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Whatever happened to Transition Town Ambridge?


Around 2008, I think, there was a Transition Initiative in Ambridge, Borsetshire, which first introduced me to the Transition movement, and caused me to register as a “Transition muller” in Letchworth.  Subsequently I met up with some other Letchworth folk who were also “mulling Transition over” and before we knew it, TTL had sprung into being.

Conversely, Transition Ambridge faded quite quickly, as many other Initiatives have done.  What happened to Ambridge’s Transitioners, and could and should the initiative be revived?  We’ve written to the Transition Network suggesting that Rob Hopkins interviews an Archers scriptwriter to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Avid Archers listeners will know that Borsetshire Land has recently been taken over by Damara Capital, who feel that the estate is under performing. There is already an Anaerobic digester using slurry from the mega-dairy, and so a grid connection; Damara want to know why there are not two more, importing waste, and why there isn’t a wind turbine!  Brian Aldridge, deposed chairman of BL, exclaims “If the village thought BL was a bad neighbour before, they ain’t seen nutthin’ yet!”  But, how about if Transition Ambridge could be reborn and form a Community Energy Company to own and exploit these resources?

Tom and Kirsty’s wedding planning has been a bit of a disappointment too – they’ve been thinking so conventionally, and boy, does it sound expensive!  Might Pip save the day and emerge from agricultural college as a dark-green, get married in an Oxfam wedding dress with a bouquet from wild flowers (I know some are very floppy but it can be done) and have her honeymoon in a yurt?  She could then shake up her “happily ever after” parents with her determined nagging for them to convert to organic farming practices.

And what of Ambridge and the over-spill from Greater Birmingham?  Might a proposal for a new Garden Suburb be in the offing?  How might the community in Ambridge ensure that any new homes were low carbon, attractive places to live?  Would an affordable passivhaus development be welcome?  Could they tackle the issue of building a sustainable community with essential facilities and employment fully integrated into the model?

Any ideas on other ways to get the Archers, or any other popular soap, to discuss Transition?

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