thinning, bench refurbishments and pond construction – further information on the Wyesham Community Woodlands Facebook page.

We have yet to decide on how we mark COP26 but in Abergavenny there will be a Procession and Vigil on Saturday 6 November starting at 11am from St John’s Square.  If you would like to engage with the Silent Witnesses, be comfortable talking to people in the street, or otherwise participate in what is planned to be a colourful event, please contact phannay@toucansurf.com.  As they become available we will post further details on our Facebook pages.

We look forward to seeing you at 7.30 next Tuesday.  As usual, bring something to sit on, something to drink, and wrap up warm.  Details of the agenda along with notes of our September meeting follow below.  If you are unable to attend but have comments you would like to make, please email me.

Vivien Mitchell

Agenda

Members’ Meeting outside Monmouth Comprehensive School,

The Burgage, Monmouth NP25 3DP

Tuesday 19 October 2021 – 7.30 to 9.00 pm

Introductions

Apologies for absence

Note taker

Notes of the last meeting (copied below) and matters arising

Festival De-Brief – what went well, what could have been better, what to do next year?

COP26 – how to mark the occasion?

Projects:

  • Working with Monmouth School
  • Green Grow and Green Spaces
  • Benthyg (Library of Things)
  • Community Fridge
  • Water fountains on Chippy and at the Skate Park
  • Plastic Free Monmouth
  • River pollution

Any Other Business

Date of Next Meeting

Notes of last meeting:-

Transition Monmouth Members’ Meeting

Tuesday 14 September 2021 at 7.30pm at the front of Monmouth Comprehensive School

Present:  Bryan Miller, Claudia Blair, Waltraud Engelfield, Anthea Dewhurst, Vivien Mitchell

Apologies:  Terry Ing, Simon Durrant, Clare Cato, Kate Rees, Daphne Evans, Kelly Jackson-Graham, Mary Boase, Charles Boase, Catrin Maby

Note taker:  Waltraud Engelfield

Notes of last meeting:-

  • The Bee Festival went very well
  • Woolly Monmouth has gone quiet.  Post-meeting note:  Kim has let the ground floor to Mother Nature’s Goodies and is thinking of housing Afghan refugees on the upper floors

Events:-

  • Apple pressing in Wyesham:  Sunday 19 September, 10 till 2, at St James’ Hall in Wyesham, led by Emma Bryn with Jane Temperton and Helena Ronicle.  All in hand with the apple press, and outside tap has been installed, all risk assessments and Covid related paper work completed.  The WI will supply teas and coffees
  • Clothes Swap:  25 September at The Priory:  This has been cancelled because of Covid concerns and disposal of left-over clothes
  • Plant/Seed Swap/Share:  Sunday 26 September, 10 till 4, in the Blestium Street car park as part of the Green Spaces Zone of the Climate Future Festival.   The TM stall will also have a display for TM and separately for the Community Fridge, and lots of leaflets.  Plastic Free Monmouth will have a separate stall in the main tent.  There will be cake and a banner celebrating TM’s 14th birthday.  Bryan, Waltraud and others will set up gazebos, tables etc in the area starting at 8.30.  Vivien will be a collection point for plants prior to the event and get them delivered on the day.  She will also organise a rota
  • Further apple pressing:  Possibly at Rockfield Community Centre or Skenfrith – to decide after the Festival.  Post-meeting note:  It is probably too late as apples are ripening much earlier  

Projects:-

  • Wildflower Meadow at Monmouth Comprehensive School:  The meadow still needs attention re clover removal (very little compared to last year but some has survived) and also removal of dead ox-eye daisy stems;  a combination of these overwhelmed other species.  We have held small working parties throughout the summer.  MCC is due to do a ‘cut and remove’ in October and we will need to rake up stems that have been flattened
  • Kitchen Garden at Monmouth Comprehensive School:  The fruit bushes have grown well so there probably needs to be a year of consolidation to decide on further development as there will be less space in the future for veg.  The seedlings kindly donated by members have done well with the produce shared between the volunteers.  Because of Covid restrictions we have as yet had no contact with pupils at the school.
  • Monmouth School:  Sheila Mone would like involvement for a group of eight boys from 2.30 till 4pm on Wednesdays.  The Community Orchard, Wyesham Community Woodland and other projects were suggested.  Post-meeting note:  The boys helped rake cuttings at the Community Orchard on 22 September
  • Community Orchard:  The orchard area has not been cut this year due to a misunderstanding that it should be left for the scything demonstration of the Festival.  Norman Williams has arranged for the Monmouthshire Meadows Group power scythe to be used to cut the grass so that the fruit on the trees was accessible.  A mowing regime needs to be agreed for the future
  • Benthyg (the Library of Things):  Much of the equipment for the Monmouth Benthyg is now located on the second floor Art Room at Bridges, shelving has been installed, and Bryan has itemized the equipment on the internet based borrowing system that will be common to the four Monmouthshire Benthygs.  Storage space on the ground floor needs to be found for the larger and heavier equipment
  • Community Fridge:  The Fridge will celebrate its first birthday on 28 September – Happy Birthday! – a wonderful achievement.  Claudia supplied up to date statistics.  About two tons a month of food is saved from landfill and put to good use.  Over the period since we started collecting from the supermarkets the volume of bread has reduced considerably and we are now receiving more higher value food.  We now have to pay for electricity and water rates – about £100 a month.  The pressure on volunteers is lifting as it is now possible to train new members
  • Water Fountain at Chippenham:  This has now been received.  Installation is held up as Welsh Water, despite digging up the road twice, have not been able to locate a water connection point
  • Local Development Plan:  Following a delay of 18 months due to Covid, all submissions had to be resubmitted, and with additional information on environmental impact and travel implications.  We resubmitted our original proposals, and Charles Emes did likewise on proposals for Kingswood Gate
  • Plastic Free Monmouth:  Beccy Macdonald-Lofts, Chair of Plastic Free Monmouth, has been invited to submit a monthly article on eco living – yay!

Date of next meeting:  Tuesday 19 October, 7.30 to 9pm outside the front of Monmouth Comprehensive School

Back into action

Dear Transitioners

Back into action after, what we hope was an enjoyable break for you all.  And – the first bit of action is to get gardening, please!  On Sunday 26 September at the Climate Future Festival we will have a stall with information but also a Plant/Seed Swap/Sale. 

Now is a great time to divide up those clumps that have grown too big, and also dig up all those self seeders that you don’t want cluttering up your beds.  Then there’s always seeds to harvest once they have ripened.  The event will be held at the Blestium Street Car Park from 10 till 4.  Apart from visitors we expect a lot of passing trade, and we will need a lot of plants.  Please deliver your donations to our stall on the day, or you can drop them off at my house before then – The Barn, The Burgage, Monmouth NP25 3DP (next door to the front entrance of Monmouth Comprehensive School.  Please give me a ring on 01600 715065 with any queries or if you need plant pots – I have loads to spare.

Our pre-Festival event is Apple Pressing on Sunday 19 September from 10 till 2 at St James Hall, Wyesham.  Bring your washed apples or pears, clean bottles, and walk away with your very own delicious juice.  If you don’t have apples, please come anyway with some bottles as we might have juice to spare.

Charles Emes has created a great ACE Monmouth website with full details of the 81 events planned during the week of 20 to 26 September – films, talks, and a host of events.  Have a look – there is bound to be something that grabs your fancy – starting with the pre-Festival film I Am Greta at the Savoy Theatre this Sunday, 12 September at 4pm – and if you can provide any help with setting up, stewarding, audio etc please follow this link – https://www.acemonmouth.org/volunteer/ – password Fe$tiv@l (that’s an L at the end) – to complete the Volunteer Form.

But before that, we have our Members’ Meeting – 7.30 on Tuesday 14 September, at the front of Monmouth Comprehensive School to discuss the Festival, our Apple Pressing events, the Kitchen Garden and wildflower meadow at the school, our Community Orchard on Two River Meadow, Benthyg (Library of Things) and other happenings, and to also have time to talk and catch up – it was so good to have this opportunity at the Bee Festival.  Bring something to sit on, something to drink, and come and join us.  The agenda and notes of our last meeting are below.

So, the dates for your September diaries are:-

I Am Greta – Sunday 12 September, 4pm at the Savoy Theatre
Members’ Meeting – Tuesday 14 September, 7.30 at Monmouth Comprehensive, The Burgage
Apple Pressing – Sunday 19 September, 10 till 2 at St James Hall, Wyesham
Climate Future Festival – 20 to 26 September – see https://www.acemonmouth.org/ for all the events
Plant/Seed Swap/Sale – Sunday 26 September, 10 till 4 at the Blestium Street Car Park

We look forward to seeing you all again soon!

Vivien Mitchell

More happenings

Dear Transitioners

With the easing of restrictions we have more happenings!

Woolly Monmouth Community Hub – at the lower end of Monnow Street on the sunny side with great visibility for traffic and pedestrians:  The idea is to make this a natural meeting place in the web of the community to support, encourage and develop ideas and actions for enrichment of our local area.  On the ground floor we envisage a café space and pop-up shop/event space.  Upstairs seems suited to rentable rooms for meetings, activities/studios workshops, and co-worker spaces, and out in the yard – well, it could be part covered with a tent to give dynamic indoor/outdoor space to act as a café overflow, and used for outdoor meetings (Covid safe), workshops, table sales, repair workshops etc.  It’s time we had a look at this marvellous building to take forward our ideas so we are having a meeting on Tuesday 22 June at 7.30 to do just this.  Interested?  What should we do with the building?  How should it be run (CIC, Charity)?  Please come with your ideas to help develop an opportunity not to be missed.  Hey – Transition Monmouth highly visible in the High Street! – well, at 103-105 Monnow Street.

Beictown:  Sunday 27 June, 10 till 2 in the Monnow Street Market area:  Bike-Friendly Monmouth invite you to join a cycling celebration – bring your bike for a FREE basic check up and bicycle repair service, join the Vintage Bike Ride to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust – register with Honeysuckle Wood (1 Whitecross Street or phone 01600 715264), bike stalls for bikes and all your accessories – ACE Bicycles and Launch Bikes, Monmouth Cycling Club, and lovely street food.

Members’ Meeting:  Tuesday 13 July at 7.30 outside the front of Monmouth Comprehensive School NP25 3DP:  The last meeting was lovely – sitting on the grass under the stars talking to like minds.  In July we will discuss how we go forward with the Community Hub, and also our Community Fridge and Library of Things, and no doubt, lots of other things too.

Monmouth Bee Festival:  Saturday 31 July/Sunday 1 August:  It will be Open Gardens on the Saturday and we will be showing off our Kitchen Garden and wildflower meadow at Monmouth Comprehensive School.  Then on the Sunday the Festival with loads of stalls and information will be held in the Nelson Garden and on Chippy.

Well, there’s some dates for your diaries and we look forward to seeing you at one or more of these events.  One last thing:  Fundraising:  We haven’t been able to hold our usual fundraising activities so have decided to join in the Rotary Club Raffle – tickets £1 each.  We keep all of the proceeds while Rotary pay for the prizes of £250, £150 and £75.  We have a couple of months to sell our allocation of 500 tickets.  Please let me know if you would like to buy!

Vivien Mitchell

Plants and more

Dear Transitioners

TWO REAL, LIVE EVENTS

A bit last minute – but we are holding a Plant Swap/Sale on Saturday 29 May – 11 am to 3pm at Bridges Centre.  Bring your spare plants to swap, or you can buy what we have on offer.  This coincides with the Covid Creations sale of arts and crafts fundraiser for the Centre with many tempting things to enhance your home or give as presents.  Unfortunately we are not allowed to provide refreshments but hey – the sun might well be shining for you to have a picnic out on the lawns at Drybridge House, Drybridge Park, Monmouth NP25 5AS.

And then there’s the Members’ Meeting – 7.30pm on Tuesday 8 June at the front entrance of Monmouth Comprehensive School, The Burgage NP25 3DP to talk about plans for a new Community Hub in Monnow Street, the Library of Things, a Reuse Shop, the ever-developing programme for the Climate Future Festival, and inevitably, much else.  Bring a chair, bring a drink, and bring yourself!

So yes, at last, we can start doing things together again albeit under the continuing Covid rules, and the weather is due to return to ‘normal’.  We so look forward to seeing you!

Vivien Mitchell