Tag Archives: stewards

Now the Carnival is Over…

Crowds gather on the pavements among the chip stalls and candyfloss vendors, along comes the marching band, the radio van, the glittering phalanx of motorcycles decked out in swirls of LEDs.

somerset guy fawkes carnival 1

The sound of music, the river of light reflects on the sky as the waiting pageant powers up along the bypass – and the first great float heaves into view.

carnival floats somerset

Up the narrow High Street they pass – dancing girls and solemn statues, whirling steam punk cogs and horses frozen in mid stride, mighty warriors and young farmers in drag. This is their moment, the pinnacle of preparation!

Who else is crazy enough to hold a Carnival in November? Bracketed by gales and lashing rainstorms, Saturday night was dry but freezing. The huddled spectators make an equal commitment to seeing the event through. Road closures and traffic control mean they cannot easily leave, come wet or cold. You take your chances, and the right equipment – resilience in action!

The Carnival covers several towns, quite far apart. Sometimes, when driving along pitch dark country roads in the hammering rain, one sees the secret movements of these mighty machines. They glide past you in convoy, eerie on running lights alone. A flash of grinning jokers, snarling dragon jaws, giant clocks – they are gone into the night.

And then it’s over. The floats return to their obscure sheds, the costumes are packed away. The coalman is just a coalman again and the tractors return to work. Somerset turns its attention to the next festival on the calendar. The Christmas lights can be safely strung across the streets and the fourth year of our Buy Local for Xmas campaign begins!

buy local for xmas

Support your local crafters – the community needs to encourage their skills. Make your gifts budget count, they’re relying on you!

A Note to the Readers who’d like more References

There aren’t many references, footnotes and the like in the Resilience Handbook. I wanted it to be small and light enough to fit in your grab bag for a start. Write your emergency numbers and useful notes in the back, and you’ve got a resource worth carrying!

A few days ago, I watched a film called ‘Pandora’s Promise’ a shameless piece of propaganda for the nuclear power industry. I’ve tried to create an workable emergency plan for civilians caught up in a nuclear plant disaster, so I don’t think the benefits even begin to justify the risk assessment. Besides, the advances in renewables technology and research into the use of thorium make the old style paradigms look so last century.

The film was an exercise in how carefully selected interviews can be mixed with colourful factoids and film clips to present an argument. ‘Scientists talked to me till I changed my mind’. Which scientists? What did they say? Where are the peer reviewed papers to back their opinions up? Were you tied to a chair until you agreed with them? Where are the references?

The Resilience Handbook was mainly written by talking to people. People in the bus queue, on the train, in pubs and cafes. Farmers and vegans, pacifists and soldiers, plumbers, teachers, politicians, cheese-makers. Children, parents, grandparents. And of course, our hundreds of splendid event volunteers who gave us feedback on the original booklet.

merry event volunteers

Over the years, certain books have stood out for me as being especially helpful to understanding the wider concepts of resilience. These are listed in the Handbook. When you read these, see which publications they recommend. Follow the knowledge.

It’s the same, only much faster, researching on the Internet. One website leads to another, and before you know it you’ve written an article on breadmaking! I must have visited fifty sites or more for that one. It’s impossible to refer to them all. Some were rather dodgy – dancing adverts, suspiciously long time to load and the like – so I came out of them. Some only had one key piece of information, or repeated stuff from another site.

So it’s difficult to include internet references in a book. Also, they tend to be ephemeral, sliding off into the Dark Net without warning. I thought I’d be on safe ground mentioning Transport Direct, an excellent website run by the government, which let you map a course from here to there using any available means of transport. However, funding was cut and it vanished – fortunately before the final print edit of the Resilience Handbook.

For those of you who like to ask questions – try a search engine – I’m retrieving and putting up the links I found most useful here. It’s taking a while, as quite a few have gone, so I have to trawl through the web for a suitable equivalent. If you let me know when one of these breaks, it’d be helpful.

Community Resilience and Emergency Welfare Newsletter

C.R.E.W are borrowing space here to post their steward newsletter until they can sort out a new website; however this coincides with some exciting changes in their organisation…

“Hi to all our loyal and fabulous volunteers!

Wishing you all a merry festive season!

We have rather suddenly got a new email address crewcic@gmail.com since the locally based Ergonet hosting company went bust – please direct all stewarding enquiries here for the moment and we will let you know if this changes. They wouldn’t let us send out this newsletter.

We’re seeking funding for a new website, which will come with a proper email address.

We’ve now become a Community Interest Company so that we can develop more of our resilience courses and practical skills camps. We’ll still be running stewards at One Love next summer, but not the Green Gathering. However, we are recruiting people for traffic management at the Langport Scythe Fair in June, and are looking for small event work especially in Somerset.

For next year, we’re planning low cost resilience training courses in France, the opportunity to meet up at an established camp and various hands-on craft events, among other things. We’ll send out a more detailed newsletter in the New Year.

As we are now a proper company we are building up a stock of useful items and local craftworks for sale to raise money for providing training in all aspects of resilience. For example….

Candle stove (as seen on Facebook except this one has been researched and tested for the past year)

 new design 72ppi

 The key features are the stainless steel core and the metal stand, which we can supply for £25 (Stand £20, core £7.50 sold separately) with full instructions.  Contact the temporary gmail address above for details

 new stand and core 72ppi

Resilience Handbook a 32 page A5 booklet with the basic outlines of the Resilience Wheel concept, as seen on our now vanished website, which is £3

Both items are post free to our volunteer community!

Our Facebook friend page CREW HQ regularly posts interesting and useful ideas around resilience and sustainability, please do join us there!

Cheers

Jane & Helene (Directors)

Linden (Secretary)

Linda (Consultant)

Simon (Marketing)”