We almost did last year. One of our greatest challenges arose when antagonistic town councillors turned down our application to put on a Big Green Street Market. It came at the same time as a stressful involvement with a Community Consultation for the Town Plan and our Unleashing (see below). Several members had worked very hard on the project and the refusal was a big shock and very difficult to talk about. However eventually we were able to make light of being called “smock-wearing eco-fascists” and Celebrate Failure (and Success) 3.7. The mood of the town council softened towards us and we became stronger and more determined as a result. One of the hardest things Transition has to face is the “old order” coming through people and quashing the new. As well as the divide-and-conquer mentality we inherit from our culture that can so easily split groups.
This shock also enabled us to become more aware of what we were engaged in and more strategic. In short we regrouped and became more resilient. We have occasional Big Meetings in which we put a day or an afternoon aside to look at the year ahead Gathering Feedback (how are we doing?) 3.8. We were aware that awareness-raising events can easily come and go leaving no trace, so creating Working Parties has really helped the Pattern of Practical Manifestations 3.9.
Our Community Garden in the centre of town is beginning to act like a Transition beacon as well as our community beehives and other Local Food initiatives 3.10. If there is one subject we all share it’s food. So as well as our highly successful Growing Local food event, Bungay Community Bees and Seedling Swap we are starting up a pig club and an apple share project. We’re really lucky having Josiah in the group who has a working knowledge of sustainable food systems, as well as many enthusiastic growers and cooks on board.
Sustainable Bungay at The Wave, December 2009