Thursday, 16 January 2020

Rare glimpse of a Field Ambulance in action

Very many thanks to Sylvie Mignot of the historical association in Estaires for discovering footage of a British Field Ambulance in action in the town in World War One. Cornish miners from Dolcoath in the 25th Field Ambulance were stationed in the area during the first year of the war (from November 1914 until early 1915).
The school where Sylvie works (the College du Sacre Coeur) was turned into a Field Ambulance.
These are screen grabs from the footage.






Thursday, 2 January 2020

Remembering a great Cornishman

The new year starts on a sad note with the news that Paddy Bradley has died.
Paddy, the historian who helped us so much with our World War One research, was Cornish through and through and seemed to know everything there was to know about Redruth where he was born and lived all his life.
He was also, in his time, a rugby legend - playing for his beloved Redruth and Cornwall.
He will be greatly missed.
His collection of postcards can be seen on this link.
RIP Paddy. It was such a pleasure to know you and work with you. 

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


Sophie, a Year 5 pupil at St John's Catholic Primary School, Camborne, captured the spirit of Christmas with her cheerful snowman. We ran several workshops at the school in 2019.
A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from everyone at Bridging Arts.
A huge thank you to everyone who took part, listened, watched, played, inspired and generally supported us in 2019. We couldn’t have done it without you and it has been enormously worthwhile. We’re looking forward to keeping in touch in 2020!

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Menin Gate in Lego

This took me by surprise! It's in the Commonwealth War Graves office in Ypres, close to the Menin Gate. The Menin Gate was built after World War One and the names of nearly 55,000 men with no known grave chiselled on it.  It seems in one way strange to recreate something so moving, solemn and tragic in Lego.
But on the other hand perhaps it makes you look at it more closely. And people - children perhaps - who wouldn't normally think of looking at Menin Gate - or think about it -  will do so now.  We visited the Menin Gate with Camborne Youth Band last year - to mark the centenary of the end of World War One.


Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Cornish miners feature in French school's WW1 exhibition

Cornish tin miners from Dolcoath featured in a special exhibition created by students at the College du Sacre Coeur, Estaires, in northern France created last week (6 December 2019). Students at the school, which was turned into a Field Hospital in World War One, put on a display about the men from  Cornwall in the 25th Field Ambulance who played in three rugby matches at the Front in May 1915.
Amidst preparations for the terrible battle of Aubers Ridge, the men organised three games between Cornish and Devon soldiers in the Field Ambulance after Camborne Rugby Club sent out a ball.  The school last Friday (6 December 2019) commemorated these  matches by playing a seven-a-side game between teams representing Devon and Cornwall. Click here for more.
To create the exhibition, English students, with the help of their teacher Anne Debette, corresponded with Alison Pooley, the granddaughter of Leslie Pentecost who had played in the matches.
Their beautifully presented display showed the school's commitment to this history. Very impressive indeed.
It also presented messages - written in French - from St John's Catholic Primary School in Camborne, which is just started to correspond with the school. They were very impressive and a credit to Camborne!

Links with Estaires

Our work in Estaires started in 2017 when we forged links between Cornwall and the town having discovered that Cornish miners from Dolcoath were stationed in Estaires. Camborne Youth Band visited the town in 2018; Corey Williams, the great great grandson of Fred Negus, one of the miners, was in the Band and played Fred's 100-year-old bugle.
In November that same year, we visited the town again on Armistice Day with Alison Pooley and her sister Carmen Saunders to honour these historic links.  The school pulled out all the stops then, too, with a fantastic exhibition, musical performance and play.

 

Monday, 9 December 2019

French school commemorates historic WW1 rugby games

It was a cold and wet but splendid afternoon on 6 December 2019 when the College du Sacre Coeur in Estaires, France, commemorated three historic rugby matches played on the Western Front nearby more than 100 years earlier.
The games in May 1915 were played between Cornish and Devon teams in the 25th Field Ambulance after Camborne Rugby Club sent out a ball.  The men organised three  matches: the Cornish won 2-1 overall.
The school has strong links with this history: it was turned into a hospital during World War One and the 25th Field Ambulance was based there.

Rugby to remember

English teacher Anne Debette and her colleages at the school organised the commemoration 104 years later with seven-a-side teams who wore black (Cornwall) and green (Devon). Cornwall won! The school orchestra played the National Anthem to start, the crowd (wearing black and gold - or green!)  cheered throughout and the games teacher who coached his students over several wintry afternoons posed at the end with the teams.
The team used a ball signed by the Cornish Pirates (based in Camborne for several seasons some years ago) presented to the school in October 2019 by Camborne MP George Eustice.
It was a great occasion and a credit to the school which showed such a deep commitment to local and international history.

Team member's granddaughter

Alison Pooley, granddaughter of Leslie Pentecost who played in one of the matches, made the long journey from Camborne to the north of France to see the match. She said it was fantastic and a truly historic occasion. She had corresponded with the students in preparation for the day as the school also prepared an exhibition about this history: to read more, click here.

Our links with Estaires

Our work in Estaires started in 2017 when we forged links between Cornwall and the town having discovered that Cornish miners from Dolcoath were stationed in Estaires. Camborne Youth Band visited the town in 2018; Corey Williams, the great great grandson of Fred Negus, one of the miners, was in the Band and played Fred's 100-year-old bugle.
In November that same year, we visited the town again on Armistice Day with Alison Pooley and her sister Carmen Saunders to honour these historic links.  The school pulled out all the stops then, too, with a fantastic exhibition, musical performance and play.


Friday, 29 November 2019

Easyfundraising really IS easy

It's easy to raise money for Bridging Arts by shopping online: please remember us in the frenzy of Black Friday and Christmas shopping!
Easyfundraising really IS an easy way to raise money for a good cause.  You don't pay a penny, but the retailer gives a percentage of the sale price to us.
Here’s how you can get started: Go to
https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/invite/3FJ076/
  • Type 'Bridging Arts' in the box, then click through and follow the links.
  • Once you've ordered, the retailer calculates the percentage of the sale price and pays it to us.
It's an easy way of supporting Bridging Arts. Your  help really DOES make a difference. Thank you!

Support Us

Bridging Arts depends on grants and charitable donations. To support us, click here.