Transition Culture

An Evolving Exploration into the Head, Heart and Hands of Energy Descent

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After eight years of frenzied blogging at this site, Transition Culture has moved to its new home. Do come and join us, but feel free to also browse this now-archived site and use the shop. Thanks for all your support, comments and input so far, and see you soon.

Archive for “Oral History” category

Showing results 6 - 10 of 17 for the category: Oral History.

22 Nov 2010

Seeking your stories about using maps….

Maps.  Wonderful things.  From Googlemaps to scribbled-on Ordnance Survey maps: from sophisticated GIS maps to huge maps of the area that people can stick stuff to, maps are a fantastic tool for bringing the area you are working in to life.  One of the Ingredients of Transition is called ‘Meaningful Maps’, and it looks at the importance of using maps in both serious and playful ways.  For example, the picture above is Transition Hereford’s ‘Mappa Sustainability’, modelled on the 1300s Hereford Mappa Mundi, the largest medieval map still in existence, which was exhibited in the town in order to gather peoples’ sustainability projects and stories.  Does your Transition initiative use maps?  How?  Please tell me your stories….

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15 Oct 2010

Ingredients of Transition: Oral Histories

Picture used with permission of Totnes Image Bank and Rural Archive.


When starting work on your ENERGY DESCENT ACTION PLAN, or any other form of community VISIONING exercise, oral histories can offer a fascinating look at examples of community and PERSONAL RESILIENCE in our recent past. There is also something in oral histories that reinforce the ROLE OF STORYTELLING the power of hearing stories of the practicalities of living with less energy and resources, and more frugally than today. Bringing memories of life before cheap energy and practical skills some people still carry can make a very useful contribution to your GREAT RESKILLING work.

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1 Sep 2010

My Foreword to ‘Local Sustainable Homes’

Next week sees the publication of the next book in the Transition Books series, ‘Local Sustainable Homes: how to make them happen in your community’ by Chris Bird.  More details to follow (including how to order your copy), but as a taster, here is my foreword to the book:

In The Pattern of English Building, his seminal review of vernacular English construction techniques and the wide range of building materials that have defined English architecture – from flint and chalk to clay, oak and straw – Alec Clifton-Taylor wrote:

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10 May 2010

Totnes EDAP Launch Part Two: “the single most important book about Totnes ever published”

edapcivic1The Totnes Energy Descent Action Plan received a fittingly rousing welcome into the world on Friday night in Totnes Civic Hall, following on from the earlier parade through town and its announcement by the Town Crier.  Over a hundred people were treated to local Sharpham wine and nibbles in advance of the main event, buying copies of the EDAP and meeting friends.  The audience had been promised, in the event’s poster, ‘fine speeches’, which put those speaking under considerable pressure!  It turned out to be a fantastic and memorable event, one that welcomed the long-awaited EDAP into this community. 

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5 May 2010

Totnes Energy Descent Action Plan Website Launched Today!!


Ladies and Gentlemen.  It gives me the greatest pleasure this morning to launch the Totnes Energy Descent Action Plan website.  The site makes the full version of the UK’s first EDAP freely available, invites comments and discussion, and will act as a dynamic portal for people to discuss the Plan and reshape subsequent revisions.  It is the creation of the good folks at LumpyLemon, to whom we are greatly indebted.  Highlights include the oral history section, Liv Torc’s poem in the section on stories, the Totnes Energy Budget, the photoshopped visions of the future and, if one might suggest a sample chapter, the food section.  Copies of the printed EDAP are available here, and will be formally launched on Friday (do come).  God Bless Her and All Who Sail in Her (sound of tinkling glass as champagne bottle is smashed against the side of the website)….

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