A UK road trip is planned for the early autumn. This will serve a number of purposes. As far as the project is concerned, I hope to be able to meet a number of experts based in the regions, as well as people using a variety of powers – active trade union members, members of political parties and related institutions, campaigners, protestors, protectors, the people behind new institutions, renters unions, whistleblowers and others besides. All will have something to say on our situation, as well as suggestions as to my itinerary and much else, I am sure. I also hope to visit a selection of interesting sites, and institutions, including a selection of industrial and residential sites – of current or historical significance – and centres of learning from the Eden Project and Schumacher College in the South West, to universities across the country. Time will be left for discovery too. The emphasis is therefore on the research objectives, and local or micro- illustrations of wider themes, rather than open-ended adventure. A possible itinerary is outlined below, which will be updated on an ongoing basis.
My means of transport is a seventeen year old motorcycle – a Honda VFR800 – complete with tank bag (laptop, documents, audio mic/recorder etc), and tail bag (wardrobe inc wet gear). You may have already noticed it, and/or Yorick, my crash helmet, if you have browsed some of the images on the site. I am travelling alone, on a limited budget. I am hopeful of and would be very grateful for in-kind (board and lodgings inc secure parking, laundry) and/or financial help. I will seek it in the first instance from contacts in my own network, and some of those I intend to meet. I will likely also pack a tent and sleeping bag. I hope not to have to use them. If you would like to consider making a donation, details are given here.
I should probably make two points in relation to this choice. First, I am not making any claim or effort as to originality. It is supporting the project and represents the cheapest means of getting around the UK, such as it is, in the way I need to (I am not a millionaire). I have a long, if unusual, relationship with motorcycling however, and, as someone who grew up with the Brighton Speed Trials, and Barry Sheene, and who read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, The Motorcycle Diaries, and more recently discovered Rural Rides, there’s something in it for me too. Second, I hope it shows that there is no necessary contradiction between liking or identifying with at least some fossil fuel technology and recognising that all our fossil fuel systems are legacy technologies which must be decommissioned urgently. I would very much like future generations to be around to hear a Rolls Royce Merlin, a BRM V16, or a Norton Rotary, though it is likely they will not find such things particularly interesting.
E N G L A N D : S O U T H W E S T
- Day 1. Thu 7 Sep. Eden Project (Bodelva). Totnes. Dartmoor.
- Day 2. Fri 8 Sep. Frome. Conversation with Peter and Sheila of Independents for Frome. UWE (Bristol). Conversation with Yannis. Bedminster (Bristol).
- Day 3. Sat 9 Sep. Bristol. People’s Assembly Against Austerity. Conversation with Anne.
W A L E S
- Day 4. Sun 10 Sep. Cardiff. Conversation with Diane. Riverside Market (Cardiff). Conversation with Chris. Conversation with Queen Niche. Cardiff Museum. Conversation with Sam. Brecon Beacons.
- Day 5. Mon 11 Sep. Centre for Alternative Technology (Machynlleth). Betws-y-Coed.
- Day 6. Tue 12 Sep. Betws-y-Coed. Ysbyty Gwynedd (Penrhosgarnedd). Conversation with Diane. Menai Bridge. Betws-y-Coed. Corwen.
E N G L A N D : W E S T M I D L A N D S
- Day 7. Wed 13 Sep. Shrewsbury. Conversation with Doug. Stratford-upon-Avon. Kingdom Come (The Other Place).
- Day 8. Thu 14 Sep. Stratford-upon-Avon. Conversation with Sam. Birmingham. Selfridges. Conversation with Victoria. Bullring (Retail) Markets. Sparkhill. Conversation with Chief. Much Wenlock.
- Day 9. Fri 15 Sep. Much Wenlock. Walcot Park.
E N G L A N D : N O R T H W E S T
- Day 10. Sat 16 Sep. Chester. Manchester. Birch Services (M62).
- Day 11. Sun 17 Sep. Manchester. Market Street. Conversation with Kashif. Piccadilly Gardens. Drive for Justice. Conversation with Asif. Preston New Road Action Group (Fylde). Conversation with Becky. Blackpool. Liverpool.
- Day 12. Mon 18 Sep. Liverpool. Albert Dock. Conversation with Alan and Anthony. International Slavery Museum (Liverpool). Tebay Services.
N O R T H E R N I R E L A N D
- Day 13. Tue 19 Sep. Belfast. Derry. Conversation with Bronagh and Eleni. Park and Ride. Altahullion Wind Farm ( ). Belfast.
- Day 14. Wed 20 Sep. Belfast. Congress. Rethink the Enlightenment.
- Day 15. Thu 21 Sep. Belfast. ( ) Conversation with Louise.
S C O T L A N D
- Day 16. Fri 22 Sep. Stranraer. Stonykirk. Givan. Conversation with Gordon. Robert Burns Museum. Glasgow.
- Day 17. Sat 23 Sep. Glasgow. The Old Firm. Edinburgh.
- Day 18. Sun 24 Sep. Edinburgh. Dunbar. EDF.
E N G L A N D : N O R T H E A S T
- Day 19. Mon 25 Sep. Berwick. Berwick Media Arts Festival. Tent repairs. Barter Books (Alnwick). Campsite.
- Day 20. Tue 26 Sep. Ashington. North East Organic Growers. Conversation with Phil. Wallsend. Newcastle.
- Day 21. Wed 27 Sep. Durham. Durham Miners Association.
E N G L A N D : Y O R K S H I R E & T H E H U M B E R
- Day 22. Thu 28 Sep. Whitby. Conversation with ( ). Scarborough. Conversation with Nick. York.
- Day 23. Fri 29 Sep. York Food and Drink Festival. Conversation with Vinny. Beeston (Leeds). Conversation with Ed. Headingley (Leeds).
- Day 24. Sat 30 Sep. Headingley. Conversation with Martin and Dave. Sheffield. Conversation with ( ).
E N G L A N D : E A S T M I D L A N D S
- Day 25. Sun 1 Oct. Nottingham. Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem. Laundry.
- Day 26. Mon 2 Oct. Nottingham. Conversation with Sandra. Leicester. Golden Mile. Grantham.
- Day 27. Tue 3 Oct. Electric (motor)bicycle. Lincoln. Grange Farm (Lincoln).
- (Wed 4 Oct) RAF Waddington. Conversation with Steve and ( ). Conversation with Steve.
E N G L A N D : E A S T O F E N G L A N D
- Day 28. Wed 4 Oct. Kings Lynn. Norwich. Conversation with Scarlett.
- Day 29. Thu 5 Oct. RMT Picket Line (Norwich Railway Station). Conversation with Dave. Cambridge.
- Day 30. Fri 6 Oct. Cambridge. Conversation with Simone. Chelmsford. Conversation with Tia. Gallery Viewing.
E N G L A N D : L O N D O N
- Day 31. Sat 7 Oct. Tottenham. Westminster Square. Soho.
- Day 32. Sun 8 Oct. South Woolwich. Borough Market. Coca Cola London Eye. Fulham.
- Day 33. Mon 9 Oct. Fulham. Chelsea. City of London. House of Commons Visitors Gallery (Palace of Westminster).
E N G L A N D : S O U T H E A S T
- Day 34. Tue 10 Oct. Canterbury. Conversation with Kelly. Conversation with Aaron.
- Day 35. Wed 11 Oct. Brighton. Palace Pier. The Lanes. Conversation with Benjamin. Earthship Brighton. The Old Tree.
- Day 36. Thu 12 Oct. Guildford.