Tuesday 25 November 2014

Maisie's photo

Finally found the link to the online version of the West Briton's story about Camborne Guides training at Azook a couple of weeks ago. Click here to view the article.
Great to see that photo two in the gallery features the diminutive and lovely Maisie, who was hidden by others in the main picture.

Friday 21 November 2014

School exhibition includes WWI trench

The History Department at Redruth School has created an exhibition commemorating World War One – there’s been an Open House this week so that people from outside the school can drop by to see it.

This has been the brainchild of history teacher Lucy Johnson and students have created a trench with barbed wire. And also resourced materials and researched family history to discover more about the people who fought and lived through the war.

The official opening ceremony took place on Wednesday 5 November and was attended by Commander John Lea, Executive Officer of RNAS Culdrose, Redruth Town Mayor, William Tremayne, Sgt Jamie Callister, Mr Aidan Wood, British Army Veteran and Military Historian and Sgt Rob Warr.

Really hope to be able to see this before it closes.

Thursday 20 November 2014

Camborne Guides hit the headlines

We made the papers! The West Briton today features a piece on the Guides' training session at Azook, Pool, a couple of weeks ago. It's great to see the project showcased in this way...  The photo shows the Guides practising their interview techniques....

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Camborne Rugby Club marks World War One centenary

Camborne Rugby Club marked the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One with a commemorative match last Saturday (15th November 2015). This was triggered by a cutting unearthed by our researcher George Harris at the Cornish Studies Library, Redruth. George discovered that Camborne Rugby Club had sent a rugby ball out to the front in 1915 and local men had organised matches between teams from Cornwall and Devon.
Here a bugle player from Camborne Youth Band plays the last post.

Monday 17 November 2014

Camborne's World War One contribution: a summary

This article from The Western Morning News is worth reproducing in its entirety.
7th July 1921


Underneath the Camborne Parish Church war memorial, which will be unveiled and dedicated this month, a record has been placed of events in Camborne between 1914 and 1919. Written on parchment, at the request of the committee, by Mr. Francis J.Stephens of Reskadinnick, Camborne, it has been built into the base of the cross. If it should survive the ravages of time, some future age may thus read what Camborne went through in these trying years. The record is as follows:


"In this short account of the doings in Camborne in The Great War necessarily cursory, I have decided to use no names at all, as to do so would be invidious. Suffice it to say that a fairly high percentage of the inhabitants of the parish served in some capacity or other during the war - a percentage only rivalled or exceeded by a few other places in the West of England .

"Of these many made the last supreme sacrifice, a few were selected for well-deserved honours, and all, as far as painstaking research has discovered, served their King and country with zeal and to the upmost of their ability.

"I have troubled to search the records of previous wars, and find that the great Napoleonic struggles which ended in the battle of Waterloo were also largely supported from Camborne parish. No less than 18 were in the fight at Waterloo, and at Trafalgar there were 45 seamen from Camborne alone - a very creditable performance for those days, and doubtless having much to do with the patriotism and influence of two great Cornishmen, General Sir Richard Hussey Vivian and Admiral Boscawen.

"Early in 1914 Camborne was in the throes of a small mining excitement. The Suffragette disorders had hardly caused comment, the Irish troubles had affected it not at all, but after the dispute at East Pool Mine as to the alteration of a pay-day and the rash utterances of the Mayor of Truro as to the alleged high percentage of tin going down the Red River has caused a great deal of commotion.

"The effect of the declaration of war was indeed, throughout the country stunning. At one ticketing, sale prices had ruled as high as £168 a ton, and things generally were allowed to be, even by the Camborne miners, quite prosperous. At the next ticketing all was consternation, Government had seized not only all the tin stocks but had prohibited the sale of tin outside the country, except under rigorous control. Then the mines themselves came under control.

"The populace generally, as, indeed, in all the West, remained for long uncertain and semi-paralysed. All the bolder and more reckless spirits, including many young and ardent (the School of Mines at Camborne practically "en masse"), rapidly found their way into the services. The average recruiting for the Navy we find more than trebled. This was to be expected in a maritime county. The call for the land services was, however, for a long time but feebly responded to. War was a strange and unknown adventure.

"Recruiting marches through the county, with meagre results, ended largely in abuse and recriminations, in which many were unfairly held up to obloquy by people who entirely failed to understand the Cornishman and how to deal with him.

"As the war went on and the public indignation grew, the miners, like other people, became inflamed and, by the summer of 1915, Camborne had sent a large proportion of her young men into training. The Territorials had long gone. At one time, the proportion was 4 to 1 in comparison with all the other Western towns, excepting Falmouth which, with its close connection with the Navy and large garrison, was naturally a leading unit.

"A Miners' Battalion was formed as the enthusiasm grew, and the men from Camborne and districts about can well claim the honour of being pioneers in the new branch of modern warfare - deep mining and tunnelling in advance of the trenches.

"By the end of 1915, at least 1000 men from the parish were enlisted. Of these 250 came from Dolcoath Mine.

"As in other towns, Camborne became a training centre for a small portion of Kitchener's or the New Army.

"The great demand for shells and explosives was met by Camborne in an extraordinary fashion. The district is equipped with at least three large factories and several smaller ones, all well equipped with fine machinery - foundries and factories containing some of the most elaborate gear in the West of England. All these centres were speedily converted from making rock drills and saftey fuse to war time usages and were about the first to be turning out material for the Ministry of Munitions.

"Camborne produced not only machines and munition worker,s but provided chemists, one at least an extraordinary genius, whose devotion to his duty probably hastened his decease. It is indeed remarkable how readily Cornwall helped in these particular matters.

"With an unusual number of explosive works in existence and large foundries, it was one of the first counties to begin relieving the harassed Government, and the work turned out was really of very high class.

"If Camborne helped with explosives and shells, a large factory nearby was also supplying the Government with exquisitely fine steel, flexible cordage for aeroplanes in quantity from the earliest start of air warfare.

"Of individual happenings, there is no space for comment here. Several of Camborne's inhabitants won decorations and honours, more strove mightily for the cause in obscure and utterly unaccustomed positions as interpreters and even as detectives and spy-watchers. Of their adventures, some are outspoken enough, others have been reticent and will remain so.

"Now with the war over and Government control removed, the district is passing through another crisis - one threatening the very life and future of all its industries. These are grave times; not a single mine of over 300 a century ago remains at work, but it may be remarked that, often when hope seems dead and life all but extinct, some rallying instinct prevails and recovery is rapid and permanent. Let us hope, therefore, that the mining industry and it's satellite industries may again see a recovery and that the roar of crushing stamps and the rattle and bang of industrial machinery may once again be heard in the land."

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Paddington Station falls silent for Remembrance Day

At 11am on 11 November, 2014, London's Paddington Station fell silent for two minutes.
It was a moving ceremony next to the statue by Charles Sergeant Jagger on Platform One. The soldier, who is reading, is caught in a moment of reflection -- all the more poignant because the station is so busy.
This morning we remembered men who worked at Paddington who had died in battle over the past century, not just World War One.

Apparently 6,000 people gathered when the statue was originally unveiled. There were nowhere near that number this morning, but there were a couple of hundred. The station itself is cathedral-like. It was a memorable service.

Sunday 9 November 2014

Remembrance Sunday: Praze Youth Club lays a wreath

Remembrance Sunday in Praze, near Camborne: lots of different local groups show their respect for the dead - not just from World War One, but subsequent conflicts too. Earlier this year, a local soldier from Horsedowns was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Photos by Lisa Williams.
Two members of Praze Youth Club lay a wreath.
Just visible: a message from Praze Fair Show committee. 'You gave your tomorrows for our today.'

Thursday 6 November 2014

How the training went - thoughts from Camborne Guides and Azook

We didn't get in the West Briton alas despite my best efforts! Nonetheless we've had some great feedback from last week's training at Azook, Pool.

“It’s great to see young people with such enthusiasm and energy exploring the past through cutting edge technology.This is an important part of preserving the area’s history. Our mission at Azook is to build cultural confidence and this exercise does just that.” Tim Robins, Azook
 “The Guides were learning about digital recording but also lots of life skills, including how to respond sensitively to older people with whom they might not normally have contact.” Sue Norfolk, leader 7th Camborne Guides.

“It’s quite an honour to be able to be part of this project and part of this occasion to mark the centenary of the war.” Kathryn, 14, Guide from Praze.

Pictured: badges on Alicia's fleece, sewn on with great care and expertise.

"Your young people impressed us with their enthusiasm, cheerfulness and impeccable manners," said Tim from Azook. "They were a delight to teach and a credit to your organization."
I totally agree: they were an impressive group of girls, a credit to Guide leader Sue Norfolk and Karin Saunders who works closely with her


Wednesday 5 November 2014

Camborne Guides train at Azook, Pool

A great day of training at Azook, Pool. Azook is a community interest company (not-for-profit) that specialises in creating archives of sound, photography and film.  Eight Guides from the 7th Camborne group came along during half term to learn how to make digital recordings that will be used in our project, Heart of Conflict.

The aim? To capture precious memories from World War One. Now they know how to create and edit digital recordings, Guides will interview older people in the Camborne/Redruth area and gather their stories.
It was great to have the chance to meet Radio Cornwall veteran broadcaster Ted Gundry.

Ted gave tips on how to interview and crucially how to put people at their ease - very important if you want to get 'the story'.

Everyone practised interviewing each other under the supervision of Azook's co-founder Tim Robins.

Lunch was at nearby McDonalds - a treat for all - it was half term, after all!

Refreshed, everyone moved on to the next stage after a group photograph. Time to start interviewing and recording for real.

There is amazing free software now that can be used for editing.

The Guides used this to polish up their recordings.

It was a great day. Everyone concerned enjoyed it hugely.
Very many thanks to the Guides and their leaders Karin Saunders and Sue Norfolk, as well as to Azook for organising and hosting the training.
Next steps: practising, perhaps, on our mobile phones. But then ... real interviews as we collect objects and stories for our exhibition opening in Cornwall Studies Library, Redruth, in February.
This is the recorder we were using.

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