Having lived in Hook Norton since February 1994 we have enjoyed the many aspects of the strong community in Hooky, while acknowledging of course that it will be another couple of decades at least before we can start to be considered as locals! I have had the pleasure of working in different aspects of the environmental field all my working life in private, public and now the charitable sectors. In February 2008 Frank Lucas suggested that it would be a good idea to extend my working life into using those experiences in the evening and weekends – how could I refuse such a tempting offer! Right from the very first meeting hosted at our very own “Green Flag” school I have felt inspired by the way that people in Hook Norton want to make a difference and don’t just want to talk about things but to take action to reduce the amount of energy they use whether motivated by saving money or acting to counter climate change. The great thing about the members of Hook Norton Low Carbon is that all those different motivations can come together and we really are showing how we are a leading community not just in the UK but the wider world. We always knew that Hooky was the centre of the universe so not surprising that we can show the way to being more sustainable! It’s a journey and with HNLC an enjoyable one – especially when so well supported by the Brewery!
Charlie has combined television and designing since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2000. He specialised in sustainable residential design and as director of a four person practice Charlie Luxton Design has about 10 projects on at any time. He has made programmes about Architecture for the main broadcasters in the UK and is currently presenting ‘Building the Dream’ on More 4.
I moved to Hooky at the beginning of 2017 after a lifetime in London. Most of my commercial career has been within the automotive industry initially running a Honda Motorcycle dealership in the 70’s & 80’s before moving to Renault spending a long time within their UK fleet division. Shorter spells in the Lloyds’ insurance market, Toyota PLC and Beer distribution took me up to retirement age. I believe the future will herald significant changes in the personal car market place. These are long overdue certainly within our cities and urban areas as the congestion and pollution has reached unacceptable levels. Hooky Car Club is about collaborative mobility using shared vehicles, reducing congestion, pollution and significant costs for all. For most, a car is a seriously wasting asset, underutilised and expensive to own, the Hooky Car Club and E bikes are a very viable alternative.
Optometrist and IT specialist and photographer.
I work for Walford & Round, mainly in Banbury and Shipston on Stour. My initial involvement with HNLC was as a representative of the Parish Council. I also help run the village website www.hook-norton.org.uk and have in the past been involved in village events such as the Rural Fayre, Charitable Association and the Hook Norton Festival of Fine Ales. My main responsibility within HNLC has been the website and the general IT infrastructure, and have been involved in our PV project at Banbury Plant Hire, which has been exciting, and our relationship with the FCA, which was not.
I have been interested in environmental issues for as long as I can remember and green building in particular. I planned to build an earth sheltered house, way back at the turn of the century, but found that the planners don’t really like radical ideas! So, in 2005 we went the other way and bought a mediaeval hall house, complete with thatched roof, and adjacent barn. The last few years have been a steep learning curve on the renovation and upgrading of ancient buildings, the full story is here.
Catherine is the Lead Advisory Teacher for primary education for Oxfordshire County Council. She is interested in sustainable buildings and is a self-taught “expert” at hemcrete construction and lime pointing. Living in a 500 year old eco-home provides plenty of scope for hands on experience of making a wonderfully quirky building as green as possible. It’s probably clear to see that Catherine is passionate about reducing food waste! She has developed a close relationship with her soup maker and is a whizz at making “interesting” soups from vegetable peelings, leaves, stalks and leftover straggly bits. Despite Catherine’s real concerns about climate change, she may have welcomed a degree of global warming when experiencing Mont Ventoux in a 60mph wind!
I was prompted to put myself forward for nomination onto the HNLC committee by reading at the time of the extra-ordinary level of resistance by many residents of Houston in the US to making any connection with the extreme flooding they had been experiencing and climate change, in many cases still welcoming their president withdrawing the US from the Paris Climate Accord.
It seems that when confronted with counter-evidence, people may even become reinforced in their views. The UK has its own variants of course, and I had been admiring for some time, as a resident of Sibford Gower just up the road, how calmly and steadily the existing committee have continued to build up such a strong interest in the village in engaging directly in creating a sustainable way of life on this troubled planet. I was really delighted when I was asked to join them.
I run my own dialogue consultancy in the fields of strategic thinking and conflict resolution, facilitating difficult conversations, supporting strategic judgement and intelligent responses in a wide range of complex circumstances. I have sustained a long-term interest in ecologically sustainable development – and the conditions that are supportive of dialogue there too, particularly in the context of conflicts within the global economy and the wider ecology of the planet that are in themselves inherently complex, and polarized.
I was first attracted to HNLC by the E bikes scheme as I recklessly moved to Hooky from London in 2016 without being able to drive ( I can now ) but I still like using the bikes in Summer.
I have worked as a freelance Theatre Designer in different parts of the country for over 25 years and have particularly enjoyed working with primary school children, devising and performing new operas. The budgets are always limited so we have to creatively transform as many recycled materials as possible for the set and costumes.
I have a strong interest in architecture and social change and after going along to an open meeting about sustainable community housing in Hooky, I ended up working on the project. I think affordable housing can look wonderful, be sustainable and transform lives and I’m delighted that it’s happening here in Hooky.
We came to Hooky after taking early retirement to lead a less hectic and stressful lifestyle where we can breathe fresh air and hear birds singing, i.e. get away from the fumes and the constant rumble of traffic. Also I strongly believe we all need to reduce our impact on our environment, so shortly after arriving here I joined HNLC as it is an excellent vehicle for pointing us in the right direction.