Thanks to Simon Wallace from Transition Town West Kirby and Sustrans for a wonderful Transition Cafe last night. Simon suggested that while many look for high-tech solutions to climate change and energy depletion, in a resource constrained future there are many devices and technologies that could be made with found and recycled materials.
Next month our topic will be: Sustainable Transport: Come along on the 13th of June!
At October's Transition Café, I presented a new collaborative Transition project that we're hoping to start up early next year. It's inspired by two things.First, one of the Transition ingredients, which used to be called 'Honouring the Elders', and is now simply referred to as 'oral histories'. The basic idea is that if we are looking for new ways of adapting to post-peak oil life, one important step is to ask older people how they used to live before the age of cheap oil. For example, how did they get around, what did they eat, what did they do for entertainment and what kind of energy systems did they use? This kind of information can then help feed into a Transition Initiative's Energy Descent Action Plan. There don't seem to be a lot of these kinds of projects around yet, though we did find ones in Bristol and right next door in West Kirkby. (You can see the great video they've recently produced here).
Second, I've been fascinated by a set of plaques on the side of the Liverpool One Tesco, which point out that a market garden used to be right where the Tesco is now. The garden was apparently owned by Thomas Seel (one of Liverpool's foremost slave traders) and so the area is called 'Mr Seel's Garden' on the plaque. Its a really striking juxtaposition of historic and modern food systems, and how Liverpool's global connections have changed over time.
So we've brought these two ideas together to develop a project called 'Memories of Mr Seel's Garden: historic and future food systems in Liverpool'. It's going to involve oral histories, looking at old maps and researching in the Merseyside Maritime Museum Archives. We're aiming to build up a multi-layered picture of how people used to eat in Liverpool and where they got their food from. There's a broad range of groups involved and Transition Liverpool will be working alongside the Friends of Everton Park and the Friends of Sudley Estate, as well as with academics from Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Once we've done our research we're hoping to develop a historical food walking tour in the form of a print map and an iphone app inspired by the Walking Through Time project.
If we do get the funding we'll be putting a call out for people who would like to be trained in the different research methods and contribute to the project. So if you are interested please let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org). We'll find out about our application in Late December-early January, so keep your fingers crossed for us.....
NB Our monthly Sustainability Discussion Group has had a slight makeover and will now be called Transition Cafe
Transition Café is our monthly meeting where we discuss a variety of Transition issues in a relaxed and informal way. Come along and meet up with other Transitioners or find out more about how you can get involved.
14th September Topic: Linking the Local and the Global
Localisation is at the core of the Transition approach, but how might this work relate to global issues? This month we’ll be watching a short episode of The Powerdown Show focusing on Global Citizenship to kick off the discussion.
12th October Topic: Honouring the Elders
Rather than seeing the past as something to be left behind, the Transition approach suggests that we have a lot to learn from those who lived before the age of cheap oil. This month, Michelle Bastian will open up a discussion on these issues by describing a new project being developed that will explore the history of local food in Liverpool.
9th November Topic: Children, Health and Climate Change
After looking at how we can learn from the past in October’s café, November’s meeting will looking to the future. Neil Chadborn from Transition Eastham and Bromborough will open the discussion by discussing some of his research aimed at learning more about children’s attitudes towards health and climate change.
Transition Café starts at 6:30pm with tea and coffee available.
You’ll find us at the Quaker Meeting House, 22 School Lane.
News, events and opinions from the Transition Liverpool team.