A Conservatory for Wales

Arrange a meet-up, start a community or tell us about an event in the area.

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Billhook
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A Conservatory for Wales

Post by Billhook »

This thread is for those interested in helping to develop a community somewhere in Wales.

It asks for some primary considerations to be declared, such as the following -


Are you looking for a commune of likeminded well-intentioned people, such as turned into ghettos and failed by the dozen in the seventies ?

Or are you looking to serve, learn from and integrate with one of the existing dispersed rural communities, such as they are in Wales ?

Do you see the need to build for more than merely our own survival, so as to be able to contribute to society's wellbeing overall ?

If you're used to making a living in the country, then for how many years have you done so ?

How many years experience of a practical sustainable production skill do you have, or are you learning one at present ?

Ditto for non production skills (eg astronomer, midwife, lawyer) ?

Do you have financial capital that you'd want to invest in land and/or accomodation ?

Are you willing to learn to speak Welsh ?

Do you play any musical instrument ? Acoustically? And how well ?

Do you have enough respect for country people to reconsider any contempt for say their foxhunting, their chapel and their opposition to wind turbines ?

How fit and healthy are you, and do you have dependants as an enduring motivation in life ?


This is by no means an exhaustive list of the sort of questions we need to ask ourselves if we are to fit in happily to a rural community in Wales.
I hope others will add further items as and when the thread progresses.

____________________________________________________________

I should perhaps explain that my own interest in Wales is many-fold -

though I've lived in England and (one winter) in Scotland as well as in Wales, the culture and the land of Wales appeals to me most -
this may be because I've 3 grandparents who were Welsh with the fourth being from N Devon stock, so I've a tribe of Welsh cousins of assorted degree -
Wales has substantial upland areas of very low population that once supported many peasant-farmers, and could again if ever planning consent could be gained -
It has very good rainfall and (Gulf Stream allowing) an increasingly mild and productive climate and, for the most part, relatively clean winds coming in off the Atlantic.
It is the only nation in Europe where the expression "Fair play!" is commonplace, and singing is a national pastime.

If anyone cares to post their responses to the questions above, then I'll gladly post mine, but I guess I've said enough for the mo.

Billhook
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Bandidoz
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Post by Bandidoz »

Hi Bill

1) Are you looking for a commune of likeminded well-intentioned people, such as turned into ghettos and failed by the dozen in the seventies, or are you looking to serve, learn from and integrate with one of the existing dispersed rural communities, such as they are in Wales ?

Probably a bit of both, as I believe we all have much to learn from both. What's your view on Permaculture?

2) Do you see the need to build for more than merely our own survival, so as to be able to contribute to society's wellbeing overall ?

IMO we have to aim for win-win, otherwise the Max Max scenario ensues.

3/4)If you're used to making a living in the country, then for how many years have you done so ?
How many years experience of a practical sustainable production skill do you have, or are you learning one at present ?


None. Willing to learn hands-on (see (1)).

5) Ditto for non production skills (eg astronomer, midwife, lawyer) ?

Engineer for 15 years. Mixture of electronics and software. IEE member throughout.

6) Do you have financial capital that you'd want to invest in land and/or accomodation ?

Yes.

7) Are you willing to learn to speak Welsh ?

I've learnt French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, mostly to "holiday" standard, but most proficient in German.

How does learning Welsh compare to the above?

8.) Do you play any musical instrument ? Acoustically? And how well ?

Can't play any instruments, can't sing (well), but can play a pair of SL1210s very well. I've DJed at a number of parties in North West Wales, always good nights with good crowds.

9) Do you have enough respect for country people to reconsider any contempt for say their foxhunting, their chapel and their opposition to wind turbines ?

Foxhunting - it's up to country folk to be stewards - I can't believe how much money was wasted over the whole affair.
Chapel - excuse my ignorance, but what's the issue?
Wind turbines - willing to agree to disagree ;)

10) How fit and healthy are you, and do you have dependants as an enduring motivation in life ?

I used to do frequent 50 mile bike rides, much less fit than that now. No aspirations to have children as I believe the world is overpopulated.
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isenhand
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Post by isenhand »

I?m too far from Wales for this but its interesting, hope you keep us all informed as to how things go.

:)
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Post by GD »

I?m geographically tied to south Devon for at least the next 2 years. After which I think it?s my destiny to go back up to Anglesey to set something up for my clan before the Wylfa power station (980MW) closes and Anglesey Aluminium?s (consumes 980MW !) fixed price power contract ends, both around 2008/9.

Bandidoz, if you have a knack for languages, you ought to find Welsh a doddle, it?s easy after the initial induction (but that?s easy for me to say :) ).
(Besides your engineering experience and transferable skills ought to see you straight anyway.)
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Billhook
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Re: A Conservatory for Wales

Post by Billhook »

Billhook wrote:This thread is for those interested in helping to develop a community somewhere in Wales.

It asks for some primary considerations to be declared, such as the following -


Are you looking for a commune of likeminded well-intentioned people, such as turned into ghettos and failed by the dozen in the seventies ?

Or are you looking to serve, learn from and integrate with one of the existing dispersed rural communities, such as they are in Wales ?

Do you see the need to build for more than merely our own survival, so as to be able to contribute to society's wellbeing overall ?

If you're used to making a living in the country, then for how many years have you done so ?

How many years experience of a practical sustainable production skill do you have, or are you learning one at present ?

Ditto for non production skills (eg astronomer, midwife, lawyer) ?

Do you have financial capital that you'd want to invest in land and/or accomodation ?

Are you willing to learn to speak Welsh ?

Do you play any musical instrument ? Acoustically? And how well ?

Do you have enough respect for country people to reconsider any contempt for say their foxhunting, their chapel and their opposition to wind turbines ?

How fit and healthy are you, and do you have dependants as an enduring motivation in life ?
Thanks all for the input so far.

My own responses to these questions are as follows.

1/. The latter option, though I well accept Bandidoz point that it is something of a mutual learning process.

2/. Firmly for improved contribution to the wider politics of sustainabilty - both in terms of ideas and of surplus produce.

3/. Left London in '70 for country life, so its about 35 years now (an slowly getting acclimatized).

4/. Took an apprenticeship in wheelwrighting and horsdrawn-vehicle building, and started my own shop in '76. Ran for 7years until Thatcher's recession, then spread into boats, green oak, etc. In '87 began desk-work campaigning which has since become main focus. Sundry rural skills of coppice, wine, sheep-dressing etc may be of use.

5/. Minor non-production skills with herbs, training dogs, etc.

6/. Have some capital and am seeking land and consent to build.

7/. Have only Latin Spanish beside Engish and a smattering of Welsh, which I'd be glad to learn.

8/. Not fluent in a musical instrument.

9/. Moderately fit from walking the dogs each day on the mountain here; 3 children grown and taken wing.


Bandidoz - You asked my views on Permaculture - well it's always struck me as having some very good innovative ideas, alongside many others that can be traced in traditional mixed husbandry. So I'm all for the most practical end of it - the other end, such as "watching the land for a year to see how it works before developing it" (from a UK Consultant) - seems to me unaffordable though highly desirable.

With your exemplary spread of languages I doubt you'd have any problem with Welsh, though it's not an easy one.

Re. the issue of the Chapel, this is of course only an issue for those who couldn't take seriously those local people who gather weekly to pray and celebrate their creator and Creation - clearly you've no such issue !


I hope that other members will also consider carefully the numerous advantages of setting up in Wales, as to my mind they match or exceed those of any other part of Britain, particularly in terms of land-values, climate and surviving traditional skills.

regards,

Bill
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Post by RevdTess »

Haven't got time to respond to this thread in as much depth as I'd like except to agree with you Billhook that Wales is The Place for intentional permaculture-based communities in the UK in my opinion. Low cost land, good hills & water supplies, weather (windy, warm) and plenty of other communities trying or doing the same thing.
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Post by Blue Peter »

As a matter of interest, and since the Welsh language is brought up, what is the feeling about the English in Wales? There was a time not so long ago (The Sons of Glyndower?) where there was a lot of ill-feeling about the English coming in and buying up bits of Wales. Does that still exist? Is there a split in feeling between the North and South?

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GD
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Post by GD »

Haven't heard of them in years...

Here's the wikipedia entry - Meibion Glyndwr (Sons of Glyndwr)

I can't speak for much of the country, but can give a little of my experience.

Where I'm from, Holyhead in Anglesey, it makes very little difference where you are from (as it's a pretty major port. WW2 re-settlement of kids from the cities has also had a part in this). I think the same also applies pretty much to the University town nearby - Bangor (actually classed as a city).

Most of the surrounding rural areas though, class themselves as "more Welsh". This is probably my view from meeting a few people with only a few brain cells...

I remember chatting to a French woman on a train a few years back, who was marrying a local. It had been said that it was easier for her to be accepted in the family as a French than if she had been English...

That said, my wife's grandparents settled smack bang in the centre of rural Anglesey, being from England and not speaking Welsh...

If you absolutely want to re-settle here, I would make learning the language a prerequisite. And Don't worry about the caravan burners...
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Post by RevdTess »

I would hope that if any English bought land in Wales they would become Welsh as soon as they possibly could, culturally and linguistically, otherwise it's just rude.
Blue Peter
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Post by Blue Peter »

Tess wrote:I would hope that if any English bought land in Wales they would become Welsh as soon as they possibly could, culturally and linguistically, otherwise it's just rude.
I thought multi-culturalism was the name of the game these days.

If you changed Wales/Welsh to Britain/British, and English to a one of any number of nationalities, wouldn't you have various bodies coming down on you like a ton of bricks?


Peter.
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Post by Blue Peter »

Blue Peter wrote:I thought multi-culturalism was the name of the game these days.
Thinking about things (and replying to my own post - how sad), I suppose that the post-peak world might be more conservative (new puritan even). Perhaps multi-culturalism is only the sort of thing you get in a profligate world such as ours.

Still, I'm not sure that I can become Welsh. Perhaps I'd better find somewhere in England.

Peter.
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GD
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Post by GD »

Mate, don't let me put you off. Especially as there might be quite a few years until MAYBE narrow-mindedness becomes an issue.

Making yourself part of the furniture before then is key :wink: - and if you're a useful person, and make a good provider, there's no reason to think you won't be. (Isn't this good for anywhere post peak though?)

For a better view, we need more Welsh people in this forum though...


AMSER CODI!!!

:D
Blue Peter
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Post by Blue Peter »

GD wrote: and if you're a useful person
Now you're putting even more hurdles in my way.

I might, just might, be able to blurt out a few words in welsh (saucepan fach or something, isn't it?), but expecting me to be useful as well.... :shock:


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GD
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Post by GD »

Blue Peter wrote:Now you're putting even more hurdles in my way.
Oh, no...

For the 2nd time this week:

"I'll get my coat"

:lol:
Blue Peter
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Post by Blue Peter »

GD wrote:For a better view, we need more Welsh people in this forum though...


AMSER CODI!!!

:D
Actually, just looking at the frappr thing:

http://www.frappr.com/powerswitch


Wales does seem to be a powerswitch free zone. The only entry there appears to be CAT, and that isn't a person (obviously). What does it all mean?


Peter.
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