About Us


We're part of a world-wide community movement in response to peak oil and climate change. This site gives you details of our up and coming events and meetings, as well as reports and related matters that are going on in Norwich and East Anglia.

NEWS AND RELATED EVENTS... Common Room - Low Carbon Cookbook - Magdalen-Augustine Celebration - Norwich FarmShare - Transition Free Press 4 - Visions for Change -On the Blog Harvest: Looking in the Archive 2009-2013 - Flight of the Butterflies - Where We Are Now

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Magdalen Street - The Big Day Arrives!

It started out as a way to expand the NR3 Transition group out into the community. Resident artist and photographer Helen Simpson Slapp and local community artist Karen Steadman had a dream...

Now in the final frantic week of ensuring everything goes according to as much of a plan as these things can, the Magdalen Street Celebration has captured local imaginations and a truly astonishing amount of traders, volunteers, charities, performers, artists and more have emerged to take part over the last three months.

Stacia Briggs took up the story in a double page spread in the Eastern Daily Press last Thursday...
"Magdalen Street - famous for rebels, royals and regrets - it was stormed by Robert Kett's army, visited by Queens Elizabeth I and II and subject to some of the least sympathetic town planning decisions ever made in Norwich.
Now the street is hoping to create its own history with a magnificent street festival on October 2, which will see the area transformed into a vibrant celebration of the most diverse neighbourhood in the city.
Visitors will be able to learn more about the incredible history of the area, sample the unique collection of shops, meet other residents and an array of activities including performances by local musicians and artists, workshops, art exhibitions and a fashion parade starring vintage and second hand clothes shops sourced on Magdalen Street itself."
(from the EDP2 article on 23 September 2010)
Founding organiser Helen Simpson-Slapp said: “We are creating a street festival to bring the community together to have fun, but also we would like to see a long lasting effect. There's no reason why this festival should not continue and grow over the years, and help connect people in this area of the City”.

Rachel Lalchan joined the organising group after arriving in Norwich from South London where she had helped set up a Transition group: “Having moved to a new city, I was keen to be involved in local community life and taking part in this group event enables me to do just that. It also means I get to know my local area really well and Magdalen Street is a wonderful place that seems to be continuously evolving”.

So come and witness the transformation of Magdalen Street on Saturday and in the meantime check out some of the blog posts from some of the organisers this week on This Low Carbon Life, and get a complete programme of events on http://www.magdalenstreet.blogspot

There is still opportunity for you to get involved on the day by:

· being a steward – helping people who may be lost or need help finding an activity

· decorating the street – putting up bunting, blowing up balloons!

Please contact Helen or Karen (click on the links to email) for more information on volunteering. (Andy Croft/NR3)

Reskilling - Planning Ahead - 6 October

After a break for the summer the Reskilling group are now back in the cafes of Norwich planning their next round of workshops. So if anyone is interested in helping to organise (mostly just coming up with ideas) these workshops or just wants to join us for some tea and cake we will be in the Bicycle Shop on St Benedicts Street at 8pm on Wednesday 6th October.

Contact Kerry on

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Heart and Soul - The Power of Contemporary Spirituality - 11 October

The 'inner work' needed to support the transition to a more sustainable and earth-centred lifestyle is, of course, being pioneered by many beyond Transition and our Heart & Soul network. At a recent Pulse Group meeting, we took the decision to seek out partners and to initiate collaborative projects and events.

Our first collaboration is with Mangreen Trust – a Norwich-based centre for spiritual exploration and healing – who are hosting a talk by William Bloom of the Foundation for Holistic Spirituality.

William is one of the UK’s leading holistic educators and a renowned mind-body-spirit teacher. He will speaking on the theme: The Power of Contemporary Spirituality as a Practical and Holistic Approach to Developing Ourselves and Transforming our World.

His work, and that of the Foundation, is premised on the understanding that there is an emerging spirituality that is inclusive of all spiritual paths, both faith and non-faith. It is a movement that recognises there are many people without a formal voice who, through their living, are upholding certain core principles and values. These values include a recognition of our need to protect the health and sustainability of the natural environment for future generations.

William is a champion of this growing approach to spirituality, and an inspirational speaker who provides his audience with both new insights and practical tools for spiritual development. (Naomi Duffield/Heart and Soul)

When: 7-9pm, Monday 11th October Cost: £6 (special discount rate for Transitioners - full fee £10) Where: Mangreen Hall, Swardeston, Norwich NR14 8DD Contact: Naomi Duffield on 01508 570444 / trust@mangreen.co.uk Website: http://www.mangreen.co.uk/

Sunday, September 26, 2010

TRANSITION CIRCLES - Earlham North 28 September

Transition Circles are entering their second year in a practical mood: Earlham South are chopping wood together, Strangers' organising their wholefood co-op. Transition Hethersett are cycling to their third meeting. Meanwhile Earlham North met last month to discuss water conservation and exchanged practical tips. Diana Church copes with the deluge of information.

Water conservation, our chosen topic to discuss seemed apt after several torrential downpours during the afternoon. The last deluge of the day soaked me to the skin as, perched on a ladder, I unblocked a narrow pipe which drains rainwater from a bay window parapet into the main downpipe . . .However, torrential rain withstanding, statistics from the Met Office show that over the last 10 years our average rainfall has decreased by 8%.We discussed rain water catchment in our gardens and the benefit of linked waterbutts using plastic hosepipes to deliver water where it is needed...... even running one into the greenhouse.

From that we talked about hard surface rainwater run off from roads and pavements that overflow into Anglian Water drainage system, leading us to question why it is we use good quality water in our homes to flush loos and for washing? According to a survey, 75% of our domestic water is used in the bathroom of which a quarter is toilet flushing. A 4 minute shower uses between 20-40 gallons depending on the shower type. To reduce this usage, a water restrictor can be fitted in the shower and a 'hippo' placed in a toilet cistern. (Those of us with the care and concern for animal welfare can use an ordinary house brick or two).

Very modern loos flush exceedingly well using very little water, it's the old clunkers that need doctoring. Quick showers can save a lot of water, where the first burst of water is used to wet oneself, then the shower is turned off to soap ourself, then the final quick burst of water rinses off all the soap. Estimated water usage...just under 2 buckets.

In the kitchen, all crockery can be wiped as clean as possible before washing, keeping the water cleaner for longer. Keeping a bucket in the bathroom to take old bathwater for flushing the loo, reuses the water and is a saving, and only using the washing machine when fully loaded is another. We agreed a gismo needs to be designed that takes rainwater out of an exterior waterbutt and feeds it into a washing machine.m Also a way of setting up a rainwater filter system to deliver clean drinking water into the house. Lucy lived off grid for a while and this was used where she stayed. The drinking water produced met the health standards for drinking water. We are looking forward to catching up with other Transition group members at the Old White Lion Pub on the 15th September. Maybe we can discuss gismos and gadgets!

Our next North group meeting is at Lucy's place, telephone 01603 613440 on Tuesday 28 September. The subject is ' How do we go on from here?' Not a geographical exercise but a realistic plan of how to expand our group and keep circles going, keep up the momentum.I enjoy our meetings, good food, good company and good conversation, and always something inspiring for future action.

Photos: Hethersett sign by John Heaser; rainwater butt for downstairs loo by TECN's Chris Hull on the TN blog

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bike Generator Workshop and Pedal Power Party - 25 September

Build your own bike-powered generator - a kit made up of a Turbo Trainer, 250 watt generator, 12 volt battery and bits to join them together safely.

WHEN? Saturday 25th September 2010, 1-5 p.m.
WHERE? Friends Meeting House, Upper Goat Lane, Norwich NR2 1EW
COST? £120 incl. all parts & evening meal.

The non-profit workshop is led by Tom Foxe, electrician/TV engineer, bike lover, and builder of the Human Dynamo sound system. It's limited to 12 people, so early booking is advised.

What skills/knowledge do I need ?
If you can use a screwdriver you can do it ! The kit can be built by a child of, say 8+. We will NOT be going deeply into theory of electricity/ mechanics, we will focus on A. Safety B. Building the generator C. Applications

After the workshop there will be a Pedalpower Party featuring short live performances using a pedal-powered sound system and lighting, and a short film, using a pedal-powered computer and data projector. Bring soft drinks and finger food to share, tea and coffee will be provided. All ages welcome. Bikes optional.

RSVP Lesley Grahame 01603 920801 lesley7railway@yahoo.co.uk NB Limited car parking at venue, preference given to disabled partygoers, tell Lesley if space needed. Pedal Power Party at Friends Meeting House, Upper Goat Lane Norwich NR2 1EW Saturday 25th September, 6 - 9 p.m.

To book or for more information contact: Tom 01603 920801 or tom7railway@yahoo.co.uk.

Above: Tom Foxe on bike genny in action, Greenpeace Gig 2010. Left: Carol (Transition Downham Market/The John Preston Tribute Band) generating the power at last year's TN First Anniversary

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

RELATED EVENT: Open Day at Bluebell Allotments - 25 September

Whether waiting for an allotment, growing your own fruit and vegetables at home or wanting some general gardening experience come and spend the afternoon at the Grow-Our-Own Open Day at their centre in Bluebell Allotments South.

The main attractions include allotment tours, produce sale, tombola, gardening games and quiz and activities for all ages. Check out the centre's bike doctor and see (and taste) their on-site apple press in action.

For more information email sustainable@talktalk.net or ring 01603 455868 or visit grow-our-own.co.uk.

Grow-Our-Own Centre, Bluebell Allotments South, The Avenues, Norwich. Open Day is on Saturday 25 September, 2010. 12noon-4pm. All welcome.

Monday, September 20, 2010

CSA Meeting - 13 September

In August the Food and Farming group had some really good news. After working for 18 months with East Anglia Food Link, the Group finally secured £137k of funding, from the Lottery-funded Local Food Fund for a series of exciting projects:

- a Community Supported Agriculture scheme growing organic vegetables on the edge of the city at Postwick. We’ll be recruiting members who will pay an annual membership fee in return for a regular supply of seasonal, organic, local produce with a very low carbon footprint. Members will also be encouraged to get involved in supporting the project.
- another market garden on the playing fields of the Hewett School, linking students and local people into vegetable production and selling through local community outlets including the school kitchen and ideas like weekly market stalls at local primary schools.
- a flour mill milling local organic wheat, and supplying local artisan bakers who will then be able to bake a “Local Loaf” and
- brokering local staples such as oats and beans into wholefood shops in the city.

To start TN involvement we're having an open meeting on Monday 13th September at 7.30pm to discuss our next steps forward for the CSA. We'll certainly be discussing how the Board of the new not-for-profit organisation will be formed as that's one of the first things we need to do. But I imagine with such an exciting project the conversations will range far and wide: it promises to be a really interesting and inspiring evening. Please do come along - everyone is welcome. We're meeting upstairs at the United Reform Church, Princes St, Norwich NR3 1A. See you there!

For further details contact: Elena Judd kezzycat@hotmail.co.uk.

Photos from This Low Carbon Life's Transition Food Patterns Fortnight: middle and bottom by Mark Watson (Local Market Garden)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

One Planet Community Kitchen and the Low Carbon Cookbook - 21 September

One Planet Community Kitchen is a Transition project that will be mapping sustainable food patterns in different Transition towns and low-carbon communities in East Anglia. Its purpose is to bring people, places and projects together to create an imaginative and practical infrastructure for the future.

The Kitchen combines three elements: arts, food and working together as a co-op. We’re beginning in Norwich with a project that’s been simmering in the TN kitchen for a year now - The Low Carbon Cookbook. We’ll be working alongside the Reskilling Group, organising workshops on food production, as well as the CSA and the Transition Circles and producing an intelligent, good-looking guide from scratch. At our first meeting Josiah Meldrum will be talking about how co-ops work and why he feels that they are the best working model for Transition groups. We’ll also be cooking up ideas and looking at our flatplan. Bring a dish to share (that’s the recipe!), a pen and get ready to roll your sleeves up!

Josiah Meldrum has worked as community activist, particularly with and for co-operatives producing and distributing food, for almost 15 years. He is a founder member of Sustainable Bungay and a partner in Provenance. He is also a director of East Anglia Food Link and Fordhall Community Land Initiative.

One Planet Community Kitchen (Norwich) will meet at The Greenhouse, Bethel St on Tuesday 21 September. 7-9.30pm. For further details contact Charlotte Du Cann rootsshootsandseeds@hotmail.co.uk

Homegrown cucumber; Norman's market garden; Charlotte and Josiah prepping the Greenpeace Tea Tent, 2010; molcajete (Mexico) with zatar (Palestine). All photos from The Low Carbon Life, the TN blog.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pedal Power Party - 25 September

The party following the Cycle Dynami Workshop will feature short live performances using a pedal-powered sound system and lighting, and a short film, using a pedal-powered computer and data projector. Bring soft drinks and finger food to share, tea and coffee will be provided. All ages welcome. Bikes optional. RSVP Lesley Grahame 01603 920801 lesley7railway@yahoo.co.uk NB Limited car parking at venue, preference given to disabled partygoers, tell Lesley if space needed.

Pedal Power Party at Friends Meeting House, Upper Goat Lane Norwich NR2 1EW Saturday 25th September, 6 - 9 p.m.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Grapes Hill Community Garden

Grapes Hill Community Garden is near the bottom of Grapes Hill in Norwich. It was an area of tarmac until September 2010, when hard landscaping work began.

The garden has been planted up by volunteers during spring 2011 and is open to the general public every day (during daylight hours) from Saturday 2nd July 2011.

The garden contains a large number of edible plants - fruit trees and bushes, herbs, vegetables and edible flowers, such as French marigolds (Calendula) and day lilies (Hemerocallis).

We have planted a small apple orchard, fan-trained cherries, a fig, cordeon pear trees, four grape vines, a plum, an apricot, raspberries and blackberries. More unusual fruit include quince and medlar trees, honeyberries, Japanese wineberries and alpine strawberries.

There are four large ash trees and these provide shade in summer. In the shadier areas we have planted woodland wildflowers such as primroses, snowdrops, bluebells and Welsh poppies.

Underneath the apple trees is a small meadow area with wild flowers and grasses.

We are also growing ornamental shrubs and flowers to make the garden attractive to people and wildlife alike.

There are several seats and a lawn area where visitors can relax and enjoy the garden.

If you'd like to become involved in the garden, you can join the Grapes Hill Community Garden Group. Visit our website, http://www.grapeshillcommunitygarden.org/, for more details.

Come and enjoy our urban oasis!

For further details contact Grapes Hill community Garden website.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Magdalen Street Celebration - 29 September

Creativity, Diversity, Sustainability - 2 October 2010
Join the street festival with a difference! Come to the hub of the Creative Quarter and experience the most diverse neighbourhood in the city, learn about the history of the street, sample the unique collection of shops, meet other residents and make lasting connections.

The day includes an array of activities including performances by neighbourhood musicians (Norwich Parkour and Taiko drummers have confirmed they'll appear), workshops with local artists and performers, and a fashion parade using vintage and second-hand clothes. There will also be a chance to start Christmas shopping with stalls of local crafts as well as all the brilliant quirky and practical shops along the street and in Anglia Square.

The event is spearheaded by members of Transition Norwich who wanted to find a fun way for community members to meet each other, celebrate the range of cultural backgrounds we represent, and enjoy the opportunity to live more sustainably by shopping locally, buying second-hand and making friends locally.

Find out more about the Celebration at www.magdalenstreet.blogspot.com
or join us at any of the planning meetings listed here on the right in the Transition Norwich event calendar. Click here for report in the Norwich Evening News.

Magdalen Street Celebration brought to you by Transition Norwich in association with The Festival of 5 - Five ways to wellbeing: connect • be active • take notice • keep learning • give www.neweconomics.org and Norfolk Black History Month www.norfolkblackhistorymonth.org.uk

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Heart & Soul Meeting - 13 September

The next Heart and Soul group will be on Monday 13 September, 7.30pm upstairs at the Bicycle Shop, St Benedict’s Street.

This will be an open space as we re-gather after the summer, and prepare for the autumn: a chance to check in; explore where we are all at; look at anything that has come up for any of us over the past couple of months; talk about what we’ve all been up to.

We will also, if there’s time, be talking about the exciting prospect of finally getting a WELLBEING group off the ground (this relies on your input) - and unveiling some speakers who are coming up over the winter months in conjunction with the Mangreeen Trust.

As ever, the group is open to anyone - whether you’re interested in engaging with the inner and psychological aspect of the transition movement, or just feel the urge to find out a bit more about who we are. And as ever, there will be a tea/wine and cakes afterwards, in the cosy environment of the Bicycle Shop.

For more information contact Jo Guthrie on 07940 096201.

Click the following for more details of Heart and Soul happenings. You will also find some information here about a national Transition Network initiative for Inner Transition. The objectives include setting up a holding group for this work; looking at communications; researching what's been done so far; and developing resources to support local initiatives.

RELATED EVENTS: Harlequin Fayre and Last Summer Festivals - 5 September

The summer season of East Anglian festivals and fairs is drawing to a close with the Greenpeace Fair's Celebration Gig and the Burston Strike School rally this weekend. In August Transition Norwich and East shared a stall at the first Harlequin Fayre in North Norfolk. Lesley Grahame was there.

Ever been to a festival and not known who to talk to, or where to be? I recommend running a Transition stall, and lots of people come and talk to you.

Last month Gary, Lesley, Tom and Chris relaxed over a stall at Harlequin Fayre and met lots of lovely, active and interested people, some of them new to the idea of Transition. Our visitors included Transition Ipswich, Greentech from Cambridge, and Rossport Solidarity Campaign, who are fighting Shell’s efforts to run a pipeline through their bay, farms and village. They have been nicknamed the Bogoni by Nigerians fighting the same battle, against an even higher level of violence, corruption and company impunity. Three guesses where we might go for next year’s summer holiday.

On Sunday Gary and Lesley ran a workshop where 12 people talking to each other came up with some great ideas such as incentivise organic farming, taxing virgin raw materials (but not recycled stuff), closing Sizewell nuclear power station, opening wind farm and hemp and nettle clothing factory.

Reviewing 20 years backwards from 2030, for a our headlines included a bumper walnut crop spelling boost for Downham Market pound, a community vote for compost toilets, a bus service for every village, solar panels on all roofs combining with insulation to make heating unnecessary. We also had a cycle highway opening and motorway closing, an investigation into Parish council corruption and 'Massingham eco-flats completed for flood refugees'

Harlequin Fayre itself was exemplary low impact fun - a gathering centred on the green ethos, and a continuation of a long tradition of colourful events, such as the Albion Fayres. In East Anglia it seemed that the best way to attend the "dream event" was to create it - this was a long time coming. Harlequin Fayre will never be a large "music festival". Instead we have a small, magical and interesting weekend, with vibrant people and colour, safe for kids and still brilliant for the rest of us.

The tickets were priced to keep it as affordable as it's possible to be and to try and reach the very challenging 90% waste recycling rate through the involvement of Bright Green. The stalls were ethical, organic, and where possible, local. A lift share facility was made available.

This weekend there are two fairs: the Greenpeace Fair and Burston on 5th September, and a chance to network with Trade Unions and others. This is a great day out if you like live music, comedy and excellent speakers like Tony Benn.

Bus details for Burston: Departure from Yarmouth bus station 9.30am.Pick up at Norwich rail station 10.15am Pick up outside John Lewis 10.20am Arrival approx 11am Burston.Return 4.30 pm (same route).The cost has been footed initially by GYTUC but donations obviously welcome from any branches. Cheques payable to Great Yarmouth and District Trades Council via Secretary Alan Stewart at 22 Marsh Farm, Mill road, Cobholm, Great Yarmouth. To book a place, email Alan Stewart: norfolk@unitywebring.com

Photos: Transition East stalls at Harlequin Fayre and the Greenpeace Celebration Gig, 2010.