On a rainy afternoon in Tooting last Saturday, preparations continued for decorating the piñata bee which will be part of the 'Treasuring Tooting' wellbeing walk on May 12th (scroll down in this blog for more on the piñata and on the walk...)
What's it going to be like? How big will it bee? More images to come - keep a look out!
On Tuesday evening, around 80 people gathered at Wimbledon's St. Mark's Church to ask four of the candidates for the London Assembly what they would do if they got into power on May 3rd. The candidates fielding questions were Leonie Cooper (Labour), Shas Sheehan (Liberal Democrat), Richard Tracey (Conservative and current Assembly Member for Merton & Wandsworth) and Roy Vickery (Green).
This excellent meeting , ably chaired by the Rev Clive Gardner of St. Mark’s Church, got far beyond the personality politics of the Mayoral election. Lively questioning included how to make cycling in London safer, what to do about policing, the shortage of affordable housing, whether we need school buses, and how to make London more self-sufficient in energy.
The Hustings was hosted jointly by St Mark’s Church, Transition Town Wimbledon, Wimbledon Civic Forum and Transition Town Tooting.
Two workshops on 21 and 22 April provided lots of lovely ideas for the design of the Tooting Pound.
It's early days for the community currency but that didn't stop the heated debates about who should be on the notes - should it be Wolfie (Citizen) Smith or Nurse Edith Cavell on the T£1; Hester Thrale or Samuel Johnson on the T£5 note; an ordinary Tooting mum or an Upper Tooting Road shopkeeper on the T£10; Paul Merton or George Cole on the T£20 note?
The workshops were convened by Sue Rentoul and took place in Sprout, the community arts space on Moyser Road in Furzedown, which proved an excellent venue. Casual visitors to Emma Forrester's show were also asked for their opinion about what the Tooting Pound could look like.
We have some lively lists full of ideas. But the workshops didn't stop there: some lovely drawings were created by budding designers and these will all inform the final designs. Here's one design:
Have a look at the lists of Tooting people, places, objects and animals that participants came up with over the weekend by placing stickers on images, or contributing new ideas:
The 'Monthly Do' on Sunday April 22nd at Wandsworth Borough Council’s Pump House Gallery in Battersea Park saw several
of us from Transition Tooting join with gallery staff to offer a drop-in
afternoon about on ‘Growing Successfully in the City’. Yes - that broad topic included different prompts for the
ways ‘urban growing’ is expressed: growing food and flowers; developing green
space and experiencing nature; building wellbeing and happiness; growing knowledge
and skills; playing; and making new links across the community.
We were lucky to a few hours of sun within a weekend of blustery
weather. After a quiet start, 145 people were counted into the Gallery by 4pm.
The activities and displays attracted some of them – usually in couples it
seemed – to join in:
Øto explore the networks of waste and new
social relationships created and recorded by Jane in her Plastic Bottle Tops
Øto pick cards and share ideas, and think of personal
actions to take in the DIY Happiness game guided (in the wind) by Belinda
Øto play an outdoor Food Footprint game about CO2
in the UK food chain with Charles, using painted boxes from Tooting market
Øto make urban-styled seed planters with Li
Just as Charles’ talk on urban growing and transition was about
to kick off at 3:30, the sky went black and a strong gust capsized one of the
gazebos. All the helpers and audience went out to sort it out in the driving rain
– a great image of community spirit in action… Difficult to plan, but I recommend it as a way to start a talk! We began with
a vivid sense of shared experience among a group who met as strangers:
completely relevant to the topic.
Thanks loads to Laura, responsible for Participation & Education
at the Gallery, for conceiving the idea and inviting us, and to all the Gallery
staff & Justin for a lot of work on the day. The Pump House is a great
venue, and we’d love to develop something else together in the future. Charles
Local artist team Jeni Walker and Leon Lawes have begun work to create a giant bee piñata that will process with Treasuring Tooting, the Transition Town Tooting wellbeing walk, on the 12th May. At a point on the walk the pinata will be smashed open in the traditional manner, what goodies will come forth is anybody’s guess.
Why a Bee?
The decline in honey bee numbers has been big news recently and the importance of our role in helping the numbers to grow has never been clearer. Treasuring Tooting is a celebration of the things in our local area that make us happy, and this giant bee symbolises the arrival of bees at Streatham Cemetery this May which makes us very happy indeed.
See details of our sister project at the Cemetery at: http://www.friendsofstreathamcemetery.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=111&Itemid=201
Why smash it up?
The idea to create a piñata as our walk mascot was was initially met with mixed reactions. A lot of work went into the first two celebration creations and this would be no exception.
Our thoughts turned to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of creating complex circular pictures called Mandalas from coloured sand, only to destroy them soon after their completion. The practice is a reminder of the transient nature of material life, and so destroying a beautiful piñata will be an apt expression of the idea that true happiness does not come from the material and the transient.
We are proud
to be co-hosting the Pump House Gallery's April 'Monthly Do' in Battersea Park. All welcome
to an interesting and entertaining afternoon in a beautiful location.
to be National Gardening Week, so we decided to get thoughtful about Growing.
to explore ideas of Urban Growing of all kinds including gardening, low-carbon
living, growing food and wellbeing. Make your
own planter from recycled material to take home with you, 'play with food' on a
giant scale, try some games about personal wellbeing and happiness, and meet
members of TTT to find out more about transition's varied approach to community
growth. At 3.30pm
Charles, TTT Co-Chair, will talk about the transition movement and different
kinds of urban growing. Click on the link below for more information and to
reserve a place for the talk: http://pumphousegallery.org.uk/events/april-monthly-do
London Assembly Election Hustings
Tuesday 24th April from7:30pm St Mark's Church,
St Mark's Place (behind Wimbledon Library), Wimbledon, SW19
partnership with a group of community organisations,TTT is helping to host a
hustings with candidates from the main parties on April 24th.
and Merton Boroughs are represented together by one London Assembly member, and
elections to the Assembly are on May 3rd. Assembly members oversee London
policy on transport, planning, the environment and policing. Come and
meet candidates from the main parties, and ask them your questions. Hustings are
8:00-9:30, followed by informal discussion. All welcome! Venue: http://www.stmarkswimbledon.org.uk/ Partners
include the Wimbledon Civic Forum, Transition Town Wimbledon, St Mark's Church,
and Transition Town Tooting. Enquiries: email@example.com
Treasuring Tooting - Treasure in Tooting
A day-long interactive
walk around Tooting tocelebrate wellbeing
'Happiness and fulfillment
come less from material wealth and more from relationships; less from focusing
on ourselves and more from helping others; less from external factors outside
our control and more from the way in which we choose to react to what happens
to us.’ (Action for
On May 12th we’ll take a
free dawn to dusk walk through Tooting celebrating the many places and things
that contribute to our happiness. Following on
from the Tooting Earth Talk Walk in 2009, the walk will visit favourite places
from the Lido to the Library, Brickbox to the Bingo Hall, at each of which an
aspect of our happiness and wellbeing will be experienced and celebrated. A map will
guide us down the road and give timings for each location so people can join at
any point. All ages welcome! Put the date in your diary and look out for more information soon....
Transition Town Tooting hold regular planning meetings - all are welcome. To get a flavour of the kind of things we discuss see HERE the first graphically recorded meeting notes, from our last meeting on the 20th March. This move towards the pictorial - done by Jeni Walker - was inspired by Alice Maggs' graphic documentation of Carbon Conversations...
In the post below on 'Community Approaches to the Green Deal', we mention the video that was being made to accompany the project.
Now it's finished and ready to enjoy on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNRx6tNFG8U
It's seven minutes long - do have a look, and keep an eye out for the local locations and stars!
The partners in the project are meeting in early May to develop next steps to keep the momentum going.
We'll keep you up to date with progress, and do get in contact via firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be involved.
Ecobuild was again a source of wonder this year. I liked the re-use of materials such as the pallet arch, rubber band lampshade and some lovely tiles made from impressions in every day bowls and dishes. And then there was water bottle man publicising the amount of water wasted in the home.
It's always amazing what you can overhear too ...
"Cities are shaped by the environment, economy and equality, and the environment must guide the others".
"We need 'urban respiration' across systems such as food, water, energy, jobs"
At a stand promoting ready-made turf full of wild flowers: "the best way to start is to kill
off everything with glyphosate weed killer!"
TRANSITION TOWN TOOTING IS A TRANSITION TOWN INITIATIVE EXPLORING HOW THE LOVELY, DIVERSE & UNUSUAL SOUTH-WEST LONDON COMMUNITY OF TOOTING CAN RESPOND TO THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF PEAK OIL & CLIMATE CHANGE.