Tinkers Bubble

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Icey
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Tinkers Bubble

Post by Icey » 23 Oct 2016, 19:10

If you've never heard of it, Tinkers Bubble's an area in Somerset in the UK, where a group of people've been living off-grid for several years now.

These people're all intelligent folk who care about the environment, and somehow or other, they're managing to find happiness and contentment, living without any of the trappings of modern life. They have no electricity, no cars and all help each other.

I might've said I could easily do without a TV - or even a vehicle - but I'm not sure whether I could live like this permanently. Could you?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-37561938

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yogi
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Re: Tinkers Bubble

Post by yogi » 23 Oct 2016, 19:34

It seems a bit idealistic if not anti-establishment. I'd have to know their motives before I can judge how good of an idea it is. We in America have clans of Amish folks doing essentially the same thing. It's a hard life but they seem to enjoy it.
Last edited by yogi on 25 Oct 2016, 14:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Kellemora
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Re: Tinkers Bubble

Post by Kellemora » 24 Oct 2016, 12:41

Our laws here would prevent anyone from truly living off the grid.
Especially in ways shown in the pictures you linked to Icey.
To start with, you cannot build a habitable structure without a permit, and it must be built to code.
Code requires you be connected to Electric, Water, & Sewer, and optionally Natural Gas.
Each of those utilities must be installed to code, inspected and passed, before you can get an occupancy permit.

In the counties I have lived in, you cannot sink a well to obtain your own water. If public water is available you MUST be connected to it and pay the base rate whether you use the water or not. Your sewer bill is normally based on water usage, also at a minimum rate, which is higher than the cost of water.

Rural homes who do have a well for water, and a septic tank system for waste, still have to have both systems inspected yearly, which comes with a cost and often a fine or two.
No matter where you live, if your home is not supplied with public electricity, they will condemn your home and kick you out.

After a feud with the electric company, I managed to power my home with a generator for a full year. When I totaled up my cost for fuel and maintenance (but not the cost of the generator itself) I was only 3 bucks in the hole at the end of the year.
It is illegal to sell power you generate to your neighbors, but If I could have, I would have come out like 2 thousand dollars ahead. Which would have paid for the cost of the generator. It was a 50kw China Diesel and only ran at idle speed most of the time. Way overkill for a single house, but I got a great deal on it. Even in the summer with the AC running, two freezers, two clothes dryers, the stove and the oven, and a lot of other things running, the generator barely broke a sweat, and it was quiet. Made less noise than the AC unit.

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Icey
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Re: Tinkers Bubble

Post by Icey » 24 Oct 2016, 18:21

That generator sounds like a good one Gary!

First of all, to Yogi, yes, I'm aware of your Amish people, and I believe there are at least 2 other groups who're probably off-shoots of the "family", but who have slightly less strict rules. It's kind of quaint, because that sort of life must've been what the first settlers fell into before branching off and establishing themselves in different ways.

These people in Somerset mix with locals in the nearby village. They're accepted, because although they live like gypsies, they're static and cause no trouble. The community's been going for quite a few years now, and as an example, those wishing to help with conservation get the chance of doing so. I understand that most, if not all, of the group have skills which are put to use to help their neighbours. Visitors're welcome all year round, and it's generally considered a place to unwind and relax.

I don't know how or if their water supply's paid for. These people own 40 acres of woodland, and live off what the forest and a few animals provide, but I understand that they can claim Council Tax benefits, because apart from the travelling community who don't stick around in one place long enough for Councils to take money off them, everyone over here has to pay Council Tax, even if they sleep in a tent. A low income, however, exempts them from paying the full amount, and some don't have to pay anything at all.

It's kind of idyllic when you think about it, and yet the houses're prone to damp. It might be interesting to stay in the short term, but most of us'd find it hard to go back to doing the laundry by hand and cook over a fire or a makeshift stove.

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Kellemora
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Re: Tinkers Bubble

Post by Kellemora » 25 Oct 2016, 12:18

We had a few Amish communities back home. Most of them incorporated as independent townships, which alleviated them from most county restrictions, and all city induced restrictions, since they were technically their own city.
The community I was most familiar with and visited often, did comply with most of the sanitation regulations, but in their own way.
Cisterns were filled with city water, and community waste areas were connected to the sewer system.
The visitors center was like any other visitors center, with electric, water, toilets, computers, etc. It was the gateway for visitors to go into the Amish community, and was probably not on Amish owned land, just adjoining it.

Although it is not totally Amish anymore, if you see this Yogi, you may want to make a day trip out to St. Alban's Farm to Head's Store if it still exists. Most of what was St. Alban's Farm is now all new homes, but if you drive back by Head's Store there is an old community of stone homes, which may be considered private now too. But even only a decade ago, we would go out there and roam around the drives, eat lunch at the store, etc. I'm sure it no longer looks like it used to though. But I would think they would have preserved some of the antiquities.

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Icey
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Re: Tinkers Bubble

Post by Icey » 25 Oct 2016, 14:03

Excellent! :clap:

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yogi
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Re: Tinkers Bubble

Post by yogi » 25 Oct 2016, 14:51

Thanks for the heads up Gary. St Alban's Farm is as far from here as is St Louis but in the opposite direction. We will look into it and perhaps check it out. Wife's family is from Iowa where the Amana Colonies are located. They started out traditional but have come a long way since they found out it can be profitable if they bend a few traditions. I've never been to an Amish community but I have been to some Iowa farms. Some of those rural people are not encumbered by city or county building codes. I can't imagine why they would not want to be, but my wife's sister lived off the grid for a dozen years or so when they first married. They moved to the city to raise a family and are now retired in Florida. Living in the past is a cute idea, but there is a lot to be said about technology and modern conveniences.

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pilvikki
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Re: Tinkers Bubble

Post by pilvikki » 25 Oct 2016, 14:56

I think there are towns like all over the place, I know of some in finland and Germany as well.

I myself am totally furious with these regulations, like not being able to go off grid - considering the serious rip off the electricity business is... like my paying x # $'s for line loss... :thundermad:

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Icey
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Re: Tinkers Bubble

Post by Icey » 25 Oct 2016, 15:49

I agree with what you've just said. In the UK, electricity charges're sky high. In fact, all the utility charges are.

I think that if a person owns a piece of land, and can generate their own electricity, they should be able to live on that land as they choose. After all, they've paid for it. This goes for using water from wells or natural springs. Why should anyone else have the monopoly on them?

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Kellemora
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Re: Tinkers Bubble

Post by Kellemora » 26 Oct 2016, 11:20

Don't expect St. Alban's farm to be very much like an Amish community anymore.
If you are lucky, you may see a couple of horse drawn carts, but that's about it.
They don't have any commercial enterprises their, or didn't.
Like I said, it's been over 15 years since I've been out there.
It was a nice country drive, and we would eat at Head's Store, walk up the private drives to see the old houses from the street.
My main reason for the trip was to see how much changed since the last time I was out there. The change was always great.
At one time, many years ago, there was a secret underground government installation out there, what they did, nobody knows.
For decades it was considered a rumor. Then when they pulled out and restored the land back, there was a ten foot drop in the farmland that used to be their roof. The drop in land was blamed on heavy rainfall or something turning the farmland into a lake for a few weeks to a month. Now it is probably a subdivision filled with houses. The old dairy building may still be standing, or the silo's next to it. Like I said, haven't been there since I moved south in 2003.
The trip may be a big disappointment, unless you like long country drives, and then too, it may not be country anymore, hi hi...

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