27/02/2012 - Permalink

Fairtrade flag to travel across Shropshire in relay

Related topics: Community

Preparing to set off on their cycle ride from Shrewsbury to Church Stretton are: Councillor Miles Kenny (l) and Emma Bullard (r), joined by Councillor Cecilia Motley, with some of the Fairtrade bunting

A special flag is travelling around Shropshire by foot, bike, bus and even narrow boat as part of a relay being held to mark Fairtrade Fortnight 2012.

On Monday 27 February 2012, the Fairtrade flag left Shrewsbury and will visit each of Shropshire’s five other Fairtrade towns (Church Stretton, Ludlow, Bridgnorth, Whitchurch and Oswestry), as well as Harper Adams University College which has Fairtrade status, before arriving back in the county town the following week.

The Shropshire Fairtrade Relay is organised by the Shropshire Fairtrade Coalition – a group of individuals, organisations and businesses from around Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin whose aim is to help promote Fairtrade.

As part of the relay, on Monday (27 February) Shropshire Councillor Miles Kenny, who is chair of the Shropshire Cycle Forum and Chairman of Shrewsbury FairTrade, and Emma Bullard, Shropshire Council’s travel Shropshire promotions manager, are cycling from Shirehall in Shrewsbury to Church Stretton.  They will be joined by other members of the Coalition.

Councillor Kenny said:

“Fairtrade has taken off in a big way in Shropshire with more and more people buying Fairtrade goods and produce, so the relay link up of the Fairtrade towns in Shropshire combines the success of the Fairtrade movement here and welcomes the green shoots of spring.”

Councillor Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for sustainability, said:

“As it is Olympic year, the theme for Fairtrade Fortnight this year is ‘Take a Step for Fairtrade’, and I pass on my good wishes to all taking part in this relay as they take not just one step, but lots of them.”

Each stop on the relay will also contribute a ten-metre length of the world record-beating Fairtrade cotton bunting that was produced to mark Fairtrade Week 2011.  This means that the relay should finish back in Shrewsbury with 70 metres of Fairtrade cotton bunting to display as well as the much-travelled flag.

Shropshire, including Telford and Wrekin, gained Fairtrade County status from the Fairtrade Foundation in 2007, and this was renewed in 2008 and again in 2011. Shropshire’s Fairtrade County status will be reviewed every two years.

The relay details are:

First leg – Monday 27 February 2012: Shrewsbury to Church Stretton
Following a Fairtrade Breakfast at Shrewsbury Fair Trade, 8 St John’s Hill, Shrewsbury, a group of walkers will catch a bus to Pulverbatch and then walk over the Long Mynd to Church Stretton, where they will meet Church Stretton Fairtraders at Church Stretton Methodist Church at around 3pm.

Meanwhile another group will cycle from Shirehall in Shrewsbury to Church Stretton starting at 12noon and aiming to meet up with the walkers at 3pm.

Second leg – Tuesday 28 February 2012: Church Stretton to Ludlow
Church Stretton Fairtraders will carry the flag on to Ludlow by public transport, where the Ludlow Fairtrade Group will meet them, with Fairtrade refreshments.

Third leg – Wednesday 29 February 2012: Ludlow – Bridgnorth
The third leg is from Shropshire’s second Fairtrade Town to Shropshire’s first Fairtrade Town and again will be via public transport.  The Bridgnorth group will meet the Ludlow group from the bus and take them to St John’s Catholic Primary School, Shropshire’s first Fairtrade School, for the flag to be passed on to the Deputy Mayor.  Fairtrade refreshments will follow at the town hall.

Fourth leg – Thursday 1 March 2012: Bridgnorth to Harper Adams University College, Edgmond
The fourth leg will be undertaken by Fairtrade walker and cyclist Ray Gill who will start the day with an assembly at St John’s Catholic Primary before receiving the flag from the Mayor at around 11am before setting off to Harper Adams (probably cycling!)

Fifth leg – Friday 2 March 2012: Harper Adams University College to Whitchurch
The fifth leg will be another cycling leg to Whitchurch to be met it is hoped by a civic reception before Fairtrade refreshments at St Alkmund’s Church, at the top of High Street.

Sixth leg – Monday 5 March 2012: Whitchurch to Oswestry
The sixth leg will float the flag to Whixall by narrow boat along the Llangollen Canal!  The Whitchurch Fairtraders will then walk to Ellesmere, and then take a bus to Oswestry either later that day or the following day.

Seventh leg – Wednesday 7 March 2012: Oswestry to Shrewsbury. The seventh and final leg will see the flag and bunting collected from Tracey and Mark Derham in Oswestry. Tracey and Mark run the Bridge Coffee Company, which naturally can provide Fairtrade beverages, and are founder members of the Shropshire Fairtrade Coalition. The relay will then walk to Gobowen and then travel by train to Shrewsbury before heading to The Guildhall to be met by the Mayor of Shrewsbury. The flag will then be taken by foot to Shirehall, to complete its journey. By the time the relay finishes it will have travelled on foot, by cycle, by bus, by narrow boat and by train!