Tuesday, 30 October 2018

A Cornish long distance love story reaches France for Armistice Day

Lillie Uren (left)


Lesley Pentecost lived in Enys Road, Camborne

A long distance love story between a young Cornish miner from Dolcoath and a young woman from Beacon, Camborne, will be remembered this Armistice Day in France by his descendants and the French family who welcomed him to their home in World War One.

Camborne man Lesley Pentecost was a miner at Dolcoath when he signed up in 1914 with other young men from the area. Led by Camborne doctor, William Blackwood, they joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and went straight out to the Western Front. They went first to the town of Estaires, in northern France, where some were billeted with local families.

On Armistice Day weekend, Lesley’s descendants, led by his granddaughter Alison Pooley of Illogan, will travel back to Estaires and meet descendants of the Smagghue family in whose house Lesley was billeted in the war.

Alison will bring photographs and postcards for the Smagghues – who have no records of this time as their home was destroyed by the end of the war and Estaires left in ruins.

The two families will also mark a long distance love story. Before he signed up, Lesley had fallen in love. He was in Dolcoath’s mine St John Ambulance unit and one night had participated in a training session with young trainee nurses. Lillie Uren, from Beacon, was one of these women – and she practiced bandaging his knee. Click here to listen to an interview about this on BBC Cornwall.

“Their eyes locked – and the rest is history,” says Susan Roberts, director of the charity Bridging Arts which has been marking the centenary of World War One in Cornwall over the past four years. “Lesley set off for war and left Lillie behind. They corresponded over the war years, and the family – quite miraculously – has preserved the letters and postcards carefully.”

Along with the love letters between Lesley and Lillie are others written by the Smagghue family back to Lesley’s family back in Camborne. Clearly a strong friendship was forged.

“Because of this friendship, we thought it would be important to discover if any Smagghues still lived in the area,” says Susan. “With the help of the Town Hall in Estaires, we managed to track down some descendants of the people who welcomed Lesley so warmly. They were thrilled to discover this link – and photographs of their grandfather that they had never previously seen. It’s wonderful that 100 years on they are going to be reunited with the descendants of Lesley Pentecost.”

The local school – which was transformed into a hospital during the war by the Royal Army Medical Corp - is staging a play and exhibition about this poignant story on Friday 9 November.

For more information, please email susanroberts@bridging-arts.com or call 07772 128 014.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Article on PLAYING FOR CAMBORNE exhibition in Western Morning News

Great to see an article in the Western Morning News this weekend on PLAYING FOR CAMBORNE:MUSIC AND RUGBY IN WORLD WAR ONE AND NOW - with a lovely photo by Heartlands' Aidan Botha.
This exhibition is about local World War One history and Camborne Youth Band's historic trip to France and the Menin Gate, Belgium in August 2018.
It's free and open daily at Heartlands, Pool, Cornwall. 

Candlelit vigil and poetry reading in Hayle

There will be a candlelit vigil and poetry reading on Saturday 10 November at 7pm at St Elwyn's Church, Hayle, to mark the centenary of the end of World War One.  People who have attended talks on Hayle's history and poetry workshops will read their work.
The vigil will last about an hour, followed by refreshments. This will be a moving and thought-provoking event.  Branwell Bourne, organist at St Elwyn's, will play at the start and end.
This will bring Heroes of Hayle, our work in the town marking the centenary of the end of World War One to a close. It has been a real privilege to work with the many dozens of people who have participated in this project, which has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Press release - PLAYING FOR CAMBORNE - Heartlands


SPOTLIGHT ON LOCAL BRASS BAND, RUGBY AND MINING HISTORY AT NEW EXHIBITION AT HEARTLANDS

A powerful new exhibition has opened at Heartlands, Pool, marking the centenary of the end of World War One.

PLAYING FOR CAMBORNE: MUSIC AND RUGBY IN WORLD WAR ONE AND NOW runs from Friday 12 October to Tuesday 6 November.

“This exhibition throws a spotlight on the wartime experience of a group of miners from Dolcoath who joined the 25th Field Ambulance and went out to the Western Front in November 1914,” says Susan Roberts, Director of the charity Bridging Arts which organised the exhibition with Heritage Lottery funding.

“The miners, part of Dolcoath’s St John Ambulance team, went straight to work collecting the wounded and dying from No Man’s Land. The following spring, they organised three rugby matches between Cornish and Devon soldiers after Camborne Rugby Club sent out a ball – and it’s these three historic matches have led to the exhibition on now in Pool.”

One by one, the descendants of the men who played have come forward, including the great great grandson of Fred Negus, one of the miners. Corey Williams, aged 13, is in Camborne Youth Band and his family have Fred’s 100-year-olld bugle.

Over August Bank Holiday weekend, thanks to Heritage Lottery funding which covered travel costs, Corey and the Youth Band followed in the men’s footsteps and travelled out to the Western Front.

They played the 100-year-old bugle and took a rugby ball, signed by current Cornwall and Devon teams, to honour the memory of the three famous rugby matches.

They visited:
Estaires, in northern France, where the men were stationed, and presented the rugby ball to the town
Sailly-sur-la-Lys, where a Cornishman from the 25th Field Ambulance is buried
The Menin Gate, Ypres, where they played to a crowd of thousands.

“Everyone in the Band wanted to let local people know about their experience and to thank them for their support in helping to make this happen,” says Susan. “Besides the Heritage Lottery fund, very many dozens of local businesses, organisations and individuals also donated to cover other costs involved in the Band’s trip. We would like to say a huge thank you to all of them.”

A new prize at Camborne Music Festival was announced at the exhibition launch.

The Menin Gate Prize for best young brass band instrumentalist will mark the centenary of the end of World War One at the Festival from now on. The £100 prize is open to young musicians from across Cornwall.

"This is a very fitting legacy of the trip," says Susan. "The Festival organisers hope that it will attract many new young players to the Festival and strengthen Camborne's strong and impressive Brass Band heritage."

“We’re very pleased that Bridging Arts have brought this incredibly powerful exhibition to Heartlands,” says Aidan Botha, Marketing and Events Manager at Heartlands. “Marking the centenary of World War One through the personal accounts of those who travelled out to the Western Front, as recounted through the eyes of their descendants as well as the Camborne Youth Band, demonstrates the collective power of both sport and music in establishing and nurturing strong community ties.”

EXHIBITION OPENING TIMES

ENTRY FREE

Heartlands, Pool

10am-4pm daily

12 October – 6 November 2018

For more information, please call Susan Roberts on 07772 128 014 or email susanroberts@bridging-arts.com

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Our new page for Crowdfunding...

We now have a dedicated fundraising page that we're planning to use for Crowdfunding for one-off costs.
Traditionally, we've depended on grant funding to finance the bulk of our projects.
But recently our work - particularly around the centenary of World War One - has taken off in so many unexpected directions that cannot be covered by the original grant funding (from the Heritage Lottery Fund).
We thought it would be a shame not to pursue very interesting ideas... So....  here we go.
News of our first Crowdfunding project up will appear on our LocalGiving page

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Film accompanying exhibition at Heartlands, Pool

Storm Callum got the better of me yesterday and it took several hours to upload the film that accompanies our exhibition PLAYING FOR CAMBORNE: MUSIC AND RUGBY IN WORLD WAR ONE AND NOWClick here to view.
The exhibition is currently open at Heartlands, Pool, Cornwall.
Very many thanks to Mark Newman and Sandy Easterbrook for taking this footage.

Friday, 12 October 2018

PLAYING FOR CAMBORNE exhibition open at Heartlands, Pool

Our free exhibition PLAYING FOR CAMBORNE: MUSIC AND RUGBY IN WORLD WAR ONE AND NOW has opened at Heartlands, Pool. Just over 100 years ago, a group of brave tin miners from Dolcoath set off to the Western Front after war broke out.

In August 2018, 100 years on from the end of the war, Camborne Youth Band followed in their footsteps and travelled back to France and Belgium to honour their memory.

They took a 100-year-old bugle that belonged to one of these men, Fred Negus. Fred’s great great grandson, Corey Williams, plays in the Band.

They also took a rugby ball, signed by current Cornwall and Devon teams, to honour the memory of three famous rugby matches played at the Front in 1915.

They visited:
Estaires, in northern France, where they played by the War Memorial and presented the rugby ball to the town
Sailly-sur-la-Lys, where a Cornishman from the Field Ambulance is buried
The Menin Gate, Ypres, where they played to a crowd of thousands.

The exhibition, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, tells the story of this history - and the Band's journey.

Heartlands, Pool, Cornwall TR15 3QY

10am-4pm daily

12 October – 6 November 2018

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Putting finishing touches to Heartlands exhibition

Working on the finishing touches to our exhibition at Heartlands, Pool, on Camborne Youth Band's historic trip to the World War One battlefields of France and Belgium in August.
Things always take longer than you think....
Here fine-tuning the TV screen that will show a film of the trip.....

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Interviews with Camborne Youth Band on the Western Front

In the midst of putting up our exhibition at Heartlands - and organising interviews with members of Camborne Youth Band on the Western Front. Click here to listen to several players reflecting on their experience.
The official opening of the exhibition is on Thursday 11 October from 630pm -830pm.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Third and final workshop in Hayle: poets poised for reading in November

The last of three poetry workshops in Hayle yesterday (Saturday 6 October) led by the lovely Jenny Alexander. A full house and everyone was hard at work all the way to 4pm, the end of the day.
A great cake for tea and coffee breaks made by Gwen Pooley of Phillack Church. A touch like that makes such a difference - so welcoming.
This is part of our project Heroes of Hayle, talks, walks and workshops marking the centenary of the end of World War One. Poems created at the workshops will be read at a candlelit vigil at St Elwyn's Church, Hayle on Saturday 10 November 2018, starting at 7pm. For more information, email info@bridging-arts.com

Friday, 5 October 2018

Last poetry workshop before November's candlelit vigil

Am quite sorry that tomorrow is our last poetry workshop in Hayle: they've gone so well and people have been so interested. The project is called Heroes of Hayle and marks the centenary of World War One in the town. It's funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and has included a series of talks through the summer on the town's history as well as these three workshops. 

It's been wonderful to see so much enthusiasm and interest - and people writing so enthusiastically at the workshops which have been led by local author Jenny Alexander.

The writers will be reading their poetry at a candlelit vigil on 10 November 2018 at St Elwyn's Church, Hayle.

Monday, 1 October 2018

PLAYING FOR CAMBORNE exhibition opening night - Thursday 11 October 630pm

The official opening of PLAYING FOR CAMBORNE, our exhibition at Heartlands, Pool, will be on Thursday 11 October 2018 from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. This exhibition tells the story of local World War One history and Camborne Youth Band's recent visit to the Western Front.
There'll be a preview of photos and film from this amazing trip to France and Belgium: the Band will be playing to thank everyone who supported them and helped make this trip happen.
All are very welcome. Please email info@bridging-arts.com for more information.

The exhibition is open to the public from Friday 12 October to Tuesday 6 November.