We're grassroots Heathrow residents proving that communities less dependent on oil can be more resilient, stronger and happier. We take direct action on climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap energy by transitioning to a post-oil, community-led future for the Heathrow villages.

It’s all go, go, go @ Grow!

Posted: January 30th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Another busy weekend of Shazzam workshops have been and gone here at Grow Heathrow.

On Saturday we had a workshop by Rose and Aiemee on Permaculture, planning, propagation and planning. And then on Sunday, to continue our “p” theme, there was a workshop on propaganda – otherwise known as an introduction to subvertising.

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Saturday’s workshop was well attended by residents of Grow Heathrow, their family members and the wider community. The workshop went through the theory of permaculture – focusing on the ethics (Earth Care, People Care and Fair Shares) and principles behind the practices. There were a range of different levels of gardening experience in the workshop – from complete newbies to experienced growers, which meant there was plenty of knowledge exchange within the group. We also looked into some of the ideas behind soil care, a key part of growing practice, and crop rotation.

Preparing this years beds

Preparing this years beds

We didn’t just spend our time talking though, but got out into the Grow Heathrow site to look at how permaculture design principles have been incorporated into many aspects of the way things work. We also got our hands dirty and weeded some of the beds in the meadow, ready for the coming growing season.

Feeling inspired by this workshop, a few people got together after the workshop and began planning this years growing at Grow Heathrow. We’re excited for what this season might bring and if you want to get involved in any capacity feel free to get in touch or come on down!

Sunday’s workshop on subvertising was also well attended with people coming from as far a field as Brighton to take part. In this workshop we discussed a variety of things from the problems associated with advertising to how to go about fighting back against the daily assault on our senses. (Did you know the average Londoner sees around 3500 adverts a day?).

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Then we got practical and experimented with a variety of subvertising techniques on some fake billboards that were dotted around the Grow Heathrow site. Participants came up with some really creative ways to subvert problematic messages and said they enjoyed the chance to practice these techniques in a safe environment.

Another busy weekend down… let’s go for it all again this weekend! Come along fro Build A Bike Trailer tomorrow and then Intuitive Painting on Sound Healing on Sunday.

Go go go!

 


Shazzam workshops going strong!

Posted: January 23rd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Cool Projects, Events | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Last weekend saw a jammed packed schedule of Shazzam workshops.

We kicked off the weekend with the Radical Chat where Class War came down to discuss their Poor Doors protests in the East End and why they’re standing in this year’s general election. After a great powerpoint presentation, Jon from Class War answered a lot of interesting questions including being grilled about how he think’s he can represent anyone in parliament. Obviously, he’s an anarchist so he explained that the election isn’t an attempt to get in to parliament (infact he said he doesn’t want to get any votes) but instead is a way to take campaigning to the streets and making the most of the spectacle of the election. After a while we ended up discussing resistance and politics more broadly and we’re really looking forward to next month’s installment of Radical Chat, hosted by Action East End.

class war blog

Saturday saw the bike workshop back in action. A few locals got their bikes fixed, we fixed a Grow Heathrow resident’s bike who now knows a bit more about axels, and we got a bike ready for sale. Now we’re looking forward to the ‘Build a Bike Trailer’ workshop – there’s still some spaces on this so get in touch – via shazzamheathrow@gmail.com – if you want to come along.

Then finally on Sunday we had the pleasure of hosting Campaign Against the Arms Trade, who gave a talk about their latest campaign ‘Arms to Renewables’. This was really informative about the extent of spending on arms – which is essentially only making money due to massive government subsidies – and the huge potential for positive investments in renewables – which require the same kinds of skills and expertise as making weapons. The workshop was a great opportunity to share knowledge between anti-arms campaigners and environmentalists.

CAAT blog

Phew! What as busy weekend… now let’s do it all again this weekend with Permaculture on Saturday and Subvertising on Sunday.

Hope to see you there :)

 


Harmondsworth Christmas Fair

Posted: December 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

On Saturday 29th November, Harmondsworth held its annual Victorian Christmas Fair at St Mary’s Church. This was a great chance for the local community to get together, with a variety of different stalls and events.

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Grow Heathrow, in collaboration with the local Scouts group, organised a Conker-tition. This was a knock-out tournament of conker smashing, but with a twist. The winner of each round was encouraged to graciously make a pedal powered smoothie for the loser. Loads of local kids got involved with the games and everyone had a cracking time, whilst enjoying healthy eco-friendly treats at the same time.

After the main day’s activities were done, we all moved down to the village green for carol singing followed by the turning on of the Christmas lights by local MP John McDonnell. Grow Heathrow were really pleased to be out and about in the community and be a part of such a wonderful day.

Harmondsworth conker

 

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Save the date, Grow Heathrows 5th birthday 28th Feb / 1st March!

Posted: December 1st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Education, Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

We’re holding out for that chilly start of Spring and hoping we’ll be able to mark our 5th year in this incredible place.

Grow Heathrows birthday is on the weekend of the 28th Feb / 1st March so save the date and keep your fingers crossed that we’ll be celebrating together.

What do you want Grow Heathrow’s 5th Birthday to look like? We want your thoughts and involvement, so get imagining. We’ll also be looking for people to get involved in preparing, cooking, creating, teaching etc, so have a think about what you could offer on that weekend / the week run-up. More info soon.

info@transitionheathrow.com

 


Bike Workshop & Organic is Affordable Workshop – Saturday 15th November

Posted: November 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Bike, Events | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

This Saturday in Grow Heathrow, we have 2 activities to choose from:

12-4pm: Bike Workshop. Come and repair your own bike, or learn how to repair bikes in general.

1.30-4.30pm: Organic is affordable! A workshop about organic food, and especially how to buy and cook in such a way that you can keep it affordable for yourself.

In the latter we’ll be discussing the benefits of organic food, why it costs more, how to change your cooking and shopping patterns, how to store food, and more. There will be tasting and learning new foods and we’ll exchange information about where to get affordable organic food.

Come and have a fun day with us! Do let us know if you’d like to attend either workshop so that we have an idea of numbers for lunch: info@transitionheathrow.com.

Workshop flyer


Day of degrowth!

Posted: November 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

On Saturday 25th October we held a full day workshop at Grow Heathrow, exploring the concept of degrowth.

The day was well attended, with around 20 participants taking part including residents of Grow Heathrow, family members and visitors. We began the day by discussing what degrowth means to each of us. This generated a variety of ideas and related discussion.

The group identified that degrowth is a holistic term and aims at moving society away from an obsession with economic growth, placing the focus instead on well-being and ecological sustainability. Degrowth is very much about ‘living well with less’.

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We were also able to dispel some myths about the idea of degrowth. For instance, it needn’t entail a smaller economy but instead a shift away from the economics altogether, and that there is no such thing as sustainable or green growth that can go on forever. Furthermore, whilst some of us perceived the term as pejorative, we discussed its use as a “missile word” which can be thrown into a debate to stir up stale ideas about sustainability and economics.

Later in the day we brainstormed a comprehensive list of problems associated with economic growth, such as climate change, resource wars, corporate monopolies, even anxiety and stress. These enabled us to consider the ‘sources’ of degrowth, the positions from which we can critique a system based on economic growth as well as proposing sustainable alternatives. We then discussed how we might get to a degrowth society, with a general sense that a combination of various reforms, educational changes, personal choices and direct action will all be needed to make such a radical shift.

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In the last session we did a card game simulation of different forms of currency and exchange. We simulated four scenarios: bartering, alternative currency, debt-based currency, and gift economy. This gave us an insight into how structural features of our monetary system affect how we behave, how inequality is created and why there is a built-in necessity for growth due to interest on bank loans.

Following the day’s workshop there was interest in continued discussion on degrowth. There is already a possibility that the same workshop will be run again soon in central London. We’re also currently planning our next round of workshops (Shazam #2) at Grow Heathrow, and this could see more sessions linked to the idea of degrowth – so watch this space! If you’d like to be involved with these discussions or have an idea for a workshop, feel free to get in touch via info@transitionheathrow.com.

Visit www.degrowth.org for a wealth of research and resources on the topic.


Making Solar Panels

Posted: October 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Energy, Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

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Guest blog by, Rachael Anne Roberts, workshop participant and volunteer at Grow Heathrow

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Grow Heathrow, a place of beautiful greenery and a worthy cause to fight for, not to mention to friendly residents who happen to have immense cooking skills! And if that all wasn’t reason enough, there was a certain workshop drawing me to the site: Learning How to Build Your Own Solar Panel, run by Demand Energy Equality.

I was unsure what to expect from the workshop. Before visiting the Grow Heathrow website and seeing the list of workshops, I was unaware that it was even something that could be done by hand.

The workshop was put on by a lovely lady called Emily Donavan from Demand Energy Equality. She taught us the science behind how solar panels work as well as how to actually build them, a process that I was soon to learn was a lot simpler than I had expected! Fun science fact that I was reminded of: Power = Voltage x Current!

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We were making fairly small, 18 watts solar panels, enough to charge a phone but not quite a house. Which makes it the perfect, simple, and not to mention handy, accessory to any home. The material of the solar cells that we used to build our solar panel was made out of thin silicone and if held too tightly, would crumble in your hands. Cautiously soldering the metal strip over each solar cell to attach the current to each, there were a few cracks and mishaps, but Emily’s patience and light hearted attitude never faltered. And she had expected this and brought plenty of spares!

Next came the gluing the solar cells to the glass and placing another glass panel over the top of it, using more silicone glue to seal around it, keeping the glass panels in place together. Making a solar panel was so much fun, but requires a steady, gentle hand. I began to feel guilty of the amount of solar cells that was being wasted when cracked. However after a few breakages, we started to get into the rhythm of solder, solder, glue, glue and the whole process of making a solar panel became far less complicated than I had previously imagined.

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The whole process took a lot longer than previously expected but we were all having so much fun, it was not an issue, in fact we were al more than happy to stay at Grow Heathrow for longer. Although a fiddly process, making a solar panel by hand is rewarding not just in the sense of a unique achievement, but also that you now have free, renewable energy which you were able to achieve by yourself – saving more money and is even better for the environment!

My home made solar panel turned out a lot better than I had expected. I decided to donate it to Grow Heathrow, since I figured that they may make a better use out it then I will. I had such an amazing weekend at Grow Heathrow that I have been to visit again since the solar panel workshop and will most definitely be going again soon. After all, I need to see how my home made solar panel has been put to such a good use!

 

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Workshop: Day of Degrowth – 25th of October

Posted: October 5th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Education, Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Day for Degrowth: 25th of October, 10.30am – 6pm

Cost: Free, including lunch on a donation basis.

Degrowth is a concept that brings together activists and academics in order to understand the multiple crises (economic, social, environmental) affecting our planet. Economic growth has been a highlighted as a root cause of these problems and a variety proposals for a ecologically and socially just societies have been put forward.

In September this year over 3000 people attended the 4th International Conference on Degrowth in Leipzig, Germany. This was an exciting event, with over 500 workshops, talks, and artistic presentations and shows the level of interest in degrowth to be increasing rapidly.

Unfortunately, conversations about degrowth in the UK have been rather thin on the ground. Until now.

Join us at Grow Heathrow for a day long interactive workshop introducing the topic of degrowth. We will aim to cover basic questions such as What is degrowth? Why is growth a problem? How do we get to a degrowth society? As well as providing a space to ask what should come next in terms of degrowth in the UK.

There is no limit on the number of places but as the workshop is all day lunch will be provided – so please email info@transitionheathrow.com to give us an idea of numbers.


Great seed festival: 11-12 Oct

Posted: September 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: | No Comments »

Great seed festival


Autumn at Cranford Park

Posted: September 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Residents | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Wheat to War Poster Cranford Front JPEG

This is an exciting month in Cranford Park. 

We are celebrating the world’s biggest coffee morning in one of the smallest gardens (Sunday 14th September, 10am – 12 noon). The event is in the Secret Garden (near the information centre and stables) as part of Macmillan Cancer Support’s ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’. We would be grateful if you could invite friends, make a cake or help on the day. There is an invitation attached.

On 20-21 September, the Berkeley stables, Secret Garden and St. Dunstan’s Church open their doors as part of London Open House weekend. There is an exhibition in the stables and members of the Friends will be in attendance to answer questions and collect memories. Sat. From 10.30am. On the Sunday (from 11.30am), classic motorcycles gather in the courtyard. Refreshments available, admission free.

Booking has opened for an open-air theatre production on 27 and 28 September (3pm).

Outline Theatre’s ‘Wheat to War’ is a celebration of local life and history, using song, dance and drama. Suitable for the whole family, the show features the coming of the Grand Union Canal, the building of the Great Western Railway and World War I, paying tribute to local heroes. Produced in partnership with the Imperial War Museum.

Tickets are £4 (four for £14, under fives free) via  www.outlinetheatre.co.uk, ortel. 01895 851936.

Cranford Park is served by bus E6, road access is beside M4 junction 3/A312 on The Parkway. Parking is free, satnav TW5 9RZ.

Coffee Morning invitation 2014