The Trustees objectives for the year were to grow the Trust’s network, and to maintain the programme of events run in previous years. We remain a very small organization, but the very existence of the Trust can act as a catalyst to foster ideas and cross-fertilisation – which was the reason for its foundation.
27th April 2014
This event was designed to equip a team of volunteers to man the sound desk at the 2014 Folk Ale. It was held at the Eden Centre, Four Elms Road, Edenbridge, using the PA equipment belonging to Pigs Ear. The workshop was facilitated by Ty Watling and Andy Blackburn, and attended by Richard Bridge, Sue Tuckey, Trevor Little, Andy Darkins, Alan Rule, Sue Rule, Ben Reynolds and two others from the House Youth Group. The House Group are based at the Eden Centre and the PA equipment is stored in their cupboard. It was a useful and successful event, and verbal feedback suggested that the participants benefitted from the session regardless of their level of expertise. The Trust could have got more value from it if we had issued feedback forms for the attendees and facilitators to complete.
The workshop progressed the Trust’s relationship with the House youth group, which does a lot of work to help young people discover their talents and realize their potential.
Sea Shanty Workshop
28th May 2014
Sue was invited to run this workshop by Jacky Hintz on behalf of the Eden Songsters group. The purpose of Songsters is to encourage everyone to sing together for pleasure. Sue in turn co-opted Keith’s assistance, as being much more of an authority on shanties than she herself.
There were more than a dozen participants in this workshop, which took place on a weekday afternoon at the Eden Centre. It was an enjoyable event, and the research Keith in particular conducted to put the programme together added to our own knowledge of shanties and sea songs, much of which we were able to share with the Songsters group.
Dance for Grant
29th May 2014
The ceilidh held in Markbeech on the Thursday before the Folk Ale has become something of a fixture, celebrating folk dance as an enjoyable and inclusive activity. Thanks to the generosity of Round House Folk, it is a fund-raising event for the Trust, this year contributing £82 to funds. Sue and Lyndsey played as part of the band, and Folk Ale committee and volunteers looked after the bar and the ticket desk.
Dan Romani took some great photos which capture the mood of the event very well – view them in the Event Archive.
Folk Ale Festival
30th May – 1st June 2014
The Folk Ale is of course the main event of our calendar, carrying on a tradition started in 2003. The 2014 event was a resounding success in all sorts of ways – excellent programme, good weather, and great support from the new landlord of the Kentish Horse.
The Folk Ale Committee has expanded slightly to be less reliant on the Rule family, and comprises John & Jan Barden, Liz & Andy Lower, Amanda Hedges, Andy Blackburn, Sue Rule and Keith Rule. We were also fortunate to have the services of Chris Basford on the sound desk – great to have professional support on this. We hope Chris might represent a solution to the problem of living up to the sound quality Grant was able to create for Folk Ales past.
We need to recruit more volunteer stewards on site for the duration of the Folk Ale, so that we can more effectively check ticketing and particularly camping permits. There were also one or two minor problems in the campsite – emphasizing the need for stewards.
Graeme Knights was a great enthusiast for the Trust, and took up a collection on Sunday evening which raised £109 for Trust funds.
Grant Rule Memorial Concert
27th September 2014
Guests for this concert were the Young Coppers. Organisation was a little fraught at times, due to poor admin by the Eden Centre. As a result, we held the event at St John’s, Marsh Green, which in the end suited the unique and informal style of the Coppers. Many people who attended to support the Trust discovered an unexpected enjoyment of this very traditional style of music.
Despite early worries, there was an excellent turnout for the event, and £234 was raised for Trust funds. Thanks to Alan Rule for manning the bar, to Karen Tucker for looking after the ticket desk, and to Karen’s partner Rick Leslie of TN4 Productions for the photographs, which you can view in the Event Archive.
One of those unexpected sideways connections is that Rick Leslie’s father Brian Leslie is the editor of Sustainable Economics Magazine, website http://sustecweb.co.uk. Brian is active in the Green Party.
Other Networking Connections
Sue continues to be involved in the Sustainable Edenbridge group. The group had several interesting discussions around input to the Edenbridge Neighbourhood Plan, and Sue put together a short presentation “A Vision for Edenbridge” based around 5-Capital thinking, which was delivered to the group in October 2014.
Annette Hards is SE’s representative on the Neighbourhood Plan team. She is an architect and urban designer – see her website www.annettehards.org.uk for more.
Cookery & food
We hoped to be able to be able to help Rachel Ledwith launch some “cookery for all” sessions with local youngsters, but these plans appear to have fallen through. Rachel is currently Kent Gleaning Co-ordinator, but also needs to find paid employment.
The concept of some kind of community shop that focused on locally sourced/fairly traded goods and minimum packaging arose from one of the Sustainable Edenbridge visits. As a small ‘first step’ towards this, Gill Musgrove invited Sue to step into a vacancy for dealing with orders for the Edenbridge Area Traidcraft Box Scheme. Sue’s idea is to grow the customer base for Traidcraft to test the local market for more sustainable shopping habits.
The EAT group will review the situation in March 2015 to determine whether the box scheme is worth continuing and/or worth expanding on.
Friends of Eden’s Meadows
This is an initiative started by Kent Wildlife Trust to restore the biodiversity of meadowlands in the Eden Valley area. There are about a dozen people in the FOEM group, mostly owners of small parcels of land. Sue is secretary and currently part of a sub-group set up to plan a 2-year project to encourage greater community involvement. The Trust may be able to help this group with a small grant.
West Kent House
Sue & Andy had a further chat with Keith Rowells of House youth group during the year. It is possible some of the young songwriters may be interested in performing at the Folk Ale – this needs to be followed up. There seems to be little scope for House to make use of the PA kit.
Target Your Potential
There was an article in the Edenbridge Courier about an initiative aimed at helping prepare young people for work, www.targetyourpotential.co.uk. Sue followed up the article by contacting Gill Humble, who set up this organization. We spoke at length on the phone, and met for lunch at HFC in Philipinnes Close. Gill has achieved quite a lot – she has a number of potential business sponsors interested in the scheme, and is in negotiation to obtain use of the old station house at Edenbridge Town station as office premises. She hoped to be running a workshop for young unemployed at the end of 2014, but although the workshop was set up and advertised, there had been no takers. Gill wasn’t sure whether information about the course was not reaching the potential audience, or whether they were uninterested in it. She was going to do some research into the reasons for the lack of take-up and look at re-scheduling the course. It wasn’t clear how the Trust could be of assistance in Gill’s plans, but she was glad to find there were other people who thought like her about the way the world worked. We agreed to keep in touch.
The Trust granted a bursary to James Kerry to enable him to attend Folkworks Youth Summer School in September 2014. This opportunity was facilitated by Bernard Oldfield, who suggested James might benefit from sponsorship. James is a talented 18-year-old accordian player taught initially by local barn dance stalwart, Ron Meades. He is also quite an entrepreneurial spirit, and fully entered into the spirit of a Trust bursary by paying back in kind – he helped promote the Memorial Concert (and played as part of the support act) and has participated in Free Range Folk performances. He also generated some promotional gigs, playing at the Edenbridge & Oxted Show, and the Edenbridge Rotary Club Motor Show event at Gabriels Farm where he was accompanied by Sue Rule. James is donating 10% of sales of his CDs to the Trust. This has so far raised £10, and a new CD “On Kentish Horseback” (featuring Sue’s accompaniement and also including a recording of her composition, Elsie’s Song) came out at the end of 2014.
Sue proposed giving a short talk about the Trust to the London Software and Systems Process Improvement Network, with the idea of involving others in developing ways of measuring the capital flows. Alan Cameron has said DCG-SMS would be interested in participating in/sponsoring this evening. Plans have stalled due to Sue breaking an ankle, but it is hoped that this idea can be progressed during 2015.
The Eden Centre
Sue had a meeting with the manager (Sandra) and customer services contact (Caryl) for the Eden Centre. Sandra is in the adult education department of the council, and the meeting was in many ways encouraging in terms of what Sandra and Caryl were seeking to do, but less so in terms of the financial constraints under which they are trying to do it. The charge for hiring the Centre during the evening has to cover the cost of employing a security person/caretaker. The cost of hiring the main hall has therefore gone up considerably, and priced the Eden Centre out of the running for the Trust’s Spring 2015 event.
Sue posted a couple of articles to the blog page of the website. There have been several supportive comments from random people posted on these articles (as well as a lot of spam.) The Trust’s events were promoted through the website and using the Tailormail email service, which is funded from Folk Ale funds. A page for Sustainable Edenbridge was created.
The Facebook page and LinkedIn group are not very active – generally only the Trustees post anything, and that rarely.
The bank balance at 24th December 2014 stood at £5,592.76. On-going issues with NatWest generated £150 in compensation payment, which went into Trust funds.
Graeme Knights took one of Grant’s dulcimers and a mandolin, and donated £50 to the Trust. Other funds were raised as detailed above. The Trust account is still with NatWest; Sue/Lyndsey are investigating Triodos as a possible option.
Sue submitted the paperwork to HMRC to have the Trust registered for tax relief. Frank Smith has booked use of the PA kit for some barn dances his band is playing at during 2015 – we set a charge of £50 to hire the equipment plus another £50 if a sound engineer was also needed. We will need to review the usefulness of the PA equipment during 2015. The desk in particular is now quite old and likely to become increasingly unreliable.
Sue Rule 27/01/2015