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Transition Marlborough general blog

General blog for all miscellaneous posts regarding Transition Marlborough.
Published by Sam Page on 27 January 2014

At the last hub meeting it was decided to focus more on implementing community-based projects and less on themed groups, in order to acheive the urgent changes we need in reducing carbon emissions, in the light of recent extreme weather events.  We are currently implementing the following projects:

  • Supporting the Communities' Market to encourage local food production
  • Improving access to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) in order to retrofit dwellings that are 'hard-to-treat and vulnerable to fuel poverty
  • Lobbying for improved cycle paths and more cycle racks in order to reduce our reliance on cars
  • Lobbying to extend the train line electrification from Newbury to Marlborough
  • Supporting Kennet Community Energy to encourage local ownership of power generation
  • Creating community orchards in green spaces in residential areas around town
  • Supporting the Swop Stall to prevent unwanted items from going into land-fill
  • Up-dating the Recycling Directory to reduce waste
  • Training more people in permaculture to promote food self-sufficiency

Please get in touch via enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org to help us speed up the implementation of these and other projects, in order to increase our self reliance in the face of climate change. If you have an idea for a new project, please consider the following:

  • What is the objective of of your project?
  • How do you know that this is what the community needs? (e.g. Have you done a survey? Is it in the Marlborough Area Plan or Wiltshire Council's Core Strategy?)
  • How will you measure your success? (e.g. by using 'time-lines', 'milestones' and 'key indicators').
  • What problems will you have to overcome, before reaching your objective?
  • Who are your partners?
Published by Shirley Pryor on 26 November 2013

Many Transition Towns have a Community Choir, including Marlborough. However, Vanessa Lafaye was way ahead of us: she started the choir in 2010, a year before Transition Marlborough was launched. Since then, they've gone from strength to strength and grown from about 20 to nearly 50. Vanessa maintains that anyone who can speak can sing and welcomes newcomers at taster sessions at the start of each six-week term. The choir performs in concerts, at the Jazz festival, in care homes for the elderly at Christmas and even does a flash mob in Waitrose. All of their concerts are charity fundraisers. Following last year’s success, they will be performing again this year as part of the Christmasfest, in aid of the Jubilee Centre.  Details below:



An evening of seasonal music featuring local artists:

Mike Booth and Marcella

Mother’s Jam (feat. K Lee)

NewQuay Times


Marlborough Community Choir

21st December 2013, St Mary’s Church, Marlborough


£5/£3 children under 12, includes mince pie

Mulled wine for sale


Tickets:  Roger Grant 01672-516235 roger.grant195@btinternet.com or the Jubilee Centre

Sponsors of the concert include: AMS Accountancy, BBC Wiltshire, Marlborough Golf Club, SEOGadget Ltd,   St Peter’s Café and The Marlborough


Published by Sam Page on 27 September 2013

A specially commissioned choral work: music by Robin Nelson, words by Michael Polack

Swindon Choral Society & Children’s Choir with Professional Soloists and Orchestra

Sunday 20th October at 7.30pm in St Peter’s Church, Swindon


Atlantic Odyssey follows, through music and song, the remarkable annual journey of the Arctic Tern, which migrates from polar north to polar south and back, flying 40,000 miles each year, further than any other bird, and experiencing more light in its two polar summers than any other creature. The piece also marks some of the historical events and geographical locations along the Arctic Terns’ routes.

Atlantic Odyssey seeks to celebrate and raise awareness of the wonders of the natural world, as embodied in this remarkable, elegant bird.

It also warns of the increasing human-created threats to the marine environment, which the Arctic Tern and so many other creatures depend on.

The premiere of this work - with music composed by Robin Nelson to words by Michael Polack (both live in Avebury) and accompanied by projected photographs by local wildlife photographer, David White, – will be performed by Swindon Choral Society and the Warneford School Choir, with professional soloists and orchestra, in St Peter’s Church, Carronbridge Road, West Swindon SN5 7ES on Sunday 20th October at 7.30pm.

Tickets (£15) from www.swindonchoral.org.uk or Swindon Central Library.

An exhibition linked to this event and displaying the photographs to be projected is on view in the Link Centre Library, West Swindon, until 5th October.

Published by Lorna Harvey-Frank on 26 September 2013

Nurturing our Nature

Joanna Macy Workshop

Helping us Acces our Inner Strength


Half-Day Workshop for anyone who wants to bring forth their best response to the challenges of our times


This workshop is for you if you are worried about the state of the world and want to explore inner transition as a way to support outward change.  It will help you to find positive and creative ways to respond to the ecological and social challenges facing us today.

The workshop is based on The Work That Reconnects, an approach to change that was developed by Joanna Macy:  it will be led by Rosie Lewis and Karen Scott, both qualified practitioners of this approach.  The Work That Reconnects aims to connect people to themselves and the world around them and to help them feel more alive, motivated and positive in the face of our difficult times. By the end of the workshop you will feel energised, connected and inspired by your own potential.


Saturday 19th October  :  10am - 1pm

Venue:  Quaker Meeting House, The Parade, Marlborough, SN8 1NE


(nobody turned away due to lack of funds!)

Booking:  email rosie_info at yahoo.co.uk or call 07811 445242 (by Wednesday 16th October please)

Please call if you would like to find out more before booking



Find more on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/JoannaMacyWorkshop

For more about The Work That Reconnects please visit: www.workthatreconnects.org


Published by Alexandra Wax on 29 April 2013

Saturday 18th May, 10am - 1pm

Venue:  1st floor, 3 - 4 New Road, Chippenham, SN15 1EJ (the offices of 'Develop')

Suggested donation of £10 to help cover the costs of venue hire and refreshments

Booking: email rosie_info at yahoo.co.uk or call 07811 445 242 (by Wed 15th May please)


This half-day workshop is for anyone who is questioning what it's all about and who wants to explore the possibiility that there might be more to life...

Surely there's more to life than this....?

What do we mean by 'this'?

....a life that is based on having to work work work just to keep afloat, and where your value is based on how big your house is, how new your car is and how much 'stuff' you have...

...a world in which we have lost touch with where our food comes from and have forgotten the simple pleasures of climbing a tree or listening to the sound of the waves...

....a society that doesn't seem to be taking car of its children's and grandchildren's futures...


This workshop will:

  • help you connect with other people who are thinking and feeling the same way
  • allow you to voice the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings you may have about the way things are going
  • offer new perspectives on the problems that we are facing
  • reconnect you with your inner strength and a sense of what's possible


By the end of the workshop we hope that you will:

  • feel energised and uplifted
  • feel a connection to others who share your perspective and concerns
  • have a sense of what you can do to start to create a more fulfilling way of living


If you would like to talk to one of us to find out if the workshop is for you, please call Rosie on 07811 445 242 or Karen on 07885 239 752.

To find out more about The Work that Reconnects please visit:  http://workthatreconnects.org

Find on Facebook at JoannaMacyWorkshopChippenham

Published by NickSted on 19 March 2013

The new Social Value Act came into force a few weeks ago.  It applies to all publicly accountable bodies such as Town and Parish Councils, County Councils, Housing Associations etc.

It's stated aim is "to support community groups, voluntary organisations and social enterprises to win more public sector contracts and to change commissioning structures so that a wider definition of value rather than just financial cost is considered"

Very few publicly accountable bodies have yet heard of this Act but any financial decisions that are now made have to weigh up social value over financial cost and publicly demonstrate why any particular decision was made.  If not, then such decisions can be challenged by community groups.  How this will all work in practice remains to be seen but the legislation is in place.  Find out more about it here.

The Act may benefit Kennet Community Energy but it may also have an impact on other groups in Transition Marlborough.


NicK Stedman  



Published by Alexandra Wax on 02 February 2013


Community First is a Wiltshire charity, set up in 1965, with the aim of strengthening communities, growing communities and tackling disadvantage.

They have set up a serivce that will reduce the cost of your domestic heating oil each time you place an order.

All you need to do to take advanttage of the scheme is to pay an annual membership fee (Domestic £20, Community Building £30, Business £100), which will cover as many oil orders as you need during the course of the year.

The scheme is being promoted by Community First, the Rural Community Council for Wiltshire, a long established and well respected Wiltshire charity.

By bringing communities throughout Wiltshire together and making the most of joint buying power, we can make savings and pass them directly to people like you whose fuel costs are high simply because you use oil-fired central heating.

The environment benefits too

Every time a tanker comes out to make a delivery, it is using a lot of diesel - a full tanker can get as little as a horrifying eight miles per gallon.  If deliveries are organised so that one tanker delivers to several customers in a vilage instead of making lots of individual deliveries, the fuel consumption is reduced and so is traffic in the village.

5 easy steps to cheaper heating oil

Step 1:  Join the CF Bulk Oil Buying Scheme

Go to http://www.communityfirst.org.uk/index.php/cf-bulk-oil-buying , download and complete the membership form.

Step 2:  Wait to hear from your local coordinator

Step 3:  Place an order

Step 4:  Sit back whilst we negotiate the price

Step 5: Take delivery of the oil and pay the company

The oil will be delivered as soon as possible and you pay the company supplying the oil direct.


CF's oil price for January's bulk order was 60.08ppl.  This is lower than the Market High (72ppl) and the Market Average (64ppl).  All prices + VAT @ 5%.

Published by Lorna Harvey-Frank on 01 November 2012

Autumn is here and that means longer evenings and colder nights.  Are your curtains up to the job?

A Transition Marlborough initiative is being planned to help you make your home more cosy and warm while at the same time saving you money on your heating bills.

I can help you to line your existing curtains to cut down on draughts and heat loss through windows and doors, or show you how to make fully interlined curtains from scratch.  If your curtains are too short and draughts are coming in underneath then why not add a border?  Or if you have recently moved and your curtains are too long then maybe you could shorten them.  How about a pretty draught excluder to fill the gaps around loose fitting windows and doors?  

The idea is to organise a day where we share sewing machines and sewing skills and help and  learn from each other.  If you have a sewing maching that would be really useful but not essential, as curtains are mainly hand sewn.  

If you happen to have some curtains which you no longer need, perhaps you would consider donating them to the group.  

Please get in touch: lornaharveyfrank@btinternet.com if you are interested in joining us. Or come and chat to us at the next Marlborough Communities Market on 29th November or 16th December on our stall Designer Cushions and Throws.  At the February market we will be teaming up with the Recycling Group to initiate a curtain exchange. More information on this to follow.


Published by Sam Page on 21 October 2012

Several members of Transition Marborough joined scores of people from other local community groups and schools, in order to plant apple trees in the new Diamond Jubilee Apple Orchard, on the Common today.

The variety of our tree is 'CELT' - it was first nurtured by David Harris of Melksham in 1943. The Brogdale records describe it as 'a very sweet, honeyed; not intensely aromatic but rich with an almost scented flavour. The flesh is juicy and of bright, creamy colour. A medium-vigorous grower, it is free spurring and crops heavily and should be harvested in early October and the apples stored until December'.

Crab apple trees were also planted to improve pollination. Other fruits trees, including quince, pears, plums and damsons will be planted around the diamond formation in November.






These are all 'community fruit trees' which have been planted to restore the historic links between common land and local food for local people, so if you live near the Common, please keep an eye on them.

Let's hope we don't have to wait too long before we can sample their delicious fruits!



    Shirley and Gerald with our newly planted apple tree

Published by Gerald on 20 October 2012

Sunday 21st October sees the launch of the Diamond Jubilee plantation on Marlborough Common.  Festvities start at 11.00am with the Mayor's procession from the Town Hall to the Common. There will then be a ceremonial planting by the Mayor of a Burns Seedling, a rare variety of Wiltshire apple tree.

Following a blessing by Revd Andrew Studdert-Kennedy, nine other native Wiltshire apple trees plus two crab apple trees will be planted in a diamond formation by their sponsors. Transition Marlborough has donated one of the apple trees.  So come along to offer your support and encouragement with the plantings.

Bring a picnic and gardening gear!

Later, in November, bare root quince, medlar, pear, plum and damson will be added, also sponsored by community groups, clubs and societies. The whole area is to be underplanted with wild meadow flowers and bulbs.

Another step towards making Marlborough a "town in an orchard".

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