20 Aug 2010

Stroud Transition talk online - and the story of the Spitfire!

Some might remember that about 7 weeks ago I gave a talk to Transition Exmouth. Some 40 people heard about the various Transition Stroud projects incl Stroud Eco-Renovation Open Homes, Tripswitch and the Stroud Pound. Feedback was hugely positive. See their write up here - well my presentation has now been put online - trouble is it doesn't make so much sense without my notes which are not online but it does give a flavour of some of Transition Strouds' successes and some of the lessons learnt.

One part of the talk that will perhaps mystify without the notes - it is the photo of the Spitfire - well the story goes that folk were trying to develop the Spitfire but couldn't find funds - people said there would not be a war - it did get privately developed initially - then when war was on the horizon people looked about for what was needed and found the Spitfire - the plane then went into serious production. I use it as a story about Transition Stroud projects - these are the pioneering ones we need and when the difficult times re peak oil and climate change come along folk will look around and see local food projects, local currencies and more - ideas that can be expanded.... But is the spitfire story true??!!

Well I've always noted in my talk that I don't know if this story is true - I recently asked a Ruscombe history expert who came back with this: "From Spitfire - the biography Johanthan Glancey 2001 page 37: 'The myth endures that the Spitfire, like the Merlin, was a privately funded project until late in the day. The Air ministry issued a contract for the fighter, officially designated F.37/34, in December 1934, and handed over £10 000 for the construction of the prototype'"

So can't tell that story anymore - although it has been suggested that the Merlin engine - which was used in a wide variety of aircraft - Spitfire Lancaster, Mosquito, Air sea rescue launches and even Spainish versions of the Me109 and HE111 famous German aircraft - might fit the bill instead?

Anyhow see details and download presentation under 28th June 2010 here.

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