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A recipe for creating a community

This post was first published in June 2013. It was the beginning for me of a healing process and carrying out instructions from my mother to sell the best of her clothes. This was the fun part of what was a very painful process. I am re posting now as yesterday I was lucky to be invited to participate in a fantastic community event by Bearwood Pantry. Yet again I was blown away, but not surprised, by the success of the first Bearwood Food Festival. Interesting that I used a food metaphor when describing what makes a good community. Who knew that 15 months later we would be sharing food and recipes at a community event?

Bearwood people, you rock!

Retro Joy has been out and about selling scrummy dresses to the lovely people of Bearwood and attending a few other events just for fun too.

What has struck us is how lovely all the people we have met are and what a wonderful community we live in.  This community has changed a lot recently and like a good meal, it is a combination of quality ingredients, along with a really good recipe, that you can tweak to make it just how you want that has contributed to making Bearwood the way it is.  So I decided to start thinking about what those ingredients are.

Bearwood Shuffle

Our first pop up stall was at the Bearwood Shuffle, so not only did we get to sell some lovely clothes, postcards and other bits and bobs we got to hear some brilliant music.

Salop Drive Market Garden

We then popped up again at Nettlefest at Salop Drive on a blazing hot day and we all got a little sunburnt. Story telling, foraging and nettle soup were all little ingredients that made this a lovely day.

Pop up retro

What was so great about these events were that they were all organised by the community for the community.  Both are not for profit groups, there is no charge to attend a brilliant mini music festival in Lightwoods Park, and all the Bearwood Promoters are volunteers.

Bearwood Promoters

Warley Woods Picnic in the Park

Bearwood Promoters also organised all the musical entertainment for the annual Picnic in the Park at the wonderful Warley Woods, which is managed by a community trust.

Retro Joy decided not to pop up there but instead take a picnic, and chill out in the sun. We took Baz Lurmans advice and didn’t forget the sunscreen.

It is not a picnic

Of course we had to use some lovely retro Tupperware.  And a very lovely basket that kind friends gifted us.

Picnic time

For us it was all about the music that day, some fantastic bands including Kim and Joe who I have known since they were babies.Kim and Joe

Our very own Laurence Saunders in stunning shorts doing a fine job keeping the act together.

Bearwood Handmade

Retro Joy also enjoyed a lovely day at Bearwood Handmade and gained a couple of customers from those Crafty Muthas. Saw what you were making and knew I had a few things tucked away that you would upcycle into something beautiful.


Bearwood Pantry

After mooching for a while we then tucked into lunch made by the lovely ladies from Bearwood Pantry, and stocked up on some Thai Basil from Urban Herbs.

So so far this summer has been full of days of enjoying the sun in a wonderful creative and caring community which is why….

We love Bearwood

What ingredients would you add?

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2 comments on A recipe for creating a community

  1. A lovely post about how communities can come together for fun, enjoyment and mutual support. A pity the sun’s gone in for a few days, but I’m sure it will be back!

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