Friday, 15 February 2019

War Memorial at Penponds Church, near Camborne

Penponds churchAs part of Heart of Conflict,our project looking at World War One in Cornwall, we studied war memorials and graves of men who had been buried back home. Penponds Church near Camborne had very close links with Camborne School of Mines and the war memorial there remembers many young men who were not born locally - but had very strong links with the parish. Click here to download a guide to Penponds War Dead, compiled by a current parishioner, Craig Carey-Clinch.
The war memorial was created by Canon James Sims Carah, vicar of Penponds from 1896-1935 with the help of local people. It was unveiled by Dr William Blackwood, a veteran of WW1 who had led a party of St Johns Ambulance men from Dolcoath mine out to the Front in 1914.
Cornish miners played a vital role in the first part of the war, digging out under enemy lines to plant explosives. Many died.  One of the School of Mines students was Cecil Calvert who was recommended for a medal for his bravery in digging out a trapped man from a tunnel with his bare hands to avoid being heard by the German troops above. Tragically he died in another fearless rescue attempt before receiving the award.  He was, though, commemorated in Deeds That Thrilled the Empire, a book published after the war to boost morale at home and celebrate the heroism of British forces.

Friday, 8 February 2019

A flying visit to Estaires, France

Anne Debette and Sylvie Mignot
It was lovely to be back in Estaires, northern France, yesterday - even briefly -  and see our friends from the College du Sacre Coeur, the local history society and the Town Hall.  We've been working with Estaires to mark the centenary of the end of World War One for nearly 18 months now.
We had lunch with Anne Debette, Sylvie Mignot and colleagues at the school (which put on such an amazing display when we visited last November).
Anne Debette at the school door
Then we went to the Town Hall to pick up the exhibition boards which have been there since November. (Hopefully these boards will be back on display - with the entire exhibition - in Camborne in time for Remembrance Day this year).
En route we called in at Sailly-sur-la-Lys graveyard, not far away, where the former Cornish policeman Thomas Penhorwood is buried. We visited this graveyard with Camborne Youth Band last August.
Thomas Penhorwood's grave

It's amazing how clean these graveyards look - expertly maintained by the Commonwealth Graves Commission. They were created in the years following the war, so nearly 100 years has passed. But they look almost new.
Cemetery at Sailly-sur-la-Lys

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Poetry marking Hayle's history

This poetry was written in autumn 2018 in Hayle, Cornwall, a century after the guns finally fell silent on the Western Front. Click here to read more.
A display of poppies made by parishioners at Phillack Church, Hayle
Keen writers – some experienced, some trying their hand for the first time - gathered at three workshops led by respected local author Jenny Alexander. They created poems to mark the centenary of the end of World War One, looking at Hayle’s extraordinary social and industrial history.
The result is a moving and powerful anthology - poems reflecting the courage, stoicism and heartbreak of those terrible years.

Friday, 1 February 2019

Migrant workers and local people in Cornwall

Daffodil pickers in West Cornwall/photo by Tom Pilston
A New Year and new resolutions.
In these days of Brexit confusion, is there ever more need to bring communities together and increase understanding?
We're just starting to do more research on the situation in Cornwall.
If you missed all the things we did at the start of this project, here are just a few highlights:
Workshops at Camborne School
An exhibition at Penair School with a film made by migrant workers
A workshop at Helston School
Ten workshops in a day at Torpoint School
A touring suitcase exhibition
And, for an overview, please visit the Bridging Arts website.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Bridging Arts accounts 2017 to 2018

We operate on a shoestring and are far too small to post our accounts up on the charity commissioners website.
But we do produce annual accounts and a report which should be of interest to supporters.  Click on the following link to read our latest annual accounts and report: Bridging Arts annual report 2017-18 .
Very many thanks to all our supporters and our local Trustees who have worked so hard over the past 12 months.
Conductor Alan Pope leading a Camborne Youth Band practise before an historic trip to the World War One
battlefields last year. Travel costs were covered by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of our project 'Playing for Camborne', looking at Cornwall's World War One heritage.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

More dance in Hammersmith

It was great to see Italian dancer Simone Sistarelli again yesterday (29 January 2019) for another dance class with people attending the Elders' Project at the Masbro Centre in Hammersmith, London.
Visit the Bridging Arts website to watch a short clip.
Simone started with warm-up exercises then moved on to dance.
"Research shows that dance is a bit like medecine," he said. "You take pills twice a day to get better - you should dance twice a day. That way, you'd really feel the benefit. It's important to practise, just like in any other field."
We are fortunate to have received funding from Localgiving's Magic Little Grants for this final class in a series.
This is the final class for the time being. But we're hoping to find funding for more as the benefits were so obvious, and everyone enjoyed it so much.