Minutes TWiG meeting 19/5/15 at Blaydon Burn Farm

Minutes of Transition West Gateshead Meeting 19.5.2015. at Blaydon Burn Farm.

There: Nick, Gweno, Di, Steph, Ike, Laura, Nigel Wild, Lesley

Apols: Rachel, Gwen, Mick, Garry, David and Sarah.  

Minutes from last meeting. Laura pointed out that she had been at the last meeting. Ike’s surname was wrongly recorded – it’s Stow. Otherwise correct.

Matters arising. 

The funding bid to LEAF went in on 1st. May. The committee to decide it meets in June (no date given). We could have a problem if we do not manage to get a bank account in time.

Green Party – no further with making contact. Ralf Russow (their Ryton candidate) is on our mailing list, as is Pia Castleton, partner of David who was also a candidate, so we hope to make better contacts with them soon.

Update on bank account.

The Coop Bank has sent a number of questions that seem irrelevant. Nick has responded, but we are pessimistic that they will open us an account. Nick has sent off to Lloyds Bank and we are waiting to hear. We agreed if there was no news in 11 days, Nick would go into the bank (on June 1st) to follow up. Action: Nick. Other options are CAF bank and Unity Trust Bank, but these will all take time and we need an account if we get the LEAF funding we have applied for. We agreed to ask the Hop Garden (action: Lesley) and Transition Network Newcastle (Action: Di) if we could use their bank accounts. Lesley will check with LEAF if this is possible once we are a bit further down the process.


Gweno explained that there was a decision (after e-mail discussion) to use WordPress. This means that everyone can contribute without technical knowledge. (It’s a blog). We will wait to hear about funding bid – if successful will go for Green ISP package. If not, go for something cheaper (or maybe even free?).

Di suggested that we use the initials TWiG for a logo. We agreed. Steph will ask Joe, her son, to come up with some ideas. Action: All to send ideas to Steph for logo. 

Garry has rejigged the TWG leaflet and sent out for comments but no-one seems to have got it. Action: Garry to send out again. 

Solar array

Nick has written giving our consent to being involved in this proposal (with concerns from last meeting). He will circulate this to the group.

Ruth Hayward (WEA energy group) has offered to put us in touch with similar projects and could arrange (and pay for) for us to visit them. She also offers to facilitate discussion about involving the community. She can give us up to 2 days free time re this. Garry has explained that we are waiting to hear from Ross Weddle. Agreed that once Ross gets back to us, we will contact Ruth again.

Car sharing

Gweno has contacted Smarter Choices (was Nexus car sharing project). If we join them we need to send a list of sites that people are most likely to want to go to. Action: Lesley will send Gweno a contact for Derwent Valley Car Club so that he can ask about their survey results.

We had a discussion about the suitability of TWG to run this project. Concerns about liability and risk. We could just promote such a scheme if someone else was to run it. We need to decide what involvement we want and how to take this forward. Action: Gweno to send out info about how Smarter Choices works.

Another suggestion was to use the TWG Facebook page to share lifts. We agreed to try this out. Action: Gweno will look at how this could be done. 

Summer event

Many of the decisions made about this are on the plan for the day (already circulated). Other actions –

Lesley to draft wording for flyer and send round for everyone’s views.

Laura to create an event on Facebook.

Everyone who can to bring gazebos and long extension leads. 

Let Nigel know if you have garden surpluses nigelwild1@btinternet.com at least 2 weeks in advance and he can incorporate them into the veggie menu.

Laura has a chest freezer where we can freeze surpluses for future events or to sell via Paddock – this may help with amount of food to be made.

Help needed day before and from 10.00 a.m. on the day to set up.

Laura to send an e-mail by end of May to producers outlining the arrangements and asking them to confirm that they are coming by mid-June.

Steph to contact Woodcraft Folk about any possible activities.

Gwen and Gweno will do Treasure Hunt with egg boxes – gathering natural objects. Laura will provide egg boxes.

We decided not to have charcoal burner/pole lathe demos.

We need a schedule for the activities and events. Lesley will e-mail everyone who has offered to check what they want to do and timings, and then assemble into a schedule.

Gwen and Di to do a children’s corner – treasure hunt, upcycling, Steph has toys etc.

Lesley to do small context speech and introduce the band.

Blaydon Burn Farm and The Paddock have public liability insurance if we don’t get funding for this in time.

It would be good to do a leaflet drop in the immediate area of the farm.

Other events

Di is progressing us having a stall at Crawcrook Fair on 1st. August. The idea is to have short demos of local projects – does anyone want to use our stall to do this? Helpers are needed (Garry is doing but more needed) – please contact Di. We could have a plant (or other things…) sale if people have spares.

Autumn event – Di has spoken to Jean yielder about Ryton Methodist Church Hall. It’s £10 an hour. Di will have a look round to see if it’s suitable. We need to fix a date at the next meeting – end September/October (not last Sat in month as hall used). Agenda.

WEA course on green thinking – Di is keen to run one in our area – it’s free but needs 10 people. Has 5 already. Perhaps at Clara Vale which would be good. Action: Di to put on Facebook page.



Next meeting.  Tuesday 16th. June 7.30 p.m. Blaydon Burn Farm.

Lesley to chair, Laura to minute.

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