Comments on the proposed new Design Principles for Letchworth

The LGC Heritage Foundation’s preview of the draft Design Principles which govern the changes householders can make to their properties have really got us thinking.  Many of the problems Ebenezer Howard wanted to solve when he set about creating our Garden City are still relevent today. The Town & Country Planning Association (TCPA) are the modern day incarnation of the Garden City Movement and their manifesto recognises that climate change and resource depletion are two vital challenges we must address in the way we plan our towns and organise our communities.  Personally, I feel Howard would agree with the TCPA … more

National Self Build and Renovation Centre visit

By Roger Lovegrove The energy group was triggered into arranging this visit because of the Heritage Foundation’s new Design Standards appear to prevent any heritage area house being clad in external insulation. There are about 7,500 pre-war houses in Letchworth that have solid brick walls with no cavity. 22 local residents were coached to Swindon for what turned out to be a very interesting and useful day. The visit was very illuminating, being a useful mix of focused presentations, guided tours, one on one sessions and free to roam time amongst 400 exhibits and 3 full size houses. Before cladding … more

Letchworth Shopping Challenge – How much choice is enough?

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Some of you may have been wondering why things had gone a bit quiet. I have realised one of the stumbling blocks to a Christmas present blog….It all has to be written in the run up to Christmas! So apologies for the extended gap in posts. I have been busy shopping (and baking, writing, wrapping etc) so I’m now going to do my best to make a few last posts to bring you all up to date with how I’ve got on. So, rolling back a couple of weeks, I was still in the midst of shopping (I am a … more

Alternative Christmas – our December Transition Tuesday

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We had a lot of fun at this meeting discussing ways to avoid the over-commercialisation of Christmas while still supporting local businesses and having fun making our own decorations, wreaths, gift tags and wrapping paper. Lots of useful ideas emerged, see the below files for notes taken.         presents_for_christmas christmas_cards_and_wrapping_paper food_for_christmas Any problems opening them, please do let us know. Also highly recommended on the night was Money Saving Expert’s Xmas manifesto and the Pre-NUPP –No Useless Presents Pact where you can email friends to agree not to buy for each other, in a really kind way! … more

Letchworth Christmas Present Challenge – Second up, Secondhand!

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Ok so secondhand stuff might seem a strange suggestion for a Christmas present. Perhaps you are starting to pity my family (maybe you did already). But those of you who know Letchworth probably already know that we have quite a lot of shops here selling “pre-loved” goods. This is great for those who like to see things recycled rather than wasted, and those on a tight budget. Would a secondhand present lead to tears into the turkey on Christmas morning? Well, when you look at the range and quality of the secondhand goods on offer in our town centre, I think buying … more

Letchworth Christmas List Challenge

So this is me. And this first blog post is about my self-imposed challenge to buy as many of my Christmas presents as possible in Letchworth this year. I should introduce myself to those who don’t know me. I’m Camilla Hamilton, I’m 35, married with two children (a boy and a girl of 4 and 2 respectively) and I live in Letchworth. Maybe at some point soon I will write something more about myself on my website camillahamilton.com (don’t bother looking, there isn’t anything there now!). It probably would be relevant to my take on all this, but that is … more

Preserving Your Harvest

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Recipes & tips from our recent Transition Tuesday are linked below, just click a title. Making Jam Mincemeat & Red Onion Marmalade Recipes (not together!) Damson Chutney Sue’s green Tomato Pickle, Diane’s Bramble Jelly and Poor Man’s Capers Maryla’s kompot drink recipe Maryla’s courgette cake recipe Let me know if there are any I’ve forgotten or if you have trouble with any of the files. We also heard about drying produce in a dryer, and bottling – much eaiser than you might think, as long as you seal it when it’s all hot. Any further tips or recipes please add below. … more

September 24th, 2012

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Self Build and Renovation Centre Visit  Saturday 1st December, 9am – 6pm The Energy Group is arranging a visit that will provide house owners and local tradesmen with an update on the latest renovation techniques. Specialist speakers will advise on solutions to problems including insulation and heating of pre-war Letchworth properties. The National Self Build & Renovation Centre (NSBRC) is a unique 67,000 sq ft, permanent visitor Centre, designed specifically to meet the needs of anyone looking to build or upgrade their home.  You’ll find everything under one roof:   from life-size exhibits – including three houses – demonstrating the myriad options in the … more

Fruit!

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 We are busy pulling together our fruit projects for this coming autumn. There are going to be three this year and you can find out more by going to the Harvest page. Now correct me if I’m wrong but I am pretty sure that Letchworth gardens were originally planted with different fruit trees so that residents could share and all have a variety to eat. I know of figs, cherries, apples, pears, plums, greengages…. I would really like to know more about this. Are there any local history experts out there that know more? But whether it was on purpose or … more

The Joy of Cycling

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Many thanks to Frank Turner for his talk on bike maintenance and Tina Walker for her talk on road safety. We had a good turn out despite the Heritage Foundation having their Town Meeting the same evening! We heard how a well maintained bike feels like flying, that lovely feeling of freedom as you glide down a hill. That freedom is multiplied if you can fix basic problems yourself at the roadside. To sign up to Frank’s next bicycle maintenance course, get in touch. Tina is a cycle instructor and you can book lessons with her, either individually or as … more