Trashed Film + Planning Meeting

TT_Trashed_flyer_planning_smallThe 2015 TT Planning Meeting is to be on Sunday afternoon, 26th April 2015 at the Forum Cinema, Hexham. We have arranged for a special Our Screen showing of the award winning film Trashed, starring Jeremy Irons:

Jeremy Irons sets out to discover the extent and effects of the global waste problem, as he travels around the world to beautiful destinations tainted by pollution. This is a meticulous, brave investigative journey that takes Irons (and us) from scepticism to sorrow and from horror to hope.

The film will start at 2:30pm and runs for 98 minutes. At 4:30pm, we will hold our planning meeting in the cinema, full of inspiration to make some positive change! The planning meeting will finish at 6:30pm.

Tickets to the film cost just £4.00. What’s more, if you buy a ticket to see Trashed, you will be eligible for a free ticket to see Bike vs Cars on 6th May (see below). Remember to ask for the free ticket when booking so The Forum can keep track of sales.

The aim of the meeting is to raise awareness of Transition Tynedale and to plan what we want to do in the coming year. If you have an idea for how Tynedale residents can adapt to a low carbon future, then get in touch and come along. We currently have the following themes and projects, but don’t be constrained. If you have an idea you want to pursue, then come and make it happen.


  • The Energy Group are hosting a series draft busting workshops offering practical advice and support in reducing carbon emissions in the home.
  • Members have been discussing whether to actively support the Restart Project in the coming year.


  • The Transport Group have just had a great year in which they successfully launched the Co-Wheels car club in Hexham.
  • Richard has offered to host another of his popular bicycle maintenance workshops, Love Your Bike.


  • The Food Group was very active last year, with the fantastic Edible Hexham project transforming neglected corners of the town into attractive and bountiful beds full of edible plants.
  • The Hexham Middle School Community Garden is growing from strength to strength with the taming of weed patch/jungle into vegetable and fruit beds, restoration of the store room, creation of a willow den and generally making the garden a beautiful refuge for all.

Draught busting Workshop

This workshop was a joint venture between TT Energy group, No 28 and Warm Up North and held on Saturday 18 October. 4 people attended, all residents of the east end or town centre. We started off at No 28 with a discussion on top tips for reducing draughts whilst waiting for the trainer to arrive. Once the trainer had arrived we then moved onto one of the attendee’s home and the trainer used the draught busting demonstration kit (provided by the Centre for Sustainable Energy) to explain how to use each item, with some tricks of the trade thrown in, as well as improve the homeowner’s draughty kitchen window. Although things didn’t go quite according to plan all the participants enjoyed the workshop and found it useful. They were also pleased with the money off voucher kindly provided by Homebase. Lastly, we have identified a host for the next one.

On a sour note, we were rather badly let down by Warm Up North at the last minute, as they were supposed to be providing £20 worth of free insulation products per attendee. On the day before the workshop WUN said they weren’t going to provide the resources. Luckily, after a last minute visit to the store, Homebase agreed to offer all workshop attendees a voucher for 20% off all insulation products. WUN hadn’t briefed the trainer properly either and he turned up 30 mins late expecting to insulate a house rather than run a workshop. Once he had arrived he was excellent. Next time we’ll cut out WUN and just deal with the trainer direct!

Royal Horticultural Society – It’s Your Neighbourhood

Thank you to everyone who has, over the last several years, given time and effort to designing and establishing the Hexham Middle School Community Garden. We have received an “Outstanding” award from the judges of Northumbria in Bloom! This is the highest award category, so well done to everyone.

There were a number of entries from Hexham, all for flower and shrub gardens, with HMS the only one growing food. To quote the report ‘this is a really good example of a community garden’. The judges were impressed with how the pupils and wider community are very involved with the maintenance and development of the garden; the really good range of plants grown here – fruit, vegetables and flowers; and the partnership with Edible Hexham through Transition Tynedale.

We have a very fine framed certificate, which will need a good home. The school maybe, or the potting shed door, to remind us to give ourselves a pat on the back occasionally!

Apple Grafting at Acorn Bank

Acorn Bank Orchard

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of going to an apple grafting course run by the North Cumbria Orchard Group and The National Trust at Acorn Bank near Penrith. It was a fun day out in beautiful surroundings run by some very knowledgeable people who were very willing to share their wisdom and teach us new skills. I came away with eight newly grafted apple trees and full of anticipation for how they would turn out.

Continue reading “Apple Grafting at Acorn Bank”

Hexham Middle School Community Garden

On Saturday, we planted this fantastic shelter using willow cut last week at Quaker’s Hole, Whitley Chapel (thanks Ted).


If you’d like to come along and join in, we meet on the first and third Saturdays from 11:00am: We’re in a beautiful secluded spot between Di and Jims and the path up to the HMS Beaumont building.

An Eco-meter at Home

An eco-meter measures your electricity consumption every 4 seconds. Give one to a gadget geek who fills in spreadsheets as a stress buster and you have a recipe for endless data! Sticking only to the killer facts (hyperbole – nothing earth shattering really, but helpful) here is a taster of what I found out. (Do try this at home – it focused my attention on waste and, even if it won’t save the planet, I prefer doing something, to doing nothing.)jono-eco-meter

  1. Every £7 I spend on electricity dumps 1 kg of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. (I’ve given my results in financial terms – this allows you to translate.)
  2. The computer, printer, hard disk combo, left on for 10 hours a day soaks up £47 a year – put it into sleep mode when not in use would save well over half of this. I get similar results for switching off the TV/free sat/DVD player.
  3. Don’t bother unplugging all your Apple charging kit – they don’t use any power for not charging and stop consumption when the device is fully charged.
  4. I also looked at my gas consumption and much to our relief, 1 bath costs about 20p.
  5. The eco-meter also tracked down an old-style light bulb which had been missed in the upgrade to the new low-energy variety.
  6. Don’t bother giving up your electric kettle – the gas variety is a little bit cheaper but not as much as you might think as it takes so much longer to boil.
  7. Use gas to heat your house rather than electricity (assuming the carbon dioxide released the kilowatt-hour produced by gas is the same as that produced by electricity.) It cost a third of the price per unit (KwHrs).

Okay, so nothing that you might not have known already but a useful reminder to switch off and cool down – every £10 saved is 3lb less CO2 in the atmosphere. (Roughly!)

For anyone who wants the figures, I am happy to email my spreadsheet – contact

Eco-meters available from Claire at 28 Derwent Road, Hexham

Posted on behalf of Jonathan Ewen

Edible Hexham

Edible Hexham came into being after a small group of TT members paid a visit to Incredible Edible Todmorden in June last year, a visit organised by Richard Powell.
We met some amazingly enthusiastic people who had began working with vegetables, fruits and herbs as a way to engage a somewhat dispirited community following the closure of the last Mill some years previously. The story of what they have achieved can be found on their website,, and we came away with the conviction that this is something which we could do in Hexham – not the same as Todmorden, but developing in our own way.

Sue Hick and I made a start in the autumn. TT members will know how knowledgeable Sue is and how good it is for me to work alongside her. The Incredible Edible idea is one whose hour has come, for no less a prestigious organisation than the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is looking to see edibles included in its competition gardens. We are represented on the Hexham in Bloom committee who have welcomed the idea and we intend to have edibles planted by the Spring Judging in April.

We have identified a few small plots in Hexham to include in the scheme and a few planters in the town centre. Plots are the Goose Market, Wentworth Car Park near the Tourist Centre, and at the hospital. We will need signage to explain the idea of Edible Hexham, and to invite members of the public to help themselves to the veg, fruit and herbs when they are ready to be picked.

This is just a snapshot of plans so far, and very shortly, I will be asking for volunteers to take responsibility for just one of these planting places so that they will be watered and cared for.

As always, TT wants to involve as many new people as possible, and Edible Hexham sees itself working in partnership with Hexham in Bloom, the Town Council, the Community Partnership and most importantly, the Food Bank, so that more people can enjoy cooking with fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs.

Watch this space for further updates and opportunities to be involved.

Hexham Debates – series 7 (2014)

The Hexham Debates are back. See below for the programme of debates.

All at 11.00am – 12.30pm

St Mary’s Centre
NE46 2EB 

Admission Free, Retiring Collection

Sponsored by Hexham Quaker Meeting

Jan 25th Mike Berners-Lee

The Burning Question

Tackling global warming will mean persuading the world to abandon oil, coal and gas reserves worth trillions of dollars – at least until we have the means to put carbon back in the ground. The burning question is whether that can be done.  Are the energy companies massively overvalued, and how will carbon-cuts affect the global economy?  Will we wake up to the threat in time? And who can do what to make it all happen?

Mike Berners-Lee is Founder and Director of Small World Consulting, Lancaster University’s Environment Centre

If you missed this Hexham Debate, here is a link to it:

Feb 5 Andrew Feinstein

The Shadow World: inside the global arms trade.

Andrew Feinstein will describe the secretive world of the global arms trade, describing the corruption and cover-ups behind weapons deals ranging from the largest in history – between the British and Saudi governments – to BAE’s controversial transactions in South Africa, Tanzania and eastern Europe. He will argue that this network represents a profound danger to all of us.

Andrew Feinstein was elected an ANC MP in South Africa in 1994. He resigned in 2001 in protest at the government’s refusal to allow an unfettered investigation into a £5bn arms deal. He chairs the Aids charity Friends of the Treatment Action Campaign. His writing appears in a range of media around the world, and he also appears regularly on a variety of broadcast media including the BBC, Al Jazeera and CNN.

Mar 22 Prof Helen Fenwick

Counter-terrorism law and policy post 9/11 and the future of the Human Rights Act.

April 5 Prof Paul Rogers

Security by Remote Control: can it work?

May 17 Valerie Flessati and Bruce Kent

Courage and Conscience in response to an avoidable war.

June 7 Jocelyn Cockburn

Why are human rights so divisive when they are for everyone?

July 5 Turning the Tide

An all-day workshop (9.00am – 5.00pm) run by Quaker trainers in non-violence, exploring how we might move from awareness into action.