2nd February 1974: “South West gale, rain.
Arrived at Machynlleth with Pat Keiller. Found the Centre very much as we had left it. A Douglas Fir had fallen across the top of the road, but all the structures are intact.
The evening at Lady White’s cottage, Pantperthog. Most comfortable.”
– Anthony Williams, project manager at the National Centre for Alternative Technology, 1974.
2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the Centre for Alternative Technology. When the first volunteers arrived on-site they faced a huge challenge – turning an abandoned slate quarry into a renewable-energy-powered sustainable community.
40 years on, what better way to celebrate their amazing achievements than with a party? On the evening of the 2nd February CAT staff and friends, old and new, gathered at the Centre for an evening of food, music and reminiscences on the theme of ‘Arrivals’, echoing the arrival of the first workers 40 years before.
For the past two years CAT has been running an oral history project to document the stories and anecdotes of people associated with CAT. Voices from a Disused Quarry is the culmination of two years of work on the project, providing a unique insight into CAT’s early days. It also formed the backbone of the party, with songs and sketches written especially for the evening based on the oral history accounts.
Of course, the 40th anniversary celebrations do not end with that night. Throughout 2014 we will be hosting a series of events to acknowledge CAT’s accomplishments as part of the early green movement, as well as looking ahead to CAT’s future. All events will be posted on the blog and on the CAT homepage. We hope that CAT supporters will join with us in celebrating the inspiring work that has gone before.