Category Archives: Jackie Carpenter
Project Q is setting up a new cohousing community in Southwest England, based on Quaker principles (truth, peace, equality and simplicity). Other aspects of the community are up for discussion and debate.
The community will have shared communal spaces and private living spaces, where we will be dedicated to helping people and the environment. It will be:
- An example of simple, sustainable living, showing people how we can survive and thrive during and after the existential crisis that is threatening us
- A deeply spiritual space to nurture members; a place where people can come to find spiritual care in connection with the climate and ecological crisis
- An educational centre teaching practical skills like food-growing and crafts
- A centre of inspiration and positive thinking
- A loving community based on Quaker principles (truth, peace, equality and simplicity) with strong links to other Climate Crisis groups.
We are seeking people who will sell their houses and invest their money, or commit to working diligently if they don’t have much money. We shall buy a country estate or farm which already has suitable buildings, move in within a few months (depending on house sale speed!) and devote ourselves to supporting others, helping people to learn to live simply with hope and happiness. In particular we shall aim to help teenagers and young adults find their path in this confusing and mixed-up world.
One corner of Trelay farm
Friendship Cohousing – the first Project Q cohousing community – is progressing well. We are close to purchasing a property near Marazion. Our next meeting will be on 11th and 12th January. Contact Jackie@trelay.org for more information.
Jackie Carpenter is a chartered mechanical engineer – and in the 80s she managed large projects for Brown and Root. She was President of the Women’s Engineering Society from 2002-03 (see her 2001 paper). In 1995 she changed direction, helping to found the charity Energy21, and was managing director for ten years, promoting community renewable energy – networking with many, notably Hermann Scheer, a member of the Bundestag and President of Eurosolar. Jackie’s Stroud cottage ran on 100% renewable energy. She was President of the Women’s Engineering Society from 2002-03 (see her 2001 paper). In 2007 she moved to Cornwall to help to create a new sustainable community, Trelay, ensuring the long term continuity of the Energy21 Network of community organisations by linking it with the Centre for Alternative Technology.
I first met Jane at an Energy21 awards event in London many years ago. We discussed Positive News then and on several occasions afterwards. Neither of us was happy with the type of advertisements carried in Positive News and she managed to persuade the editor to add the newspaper style supplement because she needed something more suitable to hand out to MPs. A charming and able woman.
When I sent the news of her death to Jackie Carpenter, saying I’d like to write about her, as I believe several networkers will have known her, Jackie wrote:
“Here is a story you might like to include. Back in the 90’s, Hermann Scheer, a German MP was making amazing progress with promoting renewable energy in Germany. He came to England quite a bit because he thought it was very important to persuade the UK to do likewise, to become a world leader in renewable energy. He soon got to know Jane Taylor, who used to write glowing things about him in Positive News. I met him at the launch of Eurosolar UK and later I ran the UK branch of Eurosolar for a while. Hermann also met Professor Susan Roaf, who was the first person in the UK to have a solar roof. One day he was with we three ladies. “You are my mistresses!” he said, and Jane replied, “No Hermann, that’s not the correct English word for what you mean.” Hermann laughed and went on, “I want you three to organise a lecture about renewable energy to a large audience in London!” The following year I was president of the Women’s Engineering Society and I fixed up for the lecture to be held in the Institution of Electrical Engineers. I introduced Susan who gave the talk, and Jane was the reporter, writing all about it in Positive News.
Pat Conaty ended, “This is a huge loss to co-op economy colleagues in Wales. Jane had been working with us actively in recent years on the Peoples Bank for Wales project. Indeed she played the lead role on our report that convinced the new First Minister, Mark Drakeford to back our grassroots vision in late 2018.”
I have been living at Trelay Cohousing for over 11 years. This year we had the Farmhouse refurbished, so Margot moved into my tiny wooden house (see left) and I moved into my camper van, leading to a chaotic few months when I couldn’t find anything.
The Farmhouse work is coming on wonderfully well, but Margot is still in the tiny house and now I am in the Shack. I am on the UK Cohousing Network Board of Directors and work to promote cohousing – a good way of life.
I spent three hours per day watering during the drought growing some big onions, I won five cups in this year’s local show.
Anyone who becomes a ‘Friend of Trelay’, will receive these information-packed and very cheering newsletters.
Jackie is a co-founder of Trelay, which is working towards the original dream of a sustainable, cooperative eco-village, but the development work seems to be building up to some sort of crescendo and there was a big effort to agree a final site plan and tidy the site.
In parallel with all this, food production has gone up, with wonderful dairy products, plenty of meat, and more vegetables from both the polytunnel and the veggie patch than ever before. A poor year for soft fruit
Read about the wild flowers and wildlife there, the Easter egg hunt, planting seed potatoes, animal rearing and Trelay members’ visit to Golitha Falls, south of Bodmin Moor.
In addition to refurbishing and extending homes and building a materials store they have decided to have another go at getting planning permission for a wind turbine at Trelay – difficult, because it is an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), but a pre-planning enquiry will be submitted, asking about a small turbine for the use of the community, rather than one to sell electricity to the grid.
Trelay Cohousing Community welcomes visitors, although they are not open to show people round most of the time, as it is their home and we are busy caring for our plants and animals, and building things.
Visitors can come there as holiday guests – see below for information about Tamarisk cabins, or contact Maria or James to find out about the campsite. To book in advance for next year please call 07378 286 126 or email email@example.com. Those who wish to learn or work rather than be a holiday-maker can come to one of the “Interest Weekends” to learn what cohousing is all about. Or come as a working volunteer, either for one of the allocated weeks, or at another time. The dates for interest weekends (including dairying, looking after the fruit and vegetables) are on the website.