Here are the founder members, at the first meeting:
That was back in 2010! They were asked at the time to write a few sentences about themselves, and these were the results:
Sally Ainslie: having spent many years working as an NHS radiographer in Oxford I took early retirement in 2008 in order to help my husband with his archaeological geophysics business. My interests include cultivating our garden and allotment, history and archaeology and natural history. Like most other people, I have always thought it was a shame that all the power from the water flowing down Abingdon Weir was wasted so when I picked up Richard Riggs’ flyer at the Clubs and Societies Day last year and saw that he was trying to build a hydro powered generator there I was very interested. I joined the Team and hopefully within a couple of years we will see hydro power not only in Abingdon but also on many other weirs along our rivers.
Jonathan Bentley has decided to step down but here is what he wrote: My wife and I have been interested in environmental issues for a while; we started coming along to the Carbon Cutters meetings shortly after moving to Abingdon 2 years ago. My day job is to lead collaborative research projects towards discovering new treatments for conditions such as Neuropathic Pain and Schizophrenia. I was very pleased to discover that Richard was already investigating how to get the hydro project started, and was delighted to have the opportunity to get involved.
Martin Bowes: I trained as a Banker and have enjoyed a career in financial services. I have recently qualified as a Permaculture Designer and care not only about economics but also about people and their envirnoment and most importantly a sustainable future for us all. I enjoy productive gardening and the outdoors. There have been many times when myself and my wife have stood at the Abingdon weir and wondered how best we could harness all that natural energy and improve the local environment for all - anglers, tourists, energy for Abingdon homes etc.
Paul Buckingham: I have been interested in alternative energies and the environment for some time now and having walked over the Abingdon weir many times during my life I have often wondered why no one has ever tried to harness the energy that is pouring through it every day! I have recently been studying an MSc in Architecture; Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies at the Centre for Alternative Technologies in Wales and during an exchange trip to The North Karelia University of Applied Sciences in Finland I first heard about the Archimedes Screw and thought that would be a great idea for Abingdon weir! A few months later I found out that there was some interest in developing this idea in Abingdon and just had to become involved, so here we are.
Sophie Christopher Bowes: I enjoy gardening, especially growing organic food. There have been many times when myself and husband have questioned why the river could not supply energy to homes in Abingdon. Being a permaculture designer the design, use and re-use of natural energy systems is at the forefront of our designs. The hydro will work with nature rather than against!
Richard Riggs: environmental issues have been a concern of mine for years, but until recently most of the activity was in the life sciences. So having spent my working life in physics and electronics, I felt a bit limited. Now I'm retired, and I saw low head hydro power as one of those ideas whose time has come. So I took some initiative, networking through Abingdon Carbon Cutters, and am really pleased that 6 others were brave or foolish enough to join me in this project - also that they are all younger than me!
Peter Wiblin has decided to step down, but here is what he wrote: Peter was born in the Warren Hospital, Abingdon, and has an extended family in and around Abingdon. He has been working and trading in Abingdon for 20 years and is currently Joint President of the Abingdon on Thames Chamber of Commerce. Whilst an out and out capitalist he allows his green credentials to escape on occasion - along with his sense of humour.
Dozens of other people, mostly local and some from further away, have helped or offered to help in different ways, and we are grateful. As we have developed we have increased our number. These days our CVs are a bit more formal, and you can read them for the current directors in the prospectus (downloadable from the Shares page).
A couple more pictures, taken at Mapledurham Mill on a visit to see the Archimedes screw:
You may recognise Pat Lonergan on the left as a councillor and former mayor. When we converted to an IPS we needed to be better organised, so we invited him in as chairman. With him are Graham and Phil, civil engineers who were advising.
Here are two more directors. On the left is Lucille Savin, who you may meet if you see us at any public event where we are taking part. On the right is Geoff Homewood, who brings valuable business experience. (In the middle is Sally, and Corrie Starling the miller.)
There's another picture of some of the gang on the planning permission news page.