Well Oiled Festival 2011: 17th September, 2-8pm

teenagers tossing cobteenagers tossing cobApproximately 1,000 people attended Transition Finsbury Park's second Well Oiled Festival on Saturday 17th September. The aim of the festival was to bring people from the N4 area together in the park to have fun and enjoy each other, learn about transition and other ways of becoming active, and have the chance to try something new such as knitting, bee keeping, cob building or meditation.

inside the Green Tea tentinside the Green Tea tentThe festival took place in a field near the Oxford Road entrance to the park which, according to local historian, Hugh Hayes, has been used for political speech making in the past. Around 25 gazebos were placed in a rough circle near the top of the field which had about 40 crafts, refreshments, information, fundraising and 'hand-made locally' stalls. At the top of the circle was the Green Tea tent which featured music and poetry throughout the day, finishing up with a stunning performance from Gorgeous George.

TFP info stallTFP info stallRhys Pullen, Philippe Duffour, Linda Fitzgerald Moore, Jo Homan and Dorothy Newton supplied people with information about Transition Finsbury Park group as well as encouraging people to Guess the Weight of the Cake. We also told people about the series of upcoming meetings that are set to take place in the first week of October. More information on that here. Here are some of us sporting our logoized steward shirts.

Beccie, Susie & Lauren from the knitting projectBeccie, Susie & Lauren from the knitting projectThe knitting and apple juicing stalls were extremely popular. Adults and children alike seemed eager to learn how to knit and add to the already quite large community blanket which the Knit for Nothing group has been working on. Knit for Nothing meets on Monday afternoons at St Johns Church, and the Stroud Green Knitters and Crocheters meet on Thursday evenings at the Stapleton Tavern.

Urban Harvest applesUrban Harvest applesUrban Harvest initiated a foraging walk which sallied off around the park to collect apples and other top fruits which were then juiced by Phil Mason to create the must-have drink of the afternoon. They also supplied cups of locally made cordials such as mint and lavender.

shield castingshield castingThe bee keeping and den building were really popular. Bee keeper and tutor, Liam Devany, reported that all jars of honey were sold in less than 2 hours and Dani and Baiba from the TFP communications team worked with local children create a stunning series of waterproofed des reses in amongst the trees - one of them even had a cardboard tube for plumbing. Alex Head, the artist who ran last year's festival, trialled a shield casting workshop; a way for people to meet and share ideas while providing insight into the availability or rarity of specific skill sets in the modern world. He believes our futures will be shaped by the range and depth of our skills coupled by the strength of our political imaginations.

cob brickscob bricksLinda Royles from Cob in the Community looked after 12 children from The Challenge who helped mix cob by stamping on it and build cob bricks by pushing the cob mix into a mould. The 16 year olds were initially resistant to even touching the clay / sand mix but soon rolled up their sleeves to became cob enthusiasts.

About half way down the field was a huge tent lent by Finsbury Park Art Hut which was used for free drum workshops and singing. Local singing teacher, Maggie, took matters into her own hands when she learned that the megaphone wasn't working: "I walked up to every family and person I could see, told them about my workshop, and when I got back to the tent it was jam packed!" She went on to lead a pitch perfect workshop that was enjoyable for young and old alike.

Set away from the hubub at the foot of the field, in a grove of silver birch trees, there was a meditation and inner transition space. Meditation teacher, Frankie Agnew, did some tree wrapping and led sitting meditation sessions throughout the day. Debbie Warrener used the space to run an extremely well received Joanna Macy workshop which helped the participants to support themselves in their own work.

auction bikeauction bikeWe also used the hard ball court near the cafe for cycling activities such as Dr bike and a hugely popular bike auction. Jo Roach, who runs Pedal Power (the local cycling group for adults with learning disabilities) said, "Every time someone bought a bike, everyone else was cheering. It was hilarious."

Flipside book stallFlipside book stallThere were also community fundraising stalls for Parkwood and Stroud Green Primary schools. The parents of Parkwood were crammed behind a table selling brik a brack and managed to raise over £100 for the school. There were also information stalls from the London Vegan Campaigns, Muswell Hill Sustainability Group, Tottenham Friends of the Earth, Climate Rush, North London LETs, Haringey Timebank, Blackstock Greenhouse, Electrical Waste, Growing in Haringey and Edible Landscapes London (the plant nursery).

champion runner beanchampion runner beanAt 5 o'clock, Helen Feasey from the award winning Little Cake Shop judged the yummiest cake competition. Fiametta Porri's apple cake won the prize - a veg box kindly donated by Farm Direct. Jane Howson's grand-daughter won the longest runner bean competition which was judged by Wilberforce Gardener extraordinaire, Hugh White. She got a £5 book voucher for the Green Bookshop. Finally, local singer, Ann Flett (who runs the women's choir) judged the jam competition. She found Gill Hay's blackberry and apple jam to have the best texture and taste.

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