Subject: TURMEL: LETS UK 1998 Trip Report
Date: 13 Jun 1998 11:48:08

1) BRISTOL: Jerry Vahrman and his LOIS software
2) BIRMINGHAM: Sister Dorothy Peart & Urine Therapy
3) FALMOUTH: Rob Follett, Ian and Andrea Stevens
4) CRAVEN ARMS: William and Deborah
5) HALIFAX: John Thomas
6) HEBDEN BRIDGE: Ken Palmerton
7) BRADFORD: Tariq Shabbeer

     We spent our first day in Britain, Thursday, before TOES visiting
with Jerry Vahrman. Bristol has 5 LETSystems and Jerry is a programmer
who has designed the LOIS LETS Office Integration Software which is
full of elegant bells and whistles interfacing with the 1/s LETS
engine. This is not an endorsement for a particular 1/s LETS software.
I've heard good reports of LETS Assist from Australia, QLETS and other
improved interfaces will soon arise as more LETS are custom programmed
for unions, governments, communications providers, etc. I am happy to
report that he's getting orders and buyers seem happy with the
     I challenged him to prepare an Email LETS database to handle our
international LETS accommodations transactions. First transaction: We
owe him the day's Guestship in Canada he accorded us. I challenge
other LETS software designers to also prepare. Swapping hosting and
guesting functions should be a big hit. We spent 21 days in the UK
starting with the TOES 98 conference and then visiting UK LETS. We
stayed in hotels on three nights and with LETS members for the other
18 paying with Green IOUs for equivalent days of guestship in Ottawa
Canada. When one considers that those accommodations cost over $100
Canadian per night, we had an extra $1,800 to party with our new and
old LETS friends. We also found two LETS accommodations lists, Holid
LETS and LETS Stay which we hope to incorporate into the first global
LETS accommodations network.

     We spent five days in Birmingham during TOES and after. Sister
Peart had custody of a neighbor's cottage she was empowered to rent
out for only #10. We used it three of the five days which offered the
opportunity to spend time with Sister Peart where I caught up on the
Green Party's Sustainable Economics and LETSlink UK magazines. So much
has been going on in the UK I was not aware of.
     In our discussions of helping the poor, I mentioned some healings
I'd experienced with auto-urine therapy and she produced another
booklet called "First Aid Self-Help - Open letters to refugees and
others" by Dorothy Peart and Dr. Beatrice Bartnett, D.C., N.D. parts
of which I'll post here.

Sister Dorothy Peart
Dear Friend:
     I know many of you are sick or wonder and have no doctor or
medicines to help you. But there is something you can do to help
yourself. This is what this letter is about.
     You have have seen Dr. Barnard of South Africa doing open heart
surgery on television. I remember him explaining that in the blood are
several kinds of white corpuscles which fight disease. When the body
is infected, a certain kind of white corpuscle (a scout) rushes to the
site, ascertains what the enemy is, sends back messages to the bone
marrow which then manufactures exactly the type of antibody needed.
This means that at any moment in time, our blood carries the
antibodies (antibiotics) we need.
     The next thing we need to understand is that all our blood is
detoxified by the liver. The liver either storing the toxins or
passing them out of the body via the bile and intestinal tract.

     From the liver the blood passes to the kidneys. The kidney's
extract about 1% of the blood and pass it to the bladder, and so out
of the body. We call it urine. We tend to think that everything that
passes out of the body is impure, but this is not the case. Only one
thing is impure - what passes out of the back passage - what we call
feces. This never became part of the body.
     So the urine is pure, in fact it is sterile. In it are contained
the antibodies also contained in the blood (up to the minute remedies
remember) as well as many other elements of medicinal value.
     This being so, if urine is applied as a medicine internally or
externally, it gives the effected area a double dose of the body's own
curative properties.
     All cultures have know about urine's medicinal value for
centuries. I remember my grandmother told me about it but I remember
thinking her suggestion was disgusting (I was 10 years old). Many
years later I read a book called "The Water of Life" and could not put
it down until I had finished it. It was full of accounts of remarkable
cures from urine therapy (cancers, fevers, wounds, burns, diseases and
the common cold, etc).
     Since Armstrong's time a lot more research has been done and the
findings are neatly recorded in Dr. Beatrice Bartnett's booklet. Among
other things she tells us urine contains uric acid, anti-neoplaston,
H-11, 3-methyl glyoxal, all of which cut down the development of
cancer in various ways or even root it out. For wounds - allantoin,
for stress - natural cortisone, for viruses - agglutinins and
precipitins, and she mentions 16 other medicinal properties.
     Because it is free and does not make money for anyone, it does
not get advertised by the media. Besides most people are prejudiced
against it. I found it had to bring myself to actually use it , but I
read the book at a time when I really wanted to escape from the
clutches of the medical profession with all their drugs (with side
effects) and their readiness to use the knife. For me it has been a
god-send. I am now into my third year using it internally and
externally and have never felt so well.
     After our letters you will find an extract from Dr. Bartnett's
Booklet on how Urine Therapy is done followed by some case histories
of persons with aids(P.W.A.). After that comes a selection of case
histories from Armstrong's book. I do hope some of you will be
convinced enough to give this simple medicine a try.
     With every best wish for your future health,
Yours sincerely, Dorothy Peart.

Dr. Beatrice Bartnett
Dear Friend:
     How exiting it is to see this message has reached you.
     Your own body is a great temple. After two centuries of research
by top scientists, billions of dollars spent, we still do not know how
the body properly works. Yes of course, we know part of the basic
functions but that is where it ends. Yet your body's infinite wisdom
knows automatically how to take care of itself. It produces
antibodies, enzymes, hormones and neuro-peptides at the right time and
the right amount. It produces constantly new cells to give you the
ability to live healthy. The only responsibility we have is to take
proper care of our bodies - physically, emotionally and spiritually.
     The Water of Life, your own water, will give you health and
strength. It is produced by the body for the body. Perfect each time
you receive it.
     The Water of Life is a great gift. Anybody, however poor or rich
they may be, can accept this gift and use it in anyway they want. It
is really up to each of us. This is true Justice.
     Urine-Therapy has saved thousands of people. It disinfects wounds
and speeds up healing. It strengthens the body to fight disease. It
nourishes the body in times of decreased food availability, and it
prevents dehydration during a water shortage!
     We are living in a very difficult time and many things are
happening to people who never expected them.
     Be grateful for this gift and take it with a prayer in your mind.
     May God bless each of you and peace be always with you,
     With Universal Love, Dr. Beatrice Bartnett

     Urine-Therapy consists of two basic parts: the internal
application and the external application. Both parts complement each
other and are necessary for best results. There are many different
ways of using urine. After the initial experience one will find his or
her own personal way of application. Because urine is produced to
one's needs, only your own urine should be taken for internal use.

     Only fresh and your own urine should be used.
     1) Drinking. The mid-stream of the first morning urine is taken
Begin with 2-3 oz and increase it to your personal comfortable level.
     2) Fasts. Fasts with urine and water are practiced for one or
more days. J.W. Armstrong, a renowned urine therapist from England,
let his patients fast for up to 45 days. Fasts are only recommended
under trained medical supervision.
     3) Enemas. The easiest way to take an enema is with a syringe
containing 2-3 oz of urine. The urine is kept in the colon for as long
as possible.
     4) Gargle. Urine is kept in the mouth 20-30 minutes or as long as
possible for gum problems and other lesions of the mouth and tongue.
     5) Douche. For any vaginal discomfort or cleansings, a solution
of Golden Seal and urine will give comfort and healing.
     6) Eye and ear drops. Any pain, burning and tiredness in the eyes
may get relief with a few urine drops placed into the eyes. The ears
also benefit greatly if receiving a few urine drops for ear pain and

     Urine for external use is preferred to be several days old and
warmed up.
     1) Rubbings. Urine is massaged into the body. Rubbings usually
are done for any kind of skin lesions from a simple rash to eczema and
cancer. The rubbing may last from 20 minutes to 1 hour in duration.
     2) Foot baths. Very effective for athlete's foot or any skin
problem on the feet.
     3) Urine packs. Take a piece of cloth or a cottonbass, depending
on the application size, and soak it in urine. Then attach it to the
treated area.

     Urine-Therapy, like any other natural healing therapy, will
generate a healing crisis. What is this healing crisis? After taking
urine for some time (1 day, 1 week, or 1 month, depending on your
body), the body starts to detoxify. Over that period of time, all the
stored toxins and diseases - and this may go back to the earliest
childhood disease - will be released by the body. There are only a few
ways to throw out these toxins, either through the skin, colon, breath
or mouth. The body may also take care of certain viruses by raising
the temperature and producing a fever. What it comes down to is that
during a healing crisis one may have symptoms like rashes, sweating,
fever, boils, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, and cough. Usually they
only last for a few hours to a few days. After the crisis one feels
better and a step healthier. It is strongly recommended not to stop
the Urine-therapy during that natural process.
     The morning urine is the richest and best urine to drink. This is
particularly due to the greater level of hormonal secretion that takes
place in the late night hours when the body is totally relaxed and
repairing itself.
     The practice of Urine-Therapy is not dose-sensitive 9one can't
overdoes). Obviously the amount of urine one consumes will have a
direct relationship to the voracity of any healing crisis (i.e.
detoxification) that one might experience and the speed of recovery.
     Over most of the civilized world, blood and blood derivatives are
used medicinally with no thought of the distaste usually associated
with Urine-Therapy. We utilize packed cells, plasma, white cells, and
various other fractions of the blood without pause. Urine, too, is
only a derivative of the blood. We see babies nursing from their
mother's nipple and we are not disgusted. We drink cow's milk with no
hesitation, and we eat cheeses from cows, goats, and other animals.
Yet we could not think of eating or drinking urine from these same
sources. As we have seen before, urine contains, in its fresh
condition, only those chemical sand compounds of the blood in
circulation in each of us. If it is not toxic or disgusting while in
the blood, why does it suddenly become so abhorrent in the urine?
If it is not the color (and it is not since we consume large
quantities of wine in the same shades), and it is not the smell (and
it is not since we consume large amounts of cheeses with more
horrendous odors), and it is not the temperature (and it is not), then
maybe it is the taste. How many people do you know who have drunk
enough urine to be sure of its taste? I do know quite a few. Those who
do regularly consume their own urine say that the taste is mild and
not disturbing and that it is salty like ocean water.
     Now, a good way to undo conditioned behavior with regard to
perception of urine is to rinse, gargle and swish with fresh urine.
The flavor, consistency and feeling of the experience will become
familiar after a while and the disgust to your own rich bodily fluids
will be a thing of the past.
     Saying "thank you" to your body just before drinking urine will
help you to realize the value of this golden liquid. Your body
produced it for you. Celebrate life and put the urine into a beautiful
wine class. After all, it is the most valuable water on earth.

AIDS, cancer, gangrene, wounds, colds,

     JCT: And of course, I have my own case history of healings with
this wonderful medicine. I often sit and wonder about what life must
have been like for early "quacks" like Armstrong.
     Here he was going around the country curing sick people with a
ridiculously offensive but chemically well-engineered tailor-made
Omni-medicine that the Father has provided for free.
     If swallowing one's own blood after biting one's tongue is not
too offensive to sensibilities, why should swallowing blood components
mixed with water from a separate channel away from the waste duct and
through two purifying filters be any worse? And recycling the more
than 2,500 tailor-made disease-fighting components created by our
bodies dumped out from the kidneys had virtually miraculous effects.
     Armstrong always advocated fasting with 100% recycling of blood
water including body rubs with one's own and anyone else's miracle
water. The other book I read talked of maintenance with as few as a
few drops. Since 100% has never been reported to hurt, I simply prefer
as much as I can with comfort.
     Since the Water of Life contained nothing more than my own useful
blood products, I decided to try to recycle as much as I could. I
immediately dropped 35 pounds in the first two months without changing
my eating habits and including a free 3-week eating binge at the Taj
Mahal buffet during which I lost 2 pounds! I wasn't constipated once.
     One of the recycled blood components is the antacid "urogastrone"
which reduced my intake of Rolaids from one pack a week to two packs
in the last 18 months and could quell almost every attack in minutes.
     It was amazing at disinfecting cuts, scrapes, bruises as well
cleaning out intestines and bowels. The overall feeling of well-being
during the first two months as 2,500 high-powered blood components got
recycled to reattack virtually every problem in my body bordered on
     Most amazingly of all, after three weeks of agony and pain-
killers and a root canal operation slated in only four days, I cured
my own infected nerve in only two days. Though Dorothy's pamphlet
recommended swishing for 30 minutes, I swished and bathed my tooth
every waking hour. A year later, still no problem. I am in complete
awe of the Great Designer's Gift. Free tailor-made medicine. It
staggers the mind.
     Four of the sharper people we met on our LETS UK tour had all
been using their own life water, all longer than me including one 85
year-old lady who still rode her bicycle to go shopping and a 56-year-
old youth who recycles 70% and seriously stated he was aiming for 150
years! If anyone can, he's certainly first off the mark to make it.
     I would also mention that this answers the cryptic verses in my
poem to Elizabeth II, Her Majesty the Queen. I wonder how many noted
and wondered at the meaning of:
The day I got my 1997 Guinness Book,
Of Worldly Records, for my name, Turmel, I had to look.
I noted on same page, Elizabeth, Your Majesty,
Holds record among ruling Queens for Your longevity.
Perhaps P.M. of India, Morarji "wise" Desai,
Who holds a record on next page for age at work most high,
Imparted to Your Majesty the secret of his youth,
A secret I have verified as nature's greatest truth.
     Under the same Royalty and Government section was her record for
current longest-reigning queen and his for oldest newly-elected leader
at the age of 82. He died at 97 but what did he claim as his secret of
youth? On 60 Minutes, he publicly proclaimed  that he drank a glass of
his own blood water every day. I posted the news article in my journal
as an interesting medical item and it wasn't until I heard about 600
doctors attending a Conference on Auto-Urine Therapy and claiming 73%
rate of cancer cures that I really stood up and took notice. I wonder
what Her Majesty might claim was the reason for her longevity?
     Those are just some of my personal testimonials and I'll post web
sites here are some web sites where more information can be obtained: -
     So there it is. Miracle medicine for those who didn't know.

     After the TOES conference, we were hoping to make a LETS meeting
in Falmouth at the invitation of Rob Follett but missed our connection
in Bristol and had to stay with Jerry another night.
     We had beautiful weather for most of the trip and Falmouth is in
Cornwall, the south western part of the country. Flowers were blooming
everywhere. We stayed with Green activists Ian and Andrea Stevens who
showed around their recycling Green centre. They have an active LETS
of over 100 and seem on the verge of using some of the amplifiers to
boost LETS power.

     From Falmouth, we visited William Croom-Johnson in Craven Arms
near Shrewsbury. He is a retired civil engineer who publishes a
publication called LETS Holiday, a list of LETS members across the UK
who offer accommodations to LETS members available for #5 at
Highfield, Horderly, Craven Arms, Shropshire, sy7 8lhp or 0158 867
     He and his wife Deborah live in a great big beautiful 350 year-
old farmhouse and we had a wonderful time. He pointed out something
I've been looking for for years. Whenever I argued that Christ was an
Abolitionist because he advocated lending receiving nothing in return
and attacked the money-lenders in the temple, I never really had a
quick positive statement from Christ about abolishing interest rates.
William showed me a copy of the Gnostic writings which were not chosen
for inclusion in the Bible. In the Gospel of St. Thomas, verse 95:
"Jesus said: "If you have money, do not lend it out at interest."
     After almost 18 years of searching, I finally found the direct
quote that ranks Christ up there with Isaiah, Nehemiah, Ezekiel and
the other great Abolitionists of the History.

     After a few days in Birmingham, we were off to visit John Thomas
in Halifax Calderdale. John is a real money reform keener and we
immediate went about setting up our first meeting in Mytholmroyd. We
invited Calderdale Councillors, Green and LETS activists and various
monetary reformers. About 16 people attended including one Calderdale
Council member, a Calderdale Council employee and a couple of
Manchester LETS members, one of which is a Manchester Council
     After my presentation, a Green European candidate, Vivian Smith
and Calderdale council worker asked the Councillor, Michael Taylor, if
should could be paid 10% of her salary in "Favours." The Manchester
worker, Jane Wood, later expressed a similar interest. What could he
say but that he'd look into it. Actually, it went so well that we
decided to come back for another presentation in Mytholmroyd on
Saturday afternoon.

     Before then, we visited for two nights with Ken Palmerton, a
walking encyclopedia of monetary reform and historical facts. While we
were there, a student doing a PhD on LETS came to call, Chris Hart
from Lancaster. We had met at the "Campaign for Interest-free money"
panel at TOES 98. He had set up several LETS in previous years and
wanted a more complete history of the money reform movement. Ken
provided that wealth of information and I chipped in.
     To prepare for the Mytholmroyd meeting, John Thomas took a letter
he had received from Calderdale Council where they responded that they
spent #12 million pounds servicing debt last year and added at the
#12 million?
#1 million a month?
The answer to this dilemma is overleaf.
LETS provides interest-free currency to its members which frees up
sterling to pay down debts.
If Calderdale Council could use its LETS account to pay for a part of
its usual expenses, sterling would be freed up to pay off the debt in
the very same way.
John "The Engineer" Turmel, consulting engineer and financier of the
LETS software, will be speaking on optimal use of the LETS to fund
government services and pay down public debt at the:
Dusty Miller in Mytholmroyd at 1pm on Saturday May 30 1998.
All interested in LETS as a solution to public and private debt are
invited to attend.
Sustainable economics at its best.

     JCT: He then dropped them off in 60 mail slots down at Calderdale
council. He called the Halifax Courier and arranged for an interview
with Clare Lomax then hit the phones.
     That evening, we met an emedia musician at a Calderdale pub and
after I used the 4 minute Plates poem and the 2 minute Interest poem
to make him understand how paying for people service is worth it but
paying for debt service is not, "Shack" Shackleton attended and taped
my 75 minute presentation to put it on CD. If you wonder what the
TURMEL TOES 98 LETS SHOW was about, copies are #10 from 1 Holly Ivy
Cottage, Saville Park, Halifax, Yorkshire, hx1 3en, tel: 01422-365-
146. When I get a copy, I'll transcribe it and post it.

     At the Saturday Mytholmroyd meeting, I met Rachael Tibbett,
another student doing a Phd on LETS with Ken's support. We had a
couple of councillors from Calderdale and Hebdenroyd.
     At the end our my presentation, Calderdale Councillor Ed Waller
mentioned that his wife used to participate in a kind of LETS by using
their tokens in a babysitting circle. He's one who doesn't have any
problem understanding how LETS works. Hebdenroyd Councillor Les
Siddall mentioned that he had already been thinking of how LETS could
be applied by the municipality.
     Helen Hunt came for Forum for the Future, the Green movement
think tank who set up shop to study Calderdale because of the success
of their LETS. By the way, I recently transcribed and posted the
article announcing the #200,000 funding for the Forum looking for the
paper and date. It was the Halifax Courier.

     Our last stop was in Bradford, only 10 miles from Calderdale,
where we visited with Tariq Shabbeer and his wife Nighat "Nicki." She
had already been a Green candidate in a recent election and is ready
to try again.
     The next day, we met Tariq in his office where he introduced us
to the six other members of their economic development team. Two of
their LETS flyers:


What are they?
     A LETS is a community trading network where members exchange or
sell goods, skills or services, using their own community currency,
instead of pounds.
     It works almost exactly like a regular bank cheque account,
except LETS schemes make no profit and there is no interest on your
debt (which is called a commitment).
     The idea behind LETS is to allow people and organizations to
trade their skills, services, and goods without needing to use cash.
Without cash or access to low cost credit, most communities start to
seize up. LETS enables people to get the goods and services that they
need by creating their own "money" to exchange locally. LETS exist all
over the world and have provided a major contribution to getting a
local economy going again. LETS schemes enable people to develop and
use their skills and trade goods and services.

How does it work?
     A group of interested individuals come together to form a LETS
group. The individuals list out the skills and services that they can
offer, and identify what services or goods they need. These offers and
requests form the basis for a LETS directory (a bit like Yellow Pages)
which is circulated to other members of the scheme.
     All members of the scheme receive a copy of this directory and
can use it to "buy" and "sell" goods and services. The LETS scheme
creates its own currency for these services. The trading unit
(normally equivalent to #1) is named by the LETS group, for example a
trading unit in Manchester is called a Bobbin. The trading unit
currently used in Bradford is the "Brad."
     The trading unit is used to buy goods and services from any
member of the LETS community using a LETS cheque. An administrator
keeps records of what transactions have taken place. They regularly
keep members informed of the type and amount of trading that has taken
place, and update them of any new members, and the services that they

What's in it for you?
     A LETS scheme offers you much greater flexibility in your
personal finances. You can get much more than you would be able to
purchase with cash alone. The major benefits of belong to a scheme is
that you don't need to have any money to benefit from the goods and
services on offer.
     In fact, the scheme depends on its members taking on a
commitment. The great news is that there is no penalty for going into
commitment - as there is no interest charged.
     All that you are committing yourself to is doing some work for
another member of the LETS scheme at some time in the future.
     LETS offers you an alternative means of benefiting from your
skills without using cash. You can trade your skills, products that
you make, or even loan equipment.
     It provides a good opportunity to get to know people better in
your local community and exchange goods and services with others. It
gives you a chance to get involved, make your money go further and get
to know more people.
     The goods and services that you offer as part of the LETS scheme
may provide you with the basis for an idea that could develop into
     Because trading is local only the local community can benefit.
     LETS provides an opportunity to help others in your local
community and to develop new friends.

Where do I go next?
     You need to get a small group of people together who are
interested in the idea of starting a local LETS. These will form the
core group of your scheme.
     When you have your initial LETS group, contact the Community
Economic Development Unit. We will help you to set up your own scheme,
provide help and support to get the scheme up and running.
     If you would like to know more about setting up your own LETS, we
can be contacted on the following number: 01274-752-436.

     Bradford's residents will come together at the Bradford Festival
to promote and celebrate two community finance initiatives from Friday
June 26th to Sunday June 28 1998. The initiatives are local credit
unions and LETS, they allow people to buy goods and services with
little or no money.
     The event "LETS GIVE OURSELVES CREDIT" is part of the Bradford
festival and will be in Centenary Square from 11.30a.m. to 10p.m. each
     Bradford LETS allows communities to exchange goods and services
with each other through local currency systems with credits equivalent
to the pound. No interest is charged or paid on LETS accounts and
there is no penalty for going "overdrawn."
     Explains Councillor Tony Cairns, Chair of the Economic Strategy
Subcommittee, "LETS fosters trust-building and self-esteem in
     Added Councillor Ralph Berry, chair of the Community Development
committee, "The LETS system is effective because everyone can
participate. Examples of things people can offer include local lifts,
tuition, food, childminding, ironing and joinery. As long as it's
legal you can trade it through LETS. Since everyone receives an
immediate 50 credits, credit can take place straight away."
     For more information, contact Anthony Barzey or Tariq Shabbeer.

     JCT: Tariq gave us a copy of Bradford's application to the
European Community in Brussels for equivalent funding to set up
LETSystems. Highlights:

Applications for ERDF revenue support under Objective 2, Objective 5b
and Community Initiatives should be submitted using this form. It will
be necessary for each project to be supported by a fully documented
Business Plan, or a project proposal providing a similar level of
information. The Business Plan will need to show that without the
assistance the project would not go ahead, would go ahead on a
significantly reduced scale, or in the case of projects already
started would cease.
Name of Programme: Yorkshire and Humberside Objective 2 1994-1996
Title of project: Neighbourhood Local Exchange Trading Schemes
Applicant Name: City of Bradford Metropolitan Council
Address: Economic Initiatives Division, Bradford, BD1 5RW
Contact: Avril Austerberry
Position: Special Initiatives Manager
Tel/fax: 01274-753506/754428
Legal Status: Local Authority
Area: Bradford Objective 2 (Priority 6 area)
Place: Central Bradford

Outline description of project:
     "The development of Local Exchange Trading Schemes (LETS) through
the Priority 6 area, is a part of an integrated approach to community
economic development which aims to bring about the regeneration of
socially excluded communities. The idea behind LETS is to overcome the
absence of finance and credit by encouraging people and organizations
to trade skills, services and goods without needing to use the cash
economy. The system works by developing a local directory of skills, a
unit of exchange and a system of debiting and crediting the number of
units in an account. LETS are community owned and help stimulate the
local economy. This Project would build on existing LETS development
work and would be targeting individual neighbourhoods within the
Priority 6 area."

Explain the rationale behind the project:
     "The Priority 6 area of Bradford is home to communities who
suffer long term social exclusion due to poverty and unemployment, and
in some cases, discrimination. This has resulted in the loss of self-
esteem in these communities and, in some instances, a dependency
culture. LETS is a mechanism for overcoming these barriers and
provides one approach in assisting regeneration.
     The success of LETS has been proved as it is running in largely
one area of Bradford's inner city for the past 2 years. the system has
over 200 members and has so far traded the equivalent of #12,000. It
provides a framework by which the community can meet its economic
needs and is particularly appropriate in areas of high unemployment
where residents feel disenfranchised from the conventional economic

State how the project meets of the objectives of the Programme?
     "By the development of local community economic activity.
     Long term creation of employment opportunities.
     Building local capacity to respond to opportunities."

Which measure and priority: "Priority 6 Measure 21"
Period of Project: "April 1, 1996 - March 31, 1998"
Who will deliver project?
     "City of Bradford Metropolitan Council, Economic Initiatives
Division will deliver the Project through its Community Economic
Development Team. Business Links, along with all other local
consultees, support this proposal."
What experience have you delivering this type of project?
     "The Council has supported and participated in the existing LETS
scheme over the last 2 years. It also has a proven track record in
delivering a wide range of Projects, including many funded through
European finance."

Give details of links with existing projects:
     "It is an extension of an existing project which has clearly
defined parameters, but will be focused on those Priority 6 areas in
which this initiative is currently absent, but which would benefit. It
has never received ERDF funding. It links with the Council's "Areas of
Stress" document, and the District's Community Economic Development
Strategy and Anti-Poverty Strategies."

Examples of the type of costs (labour, rental, etc): "#55,700."
Applicant's own funds: "#27,850."
Proposed funding: "#27,850."

Please specify performance measure:
     "Number of LETS schemes established: 4
     Advice Sessions provided: 16
     Training hours provided: 400
     Number of members participating: 600
     Number of volunteers recruited: 30
     Value of trading achieved: #40,000"

How to monitor effectiveness of the project?
     "Membership to increase.
     Volume to trading.
     Number of new businesses created.
     Number of people accessing training.
     Number of people accessing employment.
     Impact of the social benefit in communities.
     Monthly monitoring by EID Management, Quarterly Review"

Give milestones:
     "2 new LETS schemes established by 31.03.97
     4 new LETS schemes established by 31.03.98."

     JCT: So that's the project that Tariq has been working on and
half the funding, #28,000, came from European Community funding. I
wonder if they've funded LETS in France, Germany or other nations with
spectacular recent growth? Tariq is pleased to record that though
their 400 members were less than the 600 targeted, they did do #65,000
in trading, well over the #40,000 mark.
     While we were actually sitting in Tariq office, another officer
handed over an item on LETS that he'd just received from a UK
government bulletin and which Tariq has already noted on econ-lets:

Monday June 1 1998
UK Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

Community-Based Regeneration Initiatives
A Working Paper

Annex A: Examples of community-based regeneration activities
1) Credit Unions.
2) Microcredit.
3) Community loan funds.
4) Local Exchange and Trading Systems (LETS)
5) Community enterprise.
6) Development Trusts.
7) Managed workspace.
8) Community shops and pubs.

4) Local Exchange and Trading Systems (LETS)
     LETS allows members to trade goods or services without
conventional money using a local credit or "currency." LETS tend to
provide a directory with brief descriptions of offers and needs,
cheque books, an accounting system and statements to members.
     At Stroud in Gloucestershire, nearly 500 of the 15,000 residents
are members of a LETS scheme. Transactions are settled with a printed
chequebook dealing in the Stroud Pound and completed cheques are added
to or subtracted from a member's account. Members often pay partly in
cash, usually to cover raw materials that cannot be bought through the
systems. Members of the scheme include local restauranteurs,
architects, baby-sitters, gardeners and seamstresses.
     Ithaca, USA, runs a highly successful LET. The "Ithaca Hour" is
sold as currency exchangeable for services by barter of labor or goods
reckoned by the hour. Where the Ithaca LET differs from the others
LETs is in its issue of its own money and loans. IN five years, the
5,000 unites of paper money issued by the scheme, accepted by more
than 300 businesses, have changed hands to the value of $2m.
     JCT: $50,000 in Hours generating $2,000,000 in volume shows the
benefits of high velocity. Imagine having to have input all those
transaction using a 1 velocity system?

8) Community shops and pubs.
     A community shop or pub is a point of local contact. In order to
remain economically viable, it may require a degree of subsidy in the
form of villagers' voluntary time or grants. It may need to diversify
into other areas (from fax and photocopying to hairdressing). For
those living in rural communities, especially those who can't get
around easily, the village shop along with the pub not only provides
essential goods and services but also fulfills an important social
     For example, the Talaton Village Shop in Exeter has been in
family ownership for three generations but closed October 1993 due to
commercial pressures. Although poorly patronized, the shop's closure
made the villagers aware that they had been complacent in assuming it
would always be there when needed. A few local residents carried out a
survey which disclosed that most people would support a reopened shop.
They acquired a lease on the building, estimating that #10,000 would
be needed to refurbish and restock it, and that each of the 150
households in the village would need to spend an average of #4 to #5 a
week for the project to be viable. Within two weeks, #5,000 had been
raised in subscription and bonds and with further financial help and
advice from the community council, the Rural Development commission
and the VIllage Retail Services Association, the shop reopened in
February 1994. Some 30 villagers volunteered to serve in the shop
without pay and to collect goods from local wholesalers. Today,
takings are more than #1,000 a week and rising. The shop sells local
produce on commission and runs a dry cleaning and shoe repairing
service, a video rental and off-license.
     For fuller treatment of this topic, see Community Works! A guide
to community economic action (New Economics Foundation)
Published May 29, 1998

     JCT: Again, with the UK government looking to set up community
shops and LETS, the notion to set up LETS in community shops should be
very appealing.
     We had lunch at a Bradford University restaurant that took 50%
Brads. We picked up the sterling, Tariq picked up the Brads. Then he
took us around to meet Shirley Quinn, arguably Bradford's most famous
LETSer. Shirley gave gave Pauline a copy of a one-week-old huge two
page spread in "Take a Break" National Newsmagazine for Women, on
May 21 1998 by Julie Akhurst

DEATH TO MONEY (O is skull and crossbones)

Picture: British notes and West Bowling LETS Check book.

As Shirley discovered, most troubles boiled down to one thing: cash.
You never had enough! Then someone showed her how to return to the
days before it was invented.

Picture Caption: Glen and Shirley at the market
     All around her men were shouting prices, stamping down cardboard
boxes, chucking buckets of water between stalls. It was the usual
bedlam at St. James's wholesale market and it was only 7am.
Shutting her ears to the beep-beep of a reversing lorry, Shirley Quinn
picked her way carefully, using her stick to push a clump of squashed
tomatoes out of her path.
     "All right, Glen, love?" she called over her shoulder.
     "Er, fine, Shirley," said her friend Glen Mills, who was
struggling along behind her with a mountain of boxes and bags. "Are we
nearly finished?"
     "Just Winnie's spring onions to fetch, then we head off home,"
said Shirley.
     The fruit and veg man was ready for them, spring onions in hand.
     "Got your apples yet, Shirley?" he asked. "Only I've saved some
for you. Ten pence each and I'll knock 50p off these carrots..."
     "Bless you," said Shirley, "but that still a bit dear."
     "Oh, 75p then - my final offer."
     "Done," said Shirley.
     Everything bought, she and Glen set off home. They spend the next
two hours at her kitchen table, pot of tea at one elbow, pile of old
carrier bags at the other, bagging and pricing. A stranger might have
thought it was another country. Forget the Euro or the dollar. Shirley
had her own currency, the Park. On one bag of mixed veg she wrote #2 +
1 Park; on some grapes and bananas she wrote #1.49 + 1 Park. It wasn't
a foreign currency but part of a new bartering system.
     Normally people charged money for mending a fence, fixing a leaky
tap, digging the garden or babysitting. But Shirley and Glen and the
65 other members of their group swapped skills instead. They'd
invented their own credit system - Parks. Each Park was worth about 1
     Shirley, 58, had been in and out of hospital for years with
hernia operations. Often she couldn't sweep her own front path or even
bake a batch of buns when her grandchildren were coming for tea. Under
the new system, she could pay her neighbours to help her, using Parks.
Delivering their half-price fruit and veg was her way of balancing the
Picture Caption: Shirley delivers the goods to Winnie
     As Glen loaded the last tray of bagged produce into his car,
Shirley climbed into the passenger seat beside him and they set off on
their deliveries in West Bowling, Bradford, Yorkshire.
     Everybody she visited found it hard to get out for one reason or
another. Everyone had a story to tell.
     First call was Winnie Powell, a widow, whose knees were too bad
to get her to the shops most days.
     "Ooh, those spring onions look lovely, Shirley," she said.
"They're like something out of a magazine. You should see what passes
for a spring onion down at our corner shop! What do I owe you?
     "Two quid for the lot plus one Park for delivery," said Shirley.
"I'll bring round my plants later in the week."
     Winnie was as good as Alan Titchmarsh with a sick plant - that
was her special skill.

Picture Caption: Glen and Shirley stop off at June's
     June Mackay was next, a mum bringing up three children on her
own. She was tied to the house most of the day, with no car.
     "Come in for a quick cup of tea, Shirley," June said as she
hefted her potatoes into the kitchen.
     Shirley shook her head. "Sorry, love, I must get on. How are your
     "Much better," said June. "How's your tummy?"

Picture Caption: Swapping skills, June and Shirley
     They'd met a couple of months earlier when they were both at St.
Luke's Hospital. Shirley had been in for another hernia. June was
getting her varicose veins done and feeling pretty miserable.
     "Join our system," Shirley said, trying to cheer her up. "You
must have some special skill you can swap. Oh go on -- everybody had."
     June, 39, thought about it and remembered how good she'd been
with figures at school. Now she was teaching sums to children as her
     Meanwhile, she was checking out piano teachers who could give
lessons to her girls, Catherine, six, and Marie, four. Being so
strapped for cash, she believed she'd never be able to afford such a
thing. But now she was banking credits.
     "You're flagging, Glen," Shirley said as they climbed back into
the car for their next call to the 25 or so neighbours on their list.
     "Give us a break," muttered Glen. "We haven't all got your
     Last on the list were Christine and Jack Fowley.
     "I'm right glad to see you," Christine greeted them. "I need you
to check this wool I've bought. Cup of tea?"
     "Ok, then," said Shirley. "Seeing as you're the last of the day."
     Christine, 54, had bad arthritis and her husband Jack, 67, had a
heart pacemaker. Neither of them could do much lifting or carrying.
What Christine was good at was knitting intricate baby cardigans. Now
she was making one for Shirley to give to a friend.
     Glen dropped Shirley back at her house in Summerlands Grove.
     "Do you know," Shirley said to him, "I think we'll have to
increase our order next time. Can you get here a bit earlier?"
     "Crikey," said Glen. "You mean earlier than 6:30am.? Oh all
right. Shall we say 6am?"
     Shirley smiled. Somehow you didn't say no to Shirley.

     It's known as LETS - local exchange and trading system. And it is
beginning to spread like wildfire. By bartering your skills and
services, you save money - and make friends.
     Mandy Winkworth of the national organization LETS Connect told
Take a Break: "So many people have a bit of a cash shortage - so this
way we make our own."
     Each community has its own name for their currency. It's known as
Bobbins in Manchester, Hearts in Birmingham, Olivers in Bath and
Stones in Folkestone.
     Mandy says: "Everything you can imagine paying for is offered.
The most common skills are babysitting, typing, catering, plumbing,
giving lifts, gardening and lending out tools to each other. They are
friends and neighbours. They don't dare do a bad job or word will get
     For the first time, many people are being paid for things they've
done all their lives for free.
     - Housebound people can stay at home waiting to accept parcels
for those who are out.
     - The older members of the system are on hand to read stories to
childen and to babysit.
     - People at home water plants for those who are away on holiday.
     Founder of the Bradford LETS, Tariq Shabbeer says: "By bartering
this way you can save your cash. And if you are seeking work, you keep
busy and build self-esteem without losing your benefits."
     If you'd like to find out more aboyut LETS in your area - or set
up your own system, then ring Mandy Winkworth at LETS Connect (tel
01952 590687) for advice. Or you can write to her at 12 Leasowe Green,
Lightmore Villagte, Telford, Shropshire, tf4 3qx.

     JCT: Pauline will include the actual two page spread in her snail
mail picture report. Though Shirley spends her Brads every chance she
gets, she's still earned a large positive balance and what she said
she wanted most was to use her Green for accommodations so she can
take on travels she could never afford on Sterling. She was pleased to
hear about Holiday LETS and Tariq has promised to obtain a copy of
William Croom-Johnson. We're also looking into a "LETS Stay" list from
somewhere near London. We managed to use 83.3% Green for
accommodations. Why shouldn't Shirley?
     She attended my presentation at the Bradford Council. After I'd
explained that if the mayor accepted Tariq's offer to take 10% of his
pay in Green and everyone in town started taking his Green too, they
would accept the Green Shirley's earned too." Shirley, the active LETS
pauper-pensioner, shouted jubilantly:
     "And I'll be rich."

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