Sometime in the winter of 2013 Dick Watson, Lynne Henley and I met up in the back room of the Queen’s Head to discuss an idea Dick had for Transition Belper to stage a ‘Green Lights’ Festival along the lines of something similar held in Leicester. Dick, being involved with Belper Rugby Club was confident their premises and ground could be used as the venue. Over a pint or three, ideas flew and Lynne suggested calling it ‘Belper Goes Green’, a suggestion that was met with general approval by the pub’s other patrons.
There followed several months of frantic organisation. Talks with the Town Council secured their market stalls, CAMRA volunteered to organise and run a real ale bar, entertainers were approached and agreed to come along and play some tunes.
An appeal was put out for stallholders and entertainers and the Transition Belper publicity machine got into gear. Reproduced below is the detailed appeal and plans to give you some idea of our thinking.
Then, on 1st and 2nd June 2013 Belper Goes Green became reality with the help of many more volunteers including Adrian Rochford, Ian Jackson, Craig Scott, Mick Hepworth, Rob Lindop, Tony Cooper, Fiona Coulson, Emma Carr, Dave Wells and Tony Webster.
“We have approached Belper Town Council who have agreed to the loan of their market stalls and we have ideas for themed areas of the Rugby Club’s fields:
Food zone – we’d like local charities and community groups to set up hot and cold food and (non-alcoholic) drinks stalls. We can use some of the Club’s tables and chairs but if anyone knows of any other source for the free loan of tables and chairs please get in touch. If you want to prepare and sell food please get in touch. We’d also like to have a chef on hand to demonstrate what can be cooked up using leftovers .
Entertainment – we’d like to hear from anyone who would like to perform (acoustic only) – whether that be open mic, school choirs, dance groups, poetry…. We’ll provide some sort of stage and are looking to find a solar powered PA system.
Bike zone – we have all sorts of ideas from bike maintenance to tricky proficiency courses.
Garden zone – we’d like to have a range of herbs and vegetable plants available as seedlings to sell. If you can grow some seedlings that will be ready to plant out in early June please let us know. One idea is to plant in cardboard tubes from kitchen roll and fill shoe boxes with a selection of tube planters. The tubes can then be planted in the ground without disturbing the roots but leaving the tubes to decompose in situ. Perhaps we could offer gardening tips and act as a market place for garden sharing. Another idea is to have a plant swap – bring your excess seedlings and swap for something else.
Waste and recycling zone demonstrations, examples and workshops to turn waste into something either useful or decorative. Please save a few milk bottles – we can get kids turning them into scoops. We have just acquired a couple of shop dummies so perhaps we can ask everyone to bring (clean) waste with them and we can see what strange clothes we can conjure up for Mr and Mrs Green. We’d also like to organise a clothes swap.
Home Zone – displays and demonstrations of various insulation, energy saving and renewable energy kit and information about where to go for help and advice.
Local zone – we’d like local independent shops and farmers to bring their wares. We’d also like to showcase what local community organisations and charities are doing.
Art zone – a place for the artists and makers of Belper to showcase their work, especially if it involves creating something from recycled materials”.
At the ECO Day on 11th June there will be a display of posters and photos from that historic 1st Belper Goes Green. And afterwards, check out the Transition Belper website for a fuller account and a gallery of pictures, or look up “Belper Goes Green 1st Eco Festival” on youtube for a short video of the event.
By David George