Transition Dorking Newsletter 14

Transition Dorking Newsletter

Issue 14, Tuesday 20th April 2010

In this issue:

  • Special work party…in St Martin’s Churchyard
  • The Biggest Smallest Traffic Jam in the World: wonky car appeal
  • Next Transition Thursdays event: the Story of Stuff
  • TD Energy group is looking for volunteers to join
  • Basket makers wanted for Heritage Week
  • The Big Lunch 2010: 3 months to D-day

And more…

Bur first a few words from the team…

Our apologies for sending you this newsletter later than scheduled, but two initiatives popped up during the school holidays and we wanted to make sure all systems were “go” before telling you all about them. It must be the spring air: initiatives and events are multiplying!

Special work party at St Martin’s churchyard: Saturday 8th May

You may have noticed it when walking through St Martin’s churchyard: the trees could do with a bit of help: suckers are growing in vast quantities, and so is ivy. The TD team thought that if some of our volunteers and friends joined efforts with Churchwarden Peter Bunn and his team, we could get a lot of work done in one morning. It would also help the severe addiction to collective ground work that a few TD members have developed since they tasted it first at St Martin’s school and at the Community Orchard. But we are ready to be nice and share the fun, so if you join us on the day we promise to keep some bits for you. We can’t use power tools, so the spectacle of 50 exhilarated volunteers running around with chainsaws in the churchyard won’t happen this time, understandably. We will be using one or more shredders though, to reduce the volume of the waste and make it ready to be transported and composted on the community orchard site. If you want to join on the 8th, just bring gardening gloves, secateurs and shears (please do email us if you are coming). If you have a large shredder and know how to operate it, we would be very grateful to have you around too. And lastly, if you are willing to help with the transport of the waste, which is going to be the biggest task, please do come forward. As for the squirrels and other inhabitants of the churchyard, they needn’t worry: Frances Halstead from Surrey Wildlife Trust has kindly accepted to go nest spotting a few days prior to the work party, to make sure all creatures will be left as undisturbed as possible.

Saturday 8th May from 9 to 12, at St Martin’s churchyard in Dorking.

Old toy cars (and trucks and buses) are about to have a day of glory

St Martin’s primary school has a new eco-committee, composed of very dedicated pupils (and of a few grownups trying to keep up with them). Their first big event is scheduled for next July and is entitled “the Biggest Smallest Traffic Jam in the World”. They will be collecting old toy cars and other vehicles, thousands of them, to set them into a vast gridlock on their recreation ground. Any old toy car will do, even if the paint is gone and the wheels are wonky (or lost altogether), provided it is roughly 6 to 10 cm long, to keep a nice scale. But there’s more: a model version of Dorking town centre will be recreated with the cardboard boxes donated by the shops in town. And there’s even more: the Eco-Committee is going for the Guinness World Record, no less. The project has been submitted and the answer should arrive in about 5 weeks. If Guinness says yes, then we’ll have to nag you about finding an… adjudicator! 7 local shops were contacted in the past couple of days. They all said yes about supporting the project. 5 of them even accepted to have a drop off point for the toys: All Sorts, Mystery Mountain, Fun and Games, Ian Munroe, and Fullers. We expect more to join the fun. The event will be open to all. It is not only about raising awareness of the use we make of cars. It is also about creating something spectacular out of unwanted materials and about what can be achieved when a whole community takes part in a common project. Tate Modern is in for a surprise: they will be contacted too! If you have some of those toys sleeping in dusty boxes in the loft or in the shed, now is the time to give them a chance to shine again! Transition Dorking will be supporting and assisting this project all the way. All updates and information will be available at and at

The Story of Stuff : public screening on Thursday 20th May

This short documentary is a must see. Annie Leonard, who made the film, has a way of describing linear economy, consumer society, and the concept of externalities, in a way that really reboots neurons. She has a lovely American accent and of course refers mostly to U.S statistics, but those figures are pretty relevant regardless. Take a deep breath at the start: in terms of packing the film with as much analysis as possible, she is fearsome. The non-stop cartoon animation in the background is absolutely brilliant. If you feel like economics was not really your thing, you can’t miss this film. If you feel the opposite way, you can’t not see it either. The film will be followed by a discussion.

Thursday 20th May 2010, from 8pm to 10pm at the Friends Meeting House, Butter Hill, South Street, Dorking.

Energy-smart minds wanted

Transition Dorking’s Energy Group is properly running and meeting regularly now. We are looking for people who have good knowledge of various aspects of the topic, or a solid interest in it, to either join the group, or let us pick their brains regularly (or both). Along with food, energy is the biggest and most complex field in the transition agenda. What the group is focusing on first is finding ways to help families and individuals get information, help and discounts to improve the efficiency of their homes. We would like to set up a buying club as soon as possible, to make some of the equipment necessary more affordable and to find the best suppliers, installers, engineers around. Email us if you are interested, on .

Basket makers wanted too

The Community Orchard is and will be providing more and more fruit, but other things grow pretty much of their own accord there, especially dogwood. Now dogwood makes very decent baskets. When contacted by Dorking Heritage Week team, we suggested organising a “re-skilling” event at the Community Orchard where we would harvest the dog wood, weather it (beforehand of course), and learn, on the day, how to make lovely strong red baskets out of it. The suggestion has been accepted, and we are now seeking people who are actually confident at teaching basket making, to feature at this event. Only one of us on the team has enough experience in that craft. If you know someone who has, please let us know, as several teachers would be far better than one on the day.

Big Lunch 2010: 3 months to D-day.

Last year’s Big Lunch, an Eden Project initiative, saw 2 million people in the UK taking chairs, tables and food out on the road and spending time with their neighbours. The feedback from everywhere in the country was fantastic. This year, it will happen on Sunday 18th July. Several of us will be swapping information and co-ordinating things via the online network Dorkinian ( ) , to possibly feature a larger variety of events, music, films around town, organise road closures and in some case share the insurance fees. One lunch will take place on Ashcombe Road, very likely one will also happen on Lincoln road, we are awaiting information. Transition Dorking will do their best to circulate information, help, assist people who wish to organise a Big Lunch in their street. The Big Lunch website itself is very rich in information and advice. You can email us if you have any local questions, we’ll do our best. Our website will soon have more information about this event as well.

Other news

The next Stitch Up is on Saturday 8th May at the Christian Centre, from 10 am to 12pm. Isn’t that wonderful: on the 8th, you can first play with secateurs from 9 am in the yard, then go play with tailors scissors only a few steps away. Multi-taskers beware! All information on this great workshop is available on our website: .

Transition Dorking will have a stall at the May Fair on Saturday 15th May at the Christian Centre, Dorking. We will have bespoke muppet-puppets for sale made of unwanted (but always pretty) materials by some of our volunteers, and some drawings and prints for sale too, along with leaflets and information. There will even be a raffle. For more information on this event, please visit our website.

Our regular meetings are every 1st Thursday at the Friends Meeting House, Butter Hill, South street, from 8pm to 10pm. All are welcome.

The 3rd Thursdays are dedicated to special events: Transition Thursdays.

You can contact us by email:

Our website address is

If at anytime you wish to stop receiving our newsletter, just email us the word “unsubscribe” and we will remove your name from the mailing list.

Thank you again for your support

Kind regards from

the Transition Dorking team

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