28 Aug 2014

Ten good reasons to use an electric bike

Brought to you by Stroud's Electric cycle shop http://ecycleuk.com
1 Faster Travel
In theory a car can average a high speed, but in practise speed often falls below 10mph in towns and cities. The problem is congestion – motorcycles get around this to some extent, but they’re still confined to the road network. An electric bike can maintain a higher average speed than a  regular bicycle, yet take advantage of the full network of cycle facilities, giving access to routes that cars and motorcycles cannot reach. The result is often a faster door-to-door journey time than any other mode. And by nipping along the relatively uncongested cycle network, and zipping up  hills and cutting through headwinds, electric bikes tend to be the most consistent mode of travel.

2) No Sweat!
Sweat may not be a serious issue when you’re out for a leisure ride, but it’s more important if you’re cycling to work, and arriving at work sticky puts a lot of people off cycling. Although some employers are rather grudgingly providing showers and other facilities for cyclists, the vast majority have no intention of doing so. An electric bike eliminates the problem at source. Oddly enough, you tend not to sweat on an electric bike, even if you put in the same amount of effort as you do on an ordinary bike. This is a matter of physics as well as exertion – higher road speed and greater air flow mean instant sweat evaporation. In hot weather, it’s possible to maintain a normal schedule by transferring a bit more load to the electric motor. In colder weather – or if you feel in need of exercise – just throttle back, or turn the motor off.

3) Safety
It sounds unlikely, doesn’t it? But the mathematics is compelling. Think of a steep and busy road, with cars climbing at 30mph. If you previously slogged up the hill at 6mph, but can tackle the same gradient at 12mph with an electric bike, you will see 33% fewer cars, and they will pass you at 18mph rather than 24mph. Or at least, we think that’s correct. Whatever the figures, there’s no doubt that an electric bike helps to keep you out of danger. The same general principle applies to road junctions and roundabouts – the faster your acceleration, the sooner you can get out of trouble. And with no need to rush the hills, you won’t be tempted to ride downhill at breakneck speed… another useful safety feature.

4) Hill Climbing
That may sound obvious, but it’s the primary advantage, particularly in Stroud District on the edge of the Cotswolds. A good electric bike effectively flattens hills, increasing your average speed and eliminating the ‘groan’ factor when a gradient comes into view. Provided you supply a reasonable amount of effort, you can expect to climb hills of 1:10 (10%) on an electric bike with ease, and clear a maximum gradient of 1:7 (14%), or even 1:4 (25%) with the right bike.  Around Stroud the effect is nothing short of miraculous.

5) Electric Bike Running Costs
Purchase cost is a little more than a conventional bike, mechanical wear and tear is about the same, and the amount of electricity used is so little as to be largely irrelevant, but there is an extra expense in terms of battery depreciation. Consequently, an electric bike costs more to run – typically 8 – 12 pence per mile against 3 – 7 pence per mile for a non-assisted bike. [1]. However, electric bike running costs should really be compared with those of a moped, car, or public transport, typically 20-40p per mile by bus, 20-60p by train and 30-150p for a small car.

6) Motorised, but no Red Tape!
Electric bikes are bicycles in the eyes of the law, so they require no tax, insurance, MOT or licence. You are of course free to insure the machine if you wish, and that might be a very wise move but there’s no compulsion to do anything but enjoy yourself!

7) Personal Fitness
Surely a conventional bike will keep you fitter? That, of course, depends how much – if at all – you use it. Research [2] has found that 46% of conventional bikes are used only once or twice a week, with a further 30% being used once a fortnight or even less. By contrast, a 2001 survey of electric bike owners reveals that a third ride their bike at least once a day and 81% use the bike at least once a week [3]. Riding an electric bike is a great deal more enjoyable in hilly country, into strong winds, or when carrying heavy loads, users tend to make better use of them. The motor provides up to half the effort, but more regular use means more exercise for the rider.

8) Electric Bike Fuel Consumption
Electric bikes are the most fuel efficient mode of transport in everyday use. Typical fuel consumption is 8-16 watt-hours per mile, or something like a tenth as much as a small motorcycle. In old money, that’s the equivalent of 800-2,000mpg.

9) Sustainable
This is a bit weird, but the evidence is very compelling. Ride a normal bicycle and you will have to top up with extra calories. Producing and transporting that food takes a lot of energy, and it’s typically more than the electric bike battery needs to do the same amount of work. Depending on the source of the electricity and the air-miles of the food, an electric bike is responsible for 5.8-13.7g/CO2 per mile, and a normal bike 10.5-18.5/CO2 per mile [4].

10) High Resale Value
At £400-£2,000, an electric bike costs more to buy than a conventional machine, but they tend to hold their value, so you get more of your money back when you move on.

31 Jul 2014

Green financial news

Stories from Molly Scott Cato and Natalie Bennet...
 
copyright Russ
Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West, has used her position on the European Parliament’s Economics and Monetary Committee to bring further pressure to bear on George Osborne to accept a plan to impose a tax on bankers and financiers.

The Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), otherwise known as a Robin Hood tax, is a tiny tax of about 0.05% on transactions made by banks, hedge funds and the financial sector but could raise billions of pounds a year for social and environmental initiatives. Chancellor George Osborne remains firmly opposed to the FTT tax and even attempted a legal challenge which was rejected by the European Court of Justice some weeks ago.

Molly questioned Italian Finance Minister, Pier Carlo Padoan, at a committee meeting. Support from Minister Padoan and the Italian government is crucial as they currently hold the EU Presidency of the European Council and will set the agenda for Europe-wide reforms until the end of the year. Molly said:

“As Greens we are keen to see Europe's banks working in the interests of all and not in the narrow self-interest of creditors, shareholders and Osborne’s chums in the City. That’s why we are strong supporters of a Financial Transactions Tax which will make funds available to be invested for the public good. I sought reassurance from Mr Padoan that he will seek to broaden support for the FTT during the Italian presidency.”

Ten member states have agreed to implement the levy by the beginning of 2016 but the details of exactly how it will work have yet to be agreed. Greens are pressing for member states to avoid loop holes and any watering down of proposals and are seeking a much broader based FTT to include all derivatives, particularly credit and interest rate derivatives. Molly concluded:

“It is clear that Mr Padoan supports the idea of a FTT but he didn’t make it clear whether he would apply pressure on Cameron and Osborne to sign up to this. I am encouraged by the number of European countries that see this as an important measure and Osborne and his banking cronies are increasingly isolated in their opposition to this popular tax. Greens will continue to keep pressure up on the UK government and in the European Parliament to support a tax that will work for the common good.”

Meanwhile,closer to home amidst the flurry of data, reaction and charts, we haven't really touched on the wider question -- whether GDP is a good measure of economic well-being at all. Natalie Bennett, Green Party leader, has now flagged up some of the key concerns. One is the continued importance of Britain's financial sector, nearly years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. As Bennett warns that the UK economy remains unbalanced: With the International Bank of Settlements, among many others, warning about the continued extreme fragility of the international financial sector of which the City of London is a notable risk-heavy and fraud-laden part, with an economy in which 20% of workers are on less than a living wage, millions working fewer hours than they'd like and households struggling to meet basic bills, there's no sign of real economic change.The Greens argue that Britain's "broken economic model" needs to change, with less focus on consumption and less power for multinationals.

"Today it's important to re-state that we need to transform it so that it works for the common good, not for the good of the few, within the limits of our one planet.We need to bring manufacturing and food production back to Britain, restore strong local economies built on small businesses and cooperatives. That means forcing multinational companies to behave like decent corporate systems - paying their way with tax and decent wages and conditions, and reining in our financial sector. And we need a massive cut in our use of the limited physical resources of this planet, along the lines of, but going much further, than that proposed this week by the Environmental Audit Committee report on the circular economy."

That report, warned that the government isn't giving enough leadership on the issue and that Britain could learn a lot from Japan.

29 Jul 2014

Baxter’s Field

Martin Baxendale and Molly Scott Cato, Summer Street
Copyright Gary Learmonth
We are delighted that Slad Valley is not going to be developed and that Gladman lost their appeal over this beautiful local site. Former representative for the Valley ward SDC seat, Molly Scott Cato, fought hard to protect this space, while many other Greens contributed to the inquiry. We are committed to doing everything we can to protect this iconic landscape for the future. Development should happen where it is needed and wanted, not to make unsustainable profits for the few.


Our candidate for the Valley ward by-election – Martin Baxendale – is committed to doing everything he can to protect this landscape from any future attempts at predatory development. We need to be re-using our brownfield sites to revitalise the town centre instead.

24 Jul 2014

Charity cycling

Local Green Penny Burgess is going to cycle from Land’s End to John O’ Groats, starting on 30th August 2014 in aid of Crohn’s and Colitus UK and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.

Penny told me, "As I have Crohn's, I'll be doing the trip on an electric bike, I'll also be doing it on my own, and unsupported. My main aim is to promote these bikes as an alternative to cars for people who may feel cycling to work/town is a bit too much. There’s an electric bike shop opening in Stroud on 1st August. It's such a fantastic way to travel, and when coupled with green energy, it's also carbon neutral. All but two of my overnight stops on the trip, and the original shop I bought the bike from, are powered by Ecotricity.”

If you would like to donate something towards these excellent causes, you can do so through Penny’s website -  http://pennyburgess59.wordpress.com/about/

21 Jul 2014

News from Molly

Keeping you up to date with what your Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, is going...

Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West, challenged the candidate for the presidency of the EU Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, over David Cameron’s expressed wish for the UK to be exempt from EU regulation on the financial and banking sector.

Molly said: "David Cameron has made clear that he wants a 'British Exception' for the financial sector from EU banking and finance regulation. Creating a financial Wild West in London, where reprobate financial institutions could avoid regulation, is not in the interest of UK taxpayers, nor is it in the interest of Europe and its taxpayers. Jean Claude Juncker must stand firm on this and not use it as a bone to throw David Cameron in his rapprochement efforts with the Prime Minister.

As the financial crisis has shown, the implications of an ineffectively regulated financial sector have no respect for borders. A loosely-regulated financial sector in the City of London would ultimately have consequences across the continent, with taxpayers ultimately left to foot the bill. This cannot be a bargaining chip for the new Commission and its president."

She’s not been impressed by Junker’s attitude to Green issues, his lack of interest in protecting fish stocks, and if you’re following her on Twitter, you’ll know already that she didn’t vote for him.

Greens have been warning for months that a new EU-US trade deal known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could undermine agriculture in the South West, and in particular have a devastating effect on the region’s many small scale farmers.

TTIP is a proposed ‘free trade’ agreement between the US and the EU, the negotiations around which are currently taking place behind closed doors. However, information that has emerged about the proposed deal shows that if successful, the agreement could result in the harmonization of food standards between the EU and US. This would mean that, for example, food products such as chemically washed poultry, livestock treated with growth hormones and genetically modified crops – all allowed in the US – could be sold in the UK. This would severely undermine farmers in the South West who adhere to the higher European standards on animal welfare and on a GM crops ban.

The Green Group is the only group in the European Parliament that has been actively opposing the TTIP negotiations. Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West said: “The potential race to the bottom on environmental standards, employment rights, and animal welfare is one of the key concerns Greens have about these secretive trade negotiations. TTIP is a huge threat to hard-fought-for European standards on the quality and safety of our food and on animal welfare. This could severely affect small scale farmers in the South West, many of whom are leading the way in implementing sustainable farming practices.”

Greens say that TTIP would also grant corporations the power to sue governments and lock-in the privatisation of public services including the NHS.

“The proposals to protect corporate investors against the democratic interests of citizens must not be allowed to stand. Together with my Green colleagues in the Parliament I pledge to do everything in our power to prevent TTIP from being agreed” concluded Dr Scott Cato.

19 Jul 2014

Stroud Events

Here’s the current list of things we know about that are happening in the near future.  Where relevant, we’re also listing events a bit further afield that you might be interested in, too. These are local events that are (unless it says otherwise in the listing) run by assorted local groups – these are all independent of the Green Party.


If you are aware of other talks, events, workshops or other community activities in the coming week or so, please do mention them in the comments. If there’s an event you would like our support in promoting, please email the details to brynnethnimue (at) gmail (dot) com.

Fire Springs  - Events Bulletin – Special Event July 2014

Following the celebrations of Laurie Lee, Kevan Manwaring and Jay Ramsay have organised a special day in the George Room at the Sub Rooms in Stroud, which features talks, a film, music and evening performance linking the Dymock Poets on the eve of the First World War (Edward Thomas, Robert Frost, Rupert Brooke et al) with Gloucestershire poets writing now; examining and celebrating shared themes of politics, Nature, relationship and spirituality in a world that War constantly leaves behind...for as long as we rationalize its existence on this planet.

Here are the details from the website of the Cotswold Word Centre:

Saturday 26 July
The Golden Room
Subscription Rooms, Stroud
Talks, Poetry, Film, Art, Music
A centenary symposium celebrating the Dymock Poets, who gathered in Gloucestershire a 100 years ago to write, walk and support each other on their creative journeys.
Featuring talks, panels and creative responses to the work of the Dymock Poets by modern Gloucestershire writers.

Programme (subject to change)
Daytime Programme (10am-5pm)
MC/Co-ordinator: Kevan Manwaring

10:00 – Brief Intro by KM, followed by Keynote Speech by special guest, Jeff Cooper, Chairman, Friends of the Dymock Poets.
The Golden Room and the Dymock Poets
Jeff Cooper is Chairman of the Friends of the Dymock Poets, and grandson of Lascelles Abercrombie. He has a long-standing interest in the poetry of the Edwardian period, having written and edited a number of articles, books and journals. He is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Gloucestershire.

10.30am Edward Thomas, Edward Garnett, and the Pursuit of Literary Worth
A talk on Edward Garnett (publisher of the Dymocks) by Anthony Nanson. Q&A
Edward Thomas was one of a cohort of great writers (including D.H. Lawrence, Joseph Conrad, H.E. Bates, W.H. Hudson, and many others) who were mentored by the editor and critic Edward Garnett. Beginning with Garnett’s association with Thomas, this talk examines the continuing relevance of Garnett’s vision for literature of worth and commitment.
Anthony Nanson is the author of Exotic Excursions, Gloucestershire Folk Tales, Words of Re-enchantment, and forthcoming Deep Time and co-editor of Storytelling for a Greener World. He teaches creative writing at Bath Spa University and is related to Edward Garnett through his grandmother, née Barbara Newstead Garnett.

11.30 am – coffee & cakes available in cafe

11.45am Cycling after Thomas and the English – a talk by David Caddy
Inspired by Edward Thomas and his 1913 bike tour, David Caddy climbed on his bicycle and pedalled into history, literature and the history of literature.
David Caddy is a poet, essayist, critic, literary sociologist and historian. He lives and works in rural Dorset from where he has edited the international literary journal Tears in the Fence since 1984. His most recent books are a collection of belles-lettres, So Here We Are (Shearsman 2012) and a book of poetry, The Bunny Poems (Shearsman 2011). He regular publishes essays and criticism on literary and cultural matters. He was co-author of London: City of Words (2006), a literary companion, with Westrow Cooper and directed the Wessex Poetry Festival from 1995-2002 and the Tears in the Fence Festival from 2003-2005.

12.45 – Lunch-break – poetry in the cafe (tbc.)

1.45 – Cotswold Characters: John Drinkwater and Arts and Crafts Movement in the Cotswolds
In 1919 the Dymock poet John Drinkwater moved to Far Oakridge on the instigation of his friend the painter William Rothenstein and there found another community of creative people living the simple life. In the 1890s a group of young architects, Gimson and the Barnsleys, moved to Sapperton and soon a group of makers, artists and writers flourished in ‘enchanted Cotswold country’. This talk explores the ideas and ideals of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Gloucestershire, the work and friendships in this community, and charts their influence in the area to this day.
Kirsty Hartsiotis is Curator of Decorative Arts and Designated Collections at the Wilson Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, where she curates the internationally renowned Arts and Crafts Movement collection. She is also a writer and storyteller, and is the author of Wiltshire Folk Tales and Suffolk Folk Tales.
2.45 – Composers in the Landscape – Richard Carder (music of Ivor Gurney), including performance of songs.
3.20 – Comfort break
3.30 – Film of ‘Severn and Somme’ – inspired by Ivor Gurney (Dymock Poet contemporary) by Redcliffe Productions, introduced by film-maker followed by Q&A

4.30 – Plenary

5.00 – Fin.

Evening Concert (7-10pm)
Start 7.30pm
MC/Co-ordinator: Jay Ramsay
A special Dymock Poets-themed showcase by a glittering array of poets, singers and storytellers.
evening performers will include Adam Horovitz, Gabriel Millar, Jehanne Mehta, Rick Vick, Richard Austin, Marion Fawlk, Angie Spencer, Steve Morris—and Anna Saunders, co-director of the Cheltenham Poetry Festival. Music from Barry Mason & Lina Lotto, the HangHang Duo (playing the extraordinary hang drum). Barry originally toured with Allen Ginsberg as his drummer.

£12.50 for daytime OR evening concert. £20 for both (in advance).
Bookings and Enquiries: 01453 760900

Songs of Change – meets on Tuesday nights at Paganhill Maypole Village Hall. We are led by Sophie Sterckx (formerly “Greatorex”). This is an open group drawing on songs from about peace, the earth, equality, etc. 

17 Jul 2014

In Baxter's Field


On the left: Martin Baxendale, Green candidate for Valley ward in the coming by-election.

In the middle: Nadine Smykatz-Kloss who gave vital evidence at the recent Baxter's Field public inquiry.

On the right: Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the south west and former representative of Valley on Stroud District Council.

This is the view up towards Slad from Baxter's field, a reminder of how beautiful and precious our landscape is. Molly fought passionately to defend this landscape for many years. Now, on the European Parliament's committee for agriculture and rural development, she may be able to influence the laws that shape how our countryside is managed.

Martin is dedicated to defending these fields, in any way that he can.

The Green Party believes in long term thinking, not short term profits for the few. We see more value in a landscape than short term development and the extraction of 'resources'. We see homes and communities, landscapes people love, we see history and tradition, culture and inspiration. We see biodiversity and quality of life. This view, and this landscape are irreplaceable.


Photograph copyright Gary Learmonth.

14 Jul 2014

Not so carbon neutral nuclear

c. Russ
One of the arguments used to support the nuclear industry is that it is clean. Leaving aside what happens when nuclear goes wrong (and everyone always promises that it is perfectly safe, except for those few times, that could never possibly happen here, which we are to believe...) and leaving aside the issue of having radioactive waste that will have to be stored securely for thousands of years, is there any merit to the ‘carbon neutral’ claim?

Those of us who lived near Berkley and Oldbury stations when they were running, know that they did not belch smoke into the air in the manner of a traditionally ‘dirty’ fossil fuels station. However, there is more to the life, and carbon impact of a nuclear power station than what it does in the moment of producing energy.

If this is something you’d like to know more about, do please have a read of Dr Iain Fairle’s recent piece in The Ecologist – nuclear power is no answer to global warming


 Dr Iain Fairlie is an independent consultant on radioactivity in the environment who has spoken in Stroud on several occasions. You can find out more about his visits to Stroud here  and more about Dr Fairlie here.

12 Jul 2014

Greens and Pinks, Wool against Weapons

Green Gloucestershire County councillor Sarah Lunnon was out supporting Wool Against Weapons at Stroud Farmers’ Market recently.



Here’s WAW organiser Jaine Rose taking photo. Jaine is a Stroudie, and has put together a wool based protest, knitting a 7 mile long scarf which will be released into the wild briefly on the 9th August as a protest against nuclear weapons and the renewal of Trident. You can find out more on the website http://www.woolagainstweapons.co.uk/ Support and knitting has come in from not just all over the country, but from around the world.




And here’s Sarah in the midst of some of the amazing woollen pieces that are going into this incredible protest. This isn’t just about knitting seven miles of resistance to nuclear weapons. After the protest, these creations will be reconfigured into blankets and sent to places where they can make a difference, so a great deal of love is going into making these protest knits lovely, durable and able to serve a second purpose.

There’s a Wool Against Weapons facebook page, too. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wool-Against-Weapons/570747079617581?fref=ts



 All photos used in this blog post are copyright Steve Hurrell.

11 Jul 2014

Stroud Events

Here’s the current list of things we know about that are happening in the near future.  Where relevant, we’re also listing events a bit further afield that you might be interested in, too. These are local events that are (unless it says otherwise in the listing) run by assorted local groups – these are all independent of the Green Party.
If you are aware of other talks, events, workshops or other community activities in the coming week or so, please do mention them in the comments. If there’s an event you would like our support in promoting, please email the details to brynnethnimue (at) gmail (dot) com.


11th July Kings Stanley market, held in the Village Hall on the 2nd Friday of the month throughout the summer between 3pm and 6.30pm (except August) the last one will be the 12th September. There is a mix of local produce, including Popes sausages, Godsells cheese, Days cider, Stroud brewery, bread, cakes, honey, plants etc, also a variety of craft stalls, books, bric-a-brac, memorabilia and collectables. There is also a community table where anyone can sell plants, fruit and veg with no upfront fees. The playgroup organise a cafe with drinks, cakes and ice-creams.

This is the second year we have been organising the market and it has been very popular. We usually have about 28 stalls and it is generally well attended.

11th July The ultimate punch line!
How will your death fit into the story of your life? How do you want to be remembered? Join author of Intelligent Designing for Amateurs, Nimue Brown and gothic artist Tom Brown to consider last words, epitaphs, obituaries and punch lines. There will be cake, and comedy, alongside the morbidity. This is part of Stroud’s ‘Clocking Off’ festival.
11th July, Black Books Cafe, Stroud, Gloucestershire £2.50 on the door


12th July – Clocking Off Festival, Stroud’s first festival dedicated to death. http://www.subscriptionrooms.org.uk/event_view.asp?pid=12&pgid=&eid=9495 It is in understanding death that we come to appreciate life.


You are invited to take a look at plastics recycling, here in Stroud Venue:  BPI Recycled Products, Bath Road Trading Estate, Stroud Date 10th July, Time 11am Date:   15th July, Time: 7pm

Stroud Valleys Project is Stroud’s local “green space guardian”. As well as protecting, caring for and nurturing Stroud’s local green spaces we champion the sustainability of our local environment and support recycling of all kinds. We would like to invite a select number of guests to come on a tour of the Stroud plant and see local plastics recycling in action. We hope you would like to join us and take part in this rare opportunity. Places are limited and whilst there is no cost involved we invite you to make a donation to our recycling bucket on the day.

Local company, British Polythene Industries or BPI, enjoys an enviable reputation as the leader in the field of polyethylene recycling. BPI is a leading manufacturer and supplier of polythene film (and other products) and they have a manufacturing plant, here, in Stroud on the Bath Road Industrial Estate. The Stroud plant is one of BPI’s four UK manufacturing sites.

BPI is the largest recycler of polyethylene in Europe with the ability to reprocess in excess of 80,000 tonnes each year of post-use material from commercial, retail, industrial and agricultural markets across its Environmental Agency Accredited Sites. Its major products include refuse sacks, recycling sacks, construction membranes, Plaswood street furniture and gas protection membranes.

BPI tell us that their remit includes the promotion of the re-use, recycling and recovery of materials; to improve the environmental performance of their processes by reducing emissions and energy use and to minimise waste, as well as controlling noise and being a responsible and good neighbour. They are also committed to the development of new products and processes using recycled materials and to supporting initiatives which benefit the environment.

We think this will be a fascinating tour of the plant where visitors will gain, first-hand, an insight into the re-use and repurposing of a day-to-day material. We hope you will be able to join us.

To reserve your place or find out more about this visit to BPI, please contact Julie Wickham at Stroud Valleys Project on 01453 753358  or email info@stroudvalleysproject.org

P.S. As well as putting money in our collection box, you can now donate by text.              
        Just text RSVP14 followed by the £ sign and the amount you wish to donate. (i.e. £10).

Fire Springs  - Events Bulletin – Special Event July 2014

Following the celebrations of Laurie Lee, Kevan Manwaring and Jay Ramsay have organised a special day in the George Room at the Sub Rooms in Stroud, which features talks, a film, music and evening performance linking the Dymock Poets on the eve of the First World War (Edward Thomas, Robert Frost, Rupert Brooke et al) with Gloucestershire poets writing now; examining and celebrating shared themes of politics, Nature, relationship and spirituality in a world that War constantly leaves behind...for as long as we rationalize its existence on this planet.

Here are the details from the website of the Cotswold Word Centre:

Saturday 26 July
The Golden Room
Subscription Rooms, Stroud
Talks, Poetry, Film, Art, Music
A centenary symposium celebrating the Dymock Poets, who gathered in Gloucestershire a 100 years ago to write, walk and support each other on their creative journeys.
Featuring talks, panels and creative responses to the work of the Dymock Poets by modern Gloucestershire writers.

Programme (subject to change)
Daytime Programme (10am-5pm)
MC/Co-ordinator: Kevan Manwaring

10:00 – Brief Intro by KM, followed by Keynote Speech by special guest, Jeff Cooper, Chairman, Friends of the Dymock Poets.
The Golden Room and the Dymock Poets
Jeff Cooper is Chairman of the Friends of the Dymock Poets, and grandson of Lascelles Abercrombie. He has a long-standing interest in the poetry of the Edwardian period, having written and edited a number of articles, books and journals. He is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Gloucestershire.

10.30am Edward Thomas, Edward Garnett, and the Pursuit of Literary Worth
A talk on Edward Garnett (publisher of the Dymocks) by Anthony Nanson. Q&A
Edward Thomas was one of a cohort of great writers (including D.H. Lawrence, Joseph Conrad, H.E. Bates, W.H. Hudson, and many others) who were mentored by the editor and critic Edward Garnett. Beginning with Garnett’s association with Thomas, this talk examines the continuing relevance of Garnett’s vision for literature of worth and commitment.
Anthony Nanson is the author of Exotic Excursions, Gloucestershire Folk Tales, Words of Re-enchantment, and forthcoming Deep Time and co-editor of Storytelling for a Greener World. He teaches creative writing at Bath Spa University and is related to Edward Garnett through his grandmother, née Barbara Newstead Garnett.

11.30 am – coffee & cakes available in cafe

11.45am Cycling after Thomas and the English – a talk by David Caddy
Inspired by Edward Thomas and his 1913 bike tour, David Caddy climbed on his bicycle and pedalled into history, literature and the history of literature.
David Caddy is a poet, essayist, critic, literary sociologist and historian. He lives and works in rural Dorset from where he has edited the international literary journal Tears in the Fence since 1984. His most recent books are a collection of belles-lettres, So Here We Are (Shearsman 2012) and a book of poetry, The Bunny Poems (Shearsman 2011). He regular publishes essays and criticism on literary and cultural matters. He was co-author of London: City of Words (2006), a literary companion, with Westrow Cooper and directed the Wessex Poetry Festival from 1995-2002 and the Tears in the Fence Festival from 2003-2005.

12.45 – Lunch-break – poetry in the cafe (tbc.)

1.45 – Cotswold Characters: John Drinkwater and Arts and Crafts Movement in the Cotswolds
In 1919 the Dymock poet John Drinkwater moved to Far Oakridge on the instigation of his friend the painter William Rothenstein and there found another community of creative people living the simple life. In the 1890s a group of young architects, Gimson and the Barnsleys, moved to Sapperton and soon a group of makers, artists and writers flourished in ‘enchanted Cotswold country’. This talk explores the ideas and ideals of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Gloucestershire, the work and friendships in this community, and charts their influence in the area to this day.
Kirsty Hartsiotis is Curator of Decorative Arts and Designated Collections at the Wilson Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, where she curates the internationally renowned Arts and Crafts Movement collection. She is also a writer and storyteller, and is the author of Wiltshire Folk Tales and Suffolk Folk Tales.
2.45 – Composers in the Landscape – Richard Carder (music of Ivor Gurney), including performance of songs.
3.20 – Comfort break
3.30 – Film of ‘Severn and Somme’ – inspired by Ivor Gurney (Dymock Poet contemporary) by Redcliffe Productions, introduced by film-maker followed by Q&A

4.30 – Plenary

5.00 – Fin.

Evening Concert (7-10pm)
Start 7.30pm
MC/Co-ordinator: Jay Ramsay
A special Dymock Poets-themed showcase by a glittering array of poets, singers and storytellers.
evening performers will include Adam Horovitz, Gabriel Millar, Jehanne Mehta, Rick Vick, Richard Austin, Marion Fawlk, Angie Spencer, Steve Morris—and Anna Saunders, co-director of the Cheltenham Poetry Festival. Music from Barry Mason & Lina Lotto, the HangHang Duo (playing the extraordinary hang drum). Barry originally toured with Allen Ginsberg as his drummer.

£12.50 for daytime OR evening concert. £20 for both (in advance).
Bookings and Enquiries: 01453 760900

Warm-up Event
Friday 11 July
‘The Road Not Taken’
A one-off script-in-hand performance of a new play based on the lives of the Dymock Poets by K. Manwaring/T. James.
Theatre at Mr Twitchett’s, Subscription Rooms, Friday 11 July, free/donations.
FFI: here
Tickets from Subs on  01453 760 900 or www.subscriptionrooms.org.uk
Not to be missed!
Songs of Change – meets on Tuesday nights at Paganhill Maypole Village Hall. We are led by Sophie Sterckx (formerly “Greatorex”). This is an open group drawing on songs from about peace, the earth, equality, etc. 


8 Jul 2014

Greens, banking and Europe

Molly Scott Cato has been an active MEP for a week, and she’s already hitting the news, having got involved in European banking issues. Green MEPs have been working for some time to make the banking system fairer. Rather than banks being able to assume that tax payers will just bail them out if their gambling goes wrong, European Greens have been working for a system where riskier outfits have to put some money in the pot. As it stands, we the public are bearing all the risk – and the consequence, in the form of crushing austerity measures, but we see none of the benefits. Why should the poorest be made to suffer so as to underwrite the gambling of the affluent?

You can read more about it here


However, it looks like the Commission has been persuaded to bow to the demands of the bankers. This would be a failure of democracy, putting the profits of the few ahead of the needs of the many. It’s not over yet. If enough of us protest, perhaps the Commission can be persuaded to stand up for people, not profits. You can read more here http://www.stop-bank-subsidies.eu/ and find out how to get involved.

6 Jul 2014

Get your tickets for 9th August - 7 miles of scarf unveiled!

Wool against Weapons is a 7 mile long pink protest against the renewal of Trident....



See further films on Stroud Community TV here.

Get your coach tickets from Stroud for 9th August from Trading Post or Black Book cafe.
For more information about Wool against weapons, visit http://www.woolagainstweapons.co.uk/
or the Facebook page.

5 Jul 2014

HubStroud

Where
What is it?
A hub, for information in Stroud. At present, mainly a really easy way to get an overview of upcoming events around the Stroud District - but we've got big plans for the future too.
When
 
Any time you can access the internet - you can view hubStroud on your smartphone or tablet as well as from a desktop or laptop computer.

Why not check it on Sunday night or Monday morning to see what is happening in the week ahead or on Friday afternoon to see what's happening over the weekend? Or you could make the site your homepage so you'll be reminded of what's happening in Stroud every time you log onto the internet?
Transition Stroud is all about using the power of strong local communities to develop practical responses to climate change and resource depletion.

Transition Stroud is hoping hubStroud will become the website people use to find out what is happening in the local area, and can become a hub to connect communities and help us to share information and resources.

If you're organising a workshop, exhibition, gig, film screening or - well - anything in the Stroud District - get in touch about listing it on the site via hubstroud@gmail.com, or by sending a tweet to @hubstroud (if you're on twitter, follow us for regular reminders about upcoming events and to help share local information. If you're not on twitter, but are interested in using it, or have only just started using it, we can offer introductory training).