Minutes TWiG meeting 4/8/15 at St Joseph’s Blaydon

Minutes of Transition West Gateshead Meeting 4/8/15 at St Joseph`s Blaydon 

Present:  Nick Ball (Chair) Di Cadman (taking notes) Lesley Mountain, Mick Marston, Garry Jenkins

Apologies: Sarah, Laura, Steph, Gwen, Gwenole, Alison Stancliffe,

  1. Minutes of last meeting: agreed with no amendments


  1. Matters Arising:


  1. WI talk at Greenside; Lesley and Gwenole did this, about 25 people attended and showed some interest.


  1. The above led to discussion of keeping a record of numbers of people who we have contact with at the various events. Nick said he would be responsible for keeping this if others could make sure he has the information when relevant. It has benefits when we bid for funding. 


  1. Agenda items


  1. Bank Account

Transition West Gateshead now has a bank account with the Coop Bank. The nominated Post Office is Highfield. We need stationery to pay in cash. The meeting thanked and congratulated Nick for his perseverance in this task.

  1. LEAF

The commitment we have made to secure this funding must be completed by December this involves

  1. Public liability insurance;  done

  2. Table; done

  3. 2 gazebos; done

  4. 3 hot water dispensers: done

  5. Paper cups: done

To be done:

  1. Leaflets, professionally done with logo.

  2. Pop up banner

  3. Web hosting and domain

  4. Venue hire for 3 events and 3 meetings

Action Mick suggested that Steve Pardue who is a committed environmentalist and specialises in the developing the visual material we need, be asked to come and talk to us about designing f and g above.  Mick agreed to approach him. We would need to liaise with him re website “house style”. Lesley to contact Gweno about this. 

Lesley has identified an environmentally friendly printer and will email the exact date by which the work must be completed to everyone.



  1. Solar Array


Action: Nick to resend the mail from this meetings requesting Ross meet with the group as a priority if the feasibility study is successful. The purpose of this meeting will be to plan a consultation with the local community and groups to be held at the earliest opportunity in order to reassure them that TWG wishes this project to be of benefit to the community. Mick suggested we need to brief the local councilors and the MP in preparation for a wider discussion. A side of A4 needs to be prepared to provide the background in preparation for public meeting(s).

Actions:  Di to send latest leaflet to Mick for this purpose and Lesley to look out briefings from Ross.


  1. Food Festival Feedback


Attendance estimated from a number of sources of information to be between 250 and 300 people. Action to keep a more accurate record in future as above. 


Money raised on the day was £192.00; a sum of entrance money, teas and tombola and some donations. This figure is the takings and was not clear profit as Nick pointed out as there were expenses to take from this, but it does give an idea of the support for the event.

Action: preparations in terms of public liability insurance and liaising with the council about the arrangements will need to form part of the preparations well in advance next time.


Action: to look into keeping a data base of information about how the planning was done, by and with whom etc as much of the work was done by individuals who carry it in their heads, so we do need to trail in case we need it for the future, e.g. drop box or Wiggio were suggested. To be set up for next event. Nick to ask David at the Hop garden.

General responses were very positive, with quite a number of positive comments on the day and on Face book about the event and the venue. Most food sellers were very pleased with the outcome and sold out of much of their stock. All agreed that this had been a good date, falling on the first weekend of the summer holidays. Many people assumed we would be doing it again next year.

Photos and comments on Face book page taken by a number of people was a very useful way of advertising the success of the event after the event.


Action, It was agreed that Steph and Ike be approached and thanked for the use of the farm and their generous involvement especially the contribution of the bands which were very popular and that Di would ask if we could book the equivalent date for 2016 which will be 16th July. 

We were not able to locate anyone to sell local beer in time for the event although many possible local brewers were approached. Much of this has to do with the size of their operation and/or the lack of a license for selling outside licensed premises. Someone posted on Facebook about another local brewer “Firebrick” on Blaydon Industrial Estate.

Mick identified that Coalburns Fox and Hounds would be keen on doing this for a similar event in the future but this was too late to be achieved this time.  It was noted that this issue requires long term planning in future.


Car parking received some comments that will need to be considered next time:

  • The entrance to field from the top road could have been signed further back and in both directions including on the opposite side of the road because of poor vision of the entrance on the bend.More stewards needed.

  • Also the field was only just passable for ordinary cars, as the grass was quite long and the ground uneven.

  • We did not consider vehicular access for people with a disability. This was overcome on the day by allowing use of the usual entrance to the farm but it will need carful consideration next time.

  • Handing out of maps to drivers at the entrance on the bend was awkward and potentially dangerous as it was necessary for us to hold up the traffic to hand over the map and walk into the road to the driver, if they were approaching from theGreensidedirection. Sometimes a queue formed behind the car that had stopped and we were fortunate that people were patient and no one tried to overtake.

  • For those who entered on foot, especially for family groups, we need to set up further back so that they can stand to pay well off the road.



Most of the paper waste was carefully disposed and managed well. The stall holders were briefed about the use of recyclable containers and packaging materials but the hog roast was service in polystyrene trays. A suitable alternative will be required next time. Mick will bring the guidance given to Green Festival stallholders.



This was very popular. In future we will need to have all the prizes before the day as setting it up when the stall holders were arriving, many of whom were contributing prizes was not timely, as many people were  keen to get their tickets as soon as the event was open.


Children’s activities

Thanks to Gwen, Gwenole and family for their efforts. The treasure hunt and practical and play activities on the green space opposite the house all worked very well as the photographs show. Many positive comments in the feedback.


The meeting wanted to express their thanks for all the assistance received,

This includes Steph and Ike, the contributors on the day,

Dave Anderson`s office for support with printing and the many people who helped out with practical tasks on the day. Action Lesley to pass this on. 


  1. Crawcrook Fair 

Di, Garry and a number of new volunteers attended Crawcrook Fair on 1st August and set up a stall for provide information about Transition West Gateshead and Transition initiatives generally to the public.

120 leaflets and other relevant advertising was offered and there were many opportunities to engage in discussion with visitors. There are 9  new email addresses obtained from people who showed an interested  in becoming involved.

The meeting discussed the suggestion made by Di that we should have a meeting for the new people to welcome them and provide more in depth information and encouragement to come along to meetings if they wish to,  volunteer for tasks at events or offer some expertise that can be useful to TWiG. Di said she would organise this in a public venue, probably the Bute Arms, hopefully prior to the next meeting.


  1. Next Event plans

The likely date at the time of writing was 24th October. Venues were discussed in some detail and consideration was given to the footfall we might expect in Blaydon and Ryton. Actions: Lesley to visit Blaydon on Saturday to check on the numbers of people around on the day. Di to follow-up and book when the information has been collected and a location and venue agreed upon.

It was decided that the purpose of the event was to be Reduce reuse recycle with additional teas/coffees and soup (to be made beforehand this time) at lunchtime.

The timing will probably be 11.00 – 3pm.

Surplus produce swap will also take place and a food bank collection was suggested.

Re Local contributors that we want to invite;

Actions Lesley to re circulate list and refine this with experience from last time. 

Mens Shed was suggested and Di will approach the sewing shop at Winlaton as that is very local.


  1. Next meeting

  2. Date Thursday 10th September

  3. Time 7.30pm

  4. Venue Bute Arms. High Spen

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