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Report of the launch of Hebden Bridge as a Transition Town

Transition launch at Riverside

A crowded, and very different looking Riverside School playground was the scene of the Transition Town launch. Many were able to sit on straw bales in the sunshine outside the peas and love cafe, surrounded by plants, solar panels, energy creating bicycles. In fact, bicycles and solar panels were everywhere.

Robin DixonNatya

Speakers were introduced by Natya (above) of the Hebden Bridge Transition Town group. The new mayor of Hebden Bridge Royd, Cllr Robin Dixon made the declaration of the launch.

Steve Jenkins

The first speaker was Steve Jenkins from Lancaster. He told us that Lancaster launched their Transition Town in April. He had been inspired by a book written by Cecil Andrews called Slow is Beautiful. The book asked the question why work harder and harder for less and less. Lancaster now had ten sub-groups looking at things such as food, energy, education, etc. Steve told how he had been enthused and how his involvement with the Transition Town movement had changed his life. One of the projects the Lancashire group are doing is Fruity Corners, the planting of 25,000 fruit and nut trees in their town.

There are currently 222 Transition towns he told us and 57 in the 'thinking about it' or planning stages.

The second speaker was James Saunders, advisor for Bradford Council where his job is to plan for the possible future of a city for half a million with a projected population increase of 150,000 in the next 10-20 years. Not only do we need to think about our possible futures, we need to make sure that we have some levity, parties and celebrations. And it was important to involve many people; not just rely on one or two people.


The third speaker was Christina from HB Transition town, which she explained had its beginnings around two and a half years ago. People who had been attending climate change camps came across the idea and started thinking about it for Hebden Bridge. This launch has been over a year in preparation.

The launch, it was stressed was just the beginning and people were invited to join discussion groups in energy, waste, food, transport, health, education and local economy. These groups will continue to meet and help Hebden Bridge's Transition Town move from idea to reality.

See photos

See also

Photos from the Launch and Big Green Weekend

HebWeb News - Big Green Weekend

Hebden Bridge Transition Town

Big Green Weekend

Spring Bank Holiday Weekend

29–31 May

Transition Town

Update: Solar Stage at Holme Street

Transition Town

Sat 29 May Sun 30 May
12 noon: Kids Zone with Mike Hancock    
1pm: Last Chance Saloon Band    
4pm: Mandy Woods 5pm: The Steals (solo)
6pm: Stations 6pm: Little Giants
7pm: Lucy and the Caterpillar 6.45pm: DJ Mal Campbell (Pretty In Pink)
8pm: Mad Jack & The Hatters 7.30pm: DJ Denaji
    6.30pm: DJ Flash Atkins

As part of the Big Green Weekend, Hebden Bridge is finally going to be launched as a Transition Town.

A Transition Initiative (which could be a town, village, university or island etc) is a community-led response to the pressures of climate change, fossil fuel depletion and increasingly, economic contraction. There are thousands of initiatives around the world starting their journey to answer this crucial question:

"For all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly rebuild resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil and economic contraction) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?"

Saturday 29 May
Solar Powered Stage * Kids Hour with Mike Hancock 12 noon Last Chance Saloon Band * Mandy Woods and band * Mad Jack and the Hatters * Solar Cinema with popcorn * Magnificent Revolution Bike Powered Stage with The Hole Note * Open Mike * Energy Advice * Local Cafe * Calder Food Hub * CLOG * Food Workshops * Planting Activities * Plant Stalls * Real Chickens * Apple Activities * Planning For Real * Real Life Free Cycle * Waste Culture Gallery * Bike Maintenance * Treesponsibility area * Green Woodwork demonstrations * Bread Oven Building * Workshops on Knitting, junk Modelling, Baby Slings, Permaculture, Community Supported Agriculture, Country Markets, Forest Schools, Eco Schools * Northern Indymedia Workshops * Be The Change stall * Simon Lewis "Climate science - the real truth * Geoff Tansey "Food Security - from local to global"

Sunday 30th May
The Launch 2 til 5.30pm

Opening Speakers 2-3 pm by Lancaster Transition Town Simon Lewis * Jamie Saunders * Hebden Bridge Transition Town Practical Working Groups in areas of Food, Energy, Transport, Waste, Education, Economy and Health discussing "What will sustainable solutions for Hebden Bridge look like?" followed by "Cocktail Party" Launch Party 5.30pm with jayn Hannah and The Steels * Little Giants * Dj Set (Mal) * Dj Denagi (Purple Chrome) * Dj Flash Atkins Transition Ale from the Little Valley Brewery at The Trades Sat and Sun

When Hebden Bridge Transition Town launches on the 30th of May 2010 we join a global transition network, but what is it all about?

Where are we now? In a bit of a tricky situation: we’re running out of the easy-to-get, cheap oil and gas that we that we use every day for cooking, heating, transport and so many more things. We’re already living beyond our means; if everyone in the world had our standard of living we’d need four more planets. “Peak Oil” is the term used to describe the moment when global oil supplies max out and begin declining. It’s widely thought that we’ve already reached this point. And then there’s climate change. Unpredictable weather around the globe is already playing havoc with crops, sea levels and peoples’ lives. And there’s more to come.

Where do we want to be?
A town with a plan. A long-term one that will make our town and the surrounding areas able to cope with the changes that we’re facing. We have to build our resilience and work out how our local area can provide more of the things we need. If the plan is going to work then it has to come from us, the people that it will affect, that’s you, me, families, businesses and local organisations. This is what Transition Town Hebden Bridge is all about.

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