Friday, 16 February 2018

Camborne Youth Band to the Menin Gate - interview on BBC Radio Cornwall

Great to go to BBC Radio Cornwall for an interview with Ralph Williams on Debbie McCrory's afternoon show.  Click on the link below to listen....
We're working with Camborne Youth Band in the next stage of our project Heart of Conflict, looking at people's memories of World War One in Cornwall 100 years on from the conflict.
All sorts of exciting discoveries have recently emerged: the great great grandson of Fred Negus (a Camborne man who served throughout the war) plays for Camborne Youth Band.
The Band has been invited to play at the Menin Gate at Ypres, Belgium, this August - a huge honour.
And they will take Fred Negus's bugle (brought back safely from France) and play it.
We're just helping to launch a fundraising page to help cover the band's costs. For more information, click here.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

A lead crucifix at St Just


St Just (in Penwith) Church, Cornwall, has connections with the British Legion, I think. That's probably why it has a significant memorial to World War One - and this moving crucifix, found on 20 January 1917 at Rancourt by Lt Aubrey Hall of the Grenadier Guards. I haven't had time to research Lt Aubrey Hall but Rancourt was on the Somme.
Only a glimmer of sunshine in St Just - the depths of winter. Almost 101 years since that crucifix was found.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

How to make a nightingale sparkle


Tidying up (unusually!), I came across our basic embroidery pack the other day with a (beautifully) embroidered example of how the design should look if worked in perfect crewel  stitch...
This was wonderfully done by a tutor from the Royal School of Needlework who was working with us at the time.  The nightingale and rose were carefully chosen - motifs that resonated with embroiderers of all faiths and backgrounds.
But just look at what our Christmas card designer Manik Miah transformed his into.... You can see if you zoom in that he outlined the bird with the same brown stitch, and the rose with pink and the leaves with green.  Then he went wild with sequins and colour to get wonderful final result that we feature on this year's card. More about that  here..
To find out more about Manik and his interest in embroidery, click here.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Young women remembered at Phillack Church

Great to see a booklet by local historian Chris Berry in Phillack Church, Hayle - with lots of information regarding the deaths of two young women in 1916, during World War One.
May Stoneman and Cissie Rogers died in a huge explosion at the National Explosives Factory on Hayle sand dunes. The factory at the time was producing munitions for the war and was one of the largest in the country.
Their graves are in Phillack Church graveyard.
We presented their story as part of our exhibition Heart of Conflict at the Royal Cornwall Museum earlier this year
The boards that were at the Museum are now on display at Phillack Church, so the two women are remembered now close to their final resting place, along with James Cock and George Perry who also died in the explosion.
Chris Berry has done some wonderful additional research, which adds a great deal to the very sad story.
We're hoping to stage some poetry workshops in Hayle next year, to coincide with the centenary of the end of World War One. Watch this space.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

A programme for the weekend - Welsh poet Hedd Wyn


The extraordinary interior of Hedd Wyn's house




I have to confess that I'd never heard of the Welsh poet, Hedd Wyn, before. But our volunteer Katrina Williams told me about him yesterday. He was a very promising young poet - but killed on the Western Front in World War 1. He was born in north Wales. Here's the blurb from the BBC. Katrina, who is Welsh herself, says it's fascinating to see the 'black chair' mentioned here. You can catch up with this - all being well - on these links:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0916cy4

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-36608761

"The story of Hedd Wyn is one of Wales's enduring tragedies.
A young man with little or no education succeeds in winning
The Chair, one of the main literary prizes at the National
Eisteddfod, but is killed in WWI before he could claim his
prize. To mark the centenary of his death, National Poet of
Wales Ifor ap Glyn reassesses Wyn's life and work.
His journey takes him from Trawsfynydd, where Hedd wyn was
born and raised, to Liverpool, where he was trained to
fight, and onwards to France and Belgium, where he was
killed in action on 31 July 1917.
Ifor visits Hugh Hayley, one of Britain's leading furniture
conservators, to gain an insight into the remarkable
woodcarvings embedded into the ancient oak of Wyn's Black
Chair. In France and Belgium, Ifor retraces the poet's
final weeks, days and minutes. His successful poem, aptly
titled Yr Arwr (The Hero), was finished and sent from the
trenches, and his florid yet absorbing letters from the
front seem to paint a picture of a young man who still felt
the creative urge, amidst all that went on around him.
Featuring fascinating first-hand accounts, interviews
recorded during the 1960s and 1970s with family and
friends, and contemporary archive material from WWI, Ifor
reassesses the poet's legacy. Why does this story continue
to fascinate us so? What would Hedd Wyn have achieved had
he lived? Maybe these are questions that can never be fully
answered, but one thing is for certain, Hedd Wyn's legacy
persists.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Try this - it really IS easy, especially on Black Friday....

Black Friday - and I have mainly resisted all temptation. Apart... from buying a photo frame online from Selfridges.  Thanks to the miracle of Easyfundraising, Selfridges has donated £1.05 to Bridging Arts (from a purchase of £29).
That really IS an easy way to raise money for a good cause.

It is so easy to sign up. You can download an Easyfundraising link to your laptop (which is easiest) - or you can just visit Easyfundraising page before you visit a retailer's site.
You visit the retailer online, click 'activate donation' and it's as easy as that.
Here's some blurb with instructions to sign up. Please forward to friends, too.
Something to bear in mind as you do any online shopping -- through Easyfundraising you can make FREE donations to Bridging Arts. It doesn't cost you a penny -- it's the retailer who pays.
Here’s how you can get started:
  • Click through and follow the links.
  • Once you've ordered, the retailer gives a  percentage of the sale price to charity.
You can now support Bridging Arts and your help really DOES make a difference.

Catching up with Malik

It was great to see Malik Miah on Tuesday at the Elders' Group at the Masbro Centre, Hammersmith.  Manik had created the embroidery featured on our Christmas cards this year - click for more.
It was the first time Manik had seen the finished cards. It was great to hear that he was pleased with them! Here he is with the finished product.  If you could like to buy some cards, click here.