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Community buildings and spaces are under threat; people have less money in their pockets and what they do have they are reluctant to spend. In addition the government’s austerity measures are directed at the public (rather than financial) sector meaning that services we once took for granted – libraries, youth centres, art galleries and playing fields face an uncertain future. Meanwhile privately owned public spaces – village shops and pubs in particular – are closing at an astonishing rate. In Bungay we’ve had first-hand experience of this; the closure of the Bunka, and the ongoing threat to our library – which now at least seems to be secure until 2013. In December the temporary closure of the Honeypot Community Centre, home to our Happy Monday meals, highlighted the fragility of this building and raised concerns about the time it might take to fund and build a much needed new community centre.

But it seems a shame that it should end this way. I’m sure many in the town have fond memories of gigs, darts nights, bingo and snooker – even using the Chaucer’s baths after a shift on the Clay’s print line! And who knows, perhaps there might yet be a way of saving the Chaucer Club? If you have memories, photos or press clippings about the Chaucer Club we’d love to hear from you. A small group of us are planning to spend the next few weeks looking at ways the club might be saved – if you’d like to help please do call or email: Josiah Meldrum: 01986 897097

And then to cap it all we heard that the Chaucer Club would be closing at the end of 2011. Ray and Wendy, who’ve run the club for 14 years, have decided that they just can’t carry on; it’s an excellent space, but the fabric of the building needs work and it’s very expensive to heat. Ray and Wendy have helped us host the last three Give and Take Days, we’d planned to have our Christmas party there and were looking forward to more events in 2012. So, rather than use this space for the planned book review, I wanted to thank them on behalf of Sustainable Bungay for all they’ve done over the years.

open Mon-Sat 9:30-4:30, Sun 10-4

Delicious home made light lunches and award winning cakes

Three Willows Garden Centre, Flixton Rd, Bungay NR35 1NL, 01986 893268

Sustainable Bungay Diary Everyone is welcome at all our events and meetings. Contact for additional info.







The Chaucer Club Josiah Meldrum

Sun 15

Plant Medicine Talk: Connecting with Our Roots, Town Library 3pm

Mon 16

Happy Mondays at the Community Cafe, Community Centre, 6:45pm

Tue 24

Sustainable Bungay AGM, Town Library, 7.30pm

Sat 5

Godric Cycling Club annual dinner and talk, Waveney Valley Golf Club, Margaret Sheppard - 01986 892907

Sun 19

Plant Medicine Talk, Top Tips for Growing Herbs, Town Library, 3pm

Tue 21

Green Drinks at the Green Dragon, Sharing Resources, 7.30pm

Sat 25

Greenpeace Winter Fair, St Edmund’s Hall, Southwold, 11am-11:30pm

Tue 28

Sustainable Bungay meeting, Three Tuns, 7.30pm

Sun 18

Plant Medicine Talk, Adopt A Herb, Town Library, 3pm

Tue 20

Green Drinks at the Green Dragon, Local Food, 7.30pm

Tue 27

Sustainable Bungay meeting, Town Library, 7.30pm

COMING UP IN APRIL: Bungay Community Bees, Spring Give and Take Day

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Issue 12 : Jan - Mar 2012

Printed on recycled paper

HAPPY NEW YEAR and welcome to our ready-to-grow winter issue! On the front page, Mark Watson introduces this year’s theme at the Library Community Garden, on the back, Josiah Meldrum investigates the future of one of our favourite venues, the Chaucer Club. In between we look back at the highlights from our fourth year - from Give and Take Days to Bungay Community Bees, Library actions to Permaculture workdays. Do come along to our upcoming events and activities in 2012 – plant medicine talks, film nights, Green Drinks, Sewing Sundays, Happy Mondays (for details check out our blog/website or diary on page 4).

Inside this issue Medicine Plants: Mark Watson introduces the new


Happy Mondays: Nick Watts invites you to tuck


Looking Back, Looking Forward: Charlotte Du


The Chaucer Club: Josiah Meldrum discusses the


Bungay Community Bees: Elinor McDowall


SB Diary: Find out about Sustainable Bungay and


medicine bed at the library courtyard garden and a programme of talks Cann reviews highlights of our year in transition introduces a new beehive making course

into local food at our monthly community evenings, plus updates on Green Drinks and Skill Shares 2011 fate of Bungay’s historic community venue related events in the local area

Plant Medicine at Bungay Library Community Garden Mark Watson Each year the central flowerbed in the community garden takes a different theme. In 2011 it was Wild Plants for Bees and Butterflies, this year it will be Plants as Medicine. The intent behind the Plant Medicine Bed is to rekindle our relationship with the plants we share the earth with and to learn about making simple kitchen and garden remedies. As well as using plants physically to help maintain our health and wellbeing, having a relationship with flowers and trees is a tonic in itself. So in addition to the flowerbed as a display for all kinds of beneficial wild weeds and healing herbs, there will be a series of vibrant plants for life talks, walks, conversations and practical workshops with fellow 'plant people', taking place monthly throughout the year in the library and around the town. They will follow the seasons and are open to anyone who wants to deepen their connection with and knowledge of plants. We start on 15 January with a creative look at Medicine Roots with SB’s Charlotte Du Cann (author of the forthcoming 52 Flowers That Shook My World). On 19 February, in conversation with David Wrenn of Orchard End Organics, we’ll focus on practical tips for planting and growing herbs. And on 18 March Medical herbalist, Dan Wheals (Transition Ipswich) will introduce Adopt a Herb (part of the Norfolk and Norwich festival), and show us how to find out about one chosen plant and explore the different stories that emerge.

Look out in the Spring and Summer for the Spring Tonic plant walk, making teas and tinctures and the Midsummer walk and wild plant oils workshop. For all enquiries contact Mark Watson: 01502 722419 or or check our website where I’ll be posting regular announcements and write-ups for both the plant medicine bed and the events. Bungay Library Community Garden was inspired by permaculture and transition principles and designed and constructed by members of SB’s library courtyard working party. It blossomed and burgeoned throughout 2011 thanks to the attention of many people, in particular Richard Vinton, who keeps a daily eye on the plants and trees (and the watering can, trowel and compost close by). Do pay us a visit during regular library times. The plants love company and you’re sure to love theirs!

Where: Bungay Library When: Sundays 15 January, 19 February, 18 March at 3PM

Sustainable Bungay, part of the Transition Movement, is a community-led response to peak-oil and climate change

Looking Back. Looking Forward: ROUND UP OF THE YEAR Charlotte Du Cann Sustainable Bungay is one of 400+ Transition initiatives in towns and bio-regions of the UK. All of us are about creating a localised, low-carbon culture, in the face of peak resources, climate change and the economic recession. We work towards making our communities more resilient in times of change, in areas ranging from energy reduction to local food distribution. In Bungay we have a core group and several small working parties and everyone is welcome to join any of our enterprises. Here’s a month-bymonth look at our 2011 events and projects.

the UK). Musical Midsummer evening to celebrate the Library Community Garden.

JANUARY We set the theme for the year at our Green

at the Community Centre and take home veg from the Abundance table. Bungay Community Bees takes part in the Co-op Family Fun Day, which raises £1142 for our work to ensure a sustainable future for bees (many thanks everyone!). Seeds are sown for Bungay River of Flowers project. Elinor McDowall and Eloise Wilkinson report back from the first Natural Beekeeping Conference.

Drinks on Shifting Cultural Values. Rupert Read talks about the individual and community response to cuts in public services.

FEBRUARY SB joins forces for tree planting day

at the co-operative GreenGrow in Ilketshall, Bungay Community Bees plans a busy year ahead. Biodiesel group process their first oil! Save Bungay Library campaign starts with 200 people at a Read-In. Hazel screen installed at the Library Community Garden.

MARCH Six members of SB have follow-up talks with

Peter Aldous MP for the Stop Climate Chaos national lobby about climate change and discuss fuel poverty and feed-in tariffs. Green Drinks highlights Zero Waste in advance of our spring Give and Take Day. Library campaign hosts A World Book Night and Telling Tales event.


Bungay Beehive Day on Castle Meadow is a great success! Hundreds of people come to stalls, talks and bee walk round the town. We gather under the lime trees of the Grammar School Playing field for our annual Summer Picnic and rounders game. We bring our new-look stall to All Under One Roof at Emmanuel Church.

AUGUST We eat wonderful curries at Happy Mondays


Our "Happy Mondays" project - Bungay Community Kitchen - is progressing well. In November we cooked our fourth and first "official" feast for 44 people at the Community Centre focusing on seasonal, locally produced ingredients. Christine, Gemma, Josiah and Nick put together another imaginative menu (including - shhhhh - some guerillagardened Jersusalem artichokes!) making a delicious 2course supper for £5 per person. Why not come along on January 16th for the next one? 6.45pm - bring a friend and some drink to share. It combines a social night out with a nutritious low-carbon meal and supports a resilience-building social enterprise: win, win, win! We're always happy to hear from volunteers to join the team - come and be part of our efforts to nurture sustainable economic growth. For more information or booking contact Nick on: 01986 894967 or

SB’s Nick Watts heads up a great Transition Tea Tent crew at the Greenpeace Fair and we sell a LOT of cakes. We host our fourth Give and Take Day at the Chaucer Club and divert van-loads of furniture, clothes, books, pots and pans from landfill. Plants for Bees’ first wildflower meadow is sown at Flixton.

Bungay Community Bees Elinor McDowall Traditionally winter time is a ‘quiet’ time for beekeepers. But then Bungay Community Bees isn’t a traditional beekeeper. Our bees are currently buzzing quietly in their hive waiting for the longer days and warmer weather but we are busy getting ready for next year. Early in 2012 our Top Bar Hive building course kicks off in association with Suffolk Education Authority. A variety of woodworking skills will be used as participants build their own hive. For more info please contact: 2012 will also see the further development of our Plants for Bees project, building on the wildflower meadow we have sown and promoting bee friendly awareness, gardening and farming. Recent ventures have included making our own healing salve using surplus beeswax and baking the most delicious honey buns. Recipes can be found on the website. Next year subscriptions are due from January. If you would like to join us we can be contacted via the website,, or on 01986 948154.


APRIL Second film night in partnership with Waveney

Greenpeace shows The Economics of Happiness. BCB’s hand-crafted top bar hives are ready for installation. Green Drinks discusses Social Enterprise.

Abundance project is in full swing at our Autumn Produce Exchange, with boxes of local fruit for swapping and pressing. Sewing Sundays begin again at the Library. Visit to St. James’ Village Orchard, followed by film about eco-communities in Europe, The New We. Dividing roots and winter preparation at the Library Community Garden. Happy Mondays! cooks autumn fare. BCB bakes honey cakes.


Give and Grow seedling swap at the Library courtyard – plants and seeds, vegetables, flowers and fruit bushes. Wild Flowers for Butterflies and Bees bed comes into bloom. First Happy Mondays at the Community Kitchen gets off to a delicious start. Film of the month, Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change, sparks a lively debate. BCB teaches bee-awareness at Bungay Primary School.



salve making workshop with medicine herbs and beeswax from the community hives. We celebrate the year together at our annual Christmas Party and plan ahead for 2012. Thank you to everyone who came to our events and took part in our activities. See you soon!

Sustainable Bungay joins forces with Beccles and Bungay Cycle Strategy for Bike Week. Green Drinks goes on the road to St. Peter’s Brewery to discuss Community Transport. Filmgoers discuss Gasland and the dire consequences of gas “fracking” (now being trialled in

Happy Mondays at the Community Kitchen Nick Watts

BCB’s first honey harvest and film night with Waveney Beekeepers. Happy Mondays has its first “official” evening, and serves 44 people at one table. SB travel to Norwich to hear Rob Hopkins talk about the new book, The Transition Companion and see film, Norwich in Transition, featuring SB’s own Josiah Meldrum (Norwich FarmShare) and Charlotte Du Cann (communications).

DECEMBER Mark “Plants for Life” Watson gives a

Green Drinks Josiah Meldrum Green Drinks will make a welcome return in 2012 after a break in the autumn. They will follow the usual themed format and we’re inviting ‘expert conversationalists’ who can answer our questions about a specific subject, or steer our discussions along fruitful paths. The first evening of the New Year will focus on sharing as a practical way of better using resources, building stronger communities and saving money. Sophie Garrett, founder of Yours to Share, will talk to us about the benefits of coworking, car sharing, land sharing and other forms of ‘fractional’ ownership. In March we’ll be joined by members of the GreenGrow cooperative, who will talk to us about community food growing. Founded a couple of years ago by members of the Common Ground co-op on land they own in Ilketshall St. Andrew, GreenGrow has gone from strength to strength – establishing a box scheme, planting an orchard, erecting polytunnels and growing salads for local restaurants as well as offering training and volunteering opportunities. All welcome! Tue 21st Feb 19:30: Sophie Garrett, Shared ownership Tue 20th Mar 19:30: GreenGrow, Community food growing

Sustainable Bungay, part of the Transition Movement, is a community-led response to peak-oil and climate change

Skills and Resources Rose Titchener This year we will be compiling a list of the skills, resources and interests that people might be willing to share with others. If anyone is working on a project or wants to learn a new skill, they could contact someone else on the list for advice on a subject (apple pruning, internet blogging, small business accounting etc.), or for practical help (e.g. with computer graphics, house sitting, car sharing etc), or to borrow a piece of equipment (hedge loppers, spiral binding machine, apple press, vegetable dehydrator etc). The idea is to create a list which would help us all to network and share together more of who we are and what we've got. Everyone has a lot of knowledge, skills and resources which could be either offered freely, swapped, bartered or charged for or shared just for the fun and pleasure of sharing things with like-minded or interested souls. Only those who want to be on the list need contribute their details. This list is open to everyone on the Sustainable Bungay Google Group and the deadline for initial contributions is 21st January 2012. To join the Sustainable Bungay Google Group, please visit: (Group sign-up is in the right-hand column half-way down the page)

Sustainable Bungay, part of the Transition Movement, is a community-led response to peak-oil and climate change

Sustainable Bungay Newsletter 12  

The first newsletter of 2012

Sustainable Bungay Newsletter 12  

The first newsletter of 2012