Saturday, 28 September 2019

Camborne war memorial and a World War One exhibition

Lovely to see the War Memorial in Camborne, Cornwall, looking so well-cared for - it's the opposite of neglected!
The graveyard is neatly mown too. We find the grave of Dr William Blackwood who was such a prominent figure in the town from the turn of the century until his death in 1960.

Dr Blackwood was a key figure in setting up a St John Ambulance Division in the town and when World War One broke out in 1914, he led a group of miners to the Western Front. We've been working on this story for the past four years - more on the Bridging Arts website .
To mark Remembrance Day this year, our exhibition PLAYING FOR CAMBORNE: MUSIC AND RUGBY IN WORLD WAR ONE AND NOW will be on display in Camborne Library from early October.
Entry free and open to all.

Monday, 12 August 2019

First exercise session at John Betts House, Hammersmith

Great to start a series of dance and exercise sessions with a pretty large group of residents at John Betts House, Hammersmith, with Italian dancer Simone Sistarelli..... This was the first session. There'll be more in the autumn. John Betts House, run by Hammersmith United Charities, has wonderful gardens (pictured). There are more than 40 flats where residents can live independently.
A huge thank you to LocalGiving for a grant towards this work.
Simone Sistarelli specialises in work with older people. One of his most important projects is one specializing in people suffering from Parkinson's Disease. Click here for his website.

We've worked with him previously at the Masbro Centre, Hammersmith.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Feedback from our dance sessions for older people

Thanks to a grant from Localgiving’s Magic Little Grants programme, we were able to stage dance/exercise sessions for up to 30 older people at the Masbro Centre, Hammersith, London. The Centre runs a befriending service for isolated and disadvantaged older people.
These sessions were led by Italian dancer Simone Sistarelli who started with simple warm up movements for everyone – including people whose mobility was impaired – then ended with a full dance session. The idea was for people to learn simple exercises and positions that they could practise at home. 
The elders who participated in the classes said that they thoroughly enjoyed them and wanted more. They enjoyed Simone’s approach which made exercise ‘fun’.

He wanted the classes to brighten up the day if everything seemed miserable – and this is what happened. “I don’t want to be cheese-y but movement can make you happy. We’re going to go crazy and TAKE the happiness!” he said. People particularly enjoyed the dance sequences at the end, and practised between sessions.
“I liked the bit of routine with a funky rhythm. I felt like Michael Jackson. I want to do the Moon Walk next time.”
“I found that every part of the body had been exercised.”

Elders participating in the dance sessions at the Masbro Centre

Sunday, 23 June 2019

New work from artist Max Whetter

Great to see Max Whetter's second year show in his degree course at Cornwall College, Pool. This is work of real quality: very interesting takes on the famous self portrait by John Opie at the Royal Cornwall Museum.  Max won our competition for a new skateboard design in 2016. At the time he was working as a burger chef in Newquay.
This show now moves on in fact to the Museum in Truro, so there'll be a chance (hopefully) to see the original work that inspired Max.
Well worth a visit!

Friday, 31 May 2019

Camborne Youth Band star takes centre stage as soloist

Great to see Camborne Youth Band star soloist Aaron Thomas topping the bill at this concert in Camborne next month.
Aaron played at the Menin Gate during our trip to the World War One battlefields last year and came second in the regional finals of the Rotary Club Young Musician of the Year in March. 
Wonderful that he is now branching out. A big career ahead. 
Susan Roberts
Bridging Arts
Tel: 07772 128 014

Monday, 29 April 2019

Keeping World War One history alive at Trevithick Day

It was a blustery Saturday but spirits were high at the Donald Thomas Centre, Camborne, where we staged part of our exhibition Playing For Camborne at Trevithick Day on Saturday. 
Alison Pooley looked amazing in a World War One Red Cross uniform .... Thank you to Wenches in Trenches for loaning us this. 
We're gathering together more stories ahead of the full exhibition being staged at Camborne Library and Council offices this November. We will be publishing a booklet with all the stories we've gathered.  The exhibition looks at a group of miners from Dolcoath who signed up in World War One and Camborne Youth Band who followed in their footsteps to the Western Front in August last year.
Alison Pooley with Hannah Viant (left) and Corey Williams (right) of Camborne Youth Band

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Camborne seeks out World War One history this Trevithick Day

Trevithick Day (27 April 2019) in Camborne will have an extra layer of history this year as the town searches for the descendants of a group of miners from Dolcoath who joined up in 1914 and served throughout World War One.

The descendants of some of these men still live locally and are keen to find out more about their ancestors’ history. They will be staging an exhibition at the Donald Thomas Centre and are keen to make contact with Camborne families who have history and memorabilia from that time.

Men like Fred Negus, Leslie Pentecost, Fred Head, Ernie Fletcher and James Phillips were among a group of about 30 miners who signed up as soon as the war with Germany started in August 1914. They were trained as ambulance men at Dolcoath, where there were often terrible accidents. This was good preparation for life at the Front and after a brief stop in Salisbury, they went straight out to the battlefields.

“We would like to know more about all the men in the group,” says Ralph Williams, grandson of Fred Negus who ended up as a Prisoner of War in Germany. Fred brought back a 1914 bugle, which was played back on the Western Front last year by Ralph’s son, Corey, who is in Camborne Youth Band.

In 1915 in France, the men organised three rugby matches between Cornish and Devon servicemen after Camborne Rugby Club sent out a ball. The names of the team were published in local newspapers at the time. One was Jack Solomon, a rugby player from Redruth, who played in three matches but sadly died a year later of disease on the Somme.

The descendants of Fred Negus still have a photo of rugby team at the Front and are hoping that some of the faces might be familiar to exhibition visitors.

Alison Pooley and her family are descended from Leslie Pentecost, who went out to France in 1914 leaving his sweetheart Lillie (eventually his wife) behind. Lillie trained as a Red Cross nurse, as well as working in the local munitions factory: Alison will be wearing a WW1 Red Cross nurse uniform on Saturday.

All history and information gathered will be on display at Camborne Library and Council offices for Remembrance Day 2019.