From 2nd to 5th August we ran a solar powered sewing workshop at Green Gathering. Two out of the three machines were obtained through Freegle and the other one cost £15 at a car boot sale. Most of the threads and all the fabric was recycled. Two machines were driven by recycled 12 Volt motors controlled by foot pedals made from triggers recovered from battery drills. The other one, an excellent 1930’s Jones, used its original hand crank. All it had needed to get it into full working condition was a new rubber tyre for the bobbin winder and some new needles.
On 14th July we provided several pedal generators for the WOCA Fun Day on Botley Road Oxford. The very hot weather wasn’t ideal for energetic pedalling. Our usual transparent stall cover had the potential to turn into a greenhouse but I managed to hang two big pieces of old military canvas on top of it. It wasn’t exactly decorative but it did give us some good shade.
On 16th and 17th June we were at the 10th anniversary of Westmills Wind and Solar Farm at Shrivenham near Swindon. They had Morris Dancers, Bellringers and were running tours including going up inside a wind generator. We provided six pedal generators and various other small energy demonstrations. We did put up two of our windmills though there was plenty of competition for those. It was interesting to see the WeSET solar milk float with a solar powered train set and various fuel cell demonstrations. On the Sunday just for a change I ran a workshop making belts out of old bicycle tyres.
On 10th June we were back at the excellent Green Scythe Fair at Muchelney in Somerset. The weather was brilliant which enhanced the beautiful atmosphere of this event. Apparently its popularity caused some traffic issues in the outside world but we didn’t see any of that from inside.
Just for a change, on 18th to 20th May we provided our bubble machine and some music keyboards as part of a solar demonstration for the R-Eco Co-op at Wood Festival. Unusually we actually had good sun for all three days. Due to running the bubble machine continuously rather than starting and stopping on the pedal generators, we used quite a lot of bubble fluid but paid for it with donations from the phone charging on the other two panels.
On 12th May we were fully back in action with pedal generators at the Farmer Gow’s 10th Anniversary event as well as at Reading Children’s Festival.
So far there aren’t any pictures from the Farmer Gow’s event, but below are the ones from Reading. It was only a small setup of three generators; it went off well but there was some heavy rain during packing down.
On 27th April we did a full day at Feniton C of E Primary School. The weather on the day was terrible but luckily we’d pre booked the school hall. As usual for schools, we can’t show any photos.
The year didn’t get off to a good start with weather and health problems causing cancellations. Our appearance at an Easter event at Farmer Gow’s Activity Farm unfortunately had to be cancelled.