Saturday 12 December 2015

Merry Christmas from everyone at Bridging Arts

A very Merry Christmas from everyone at Bridging Arts. And a huge thank you to everyone who has worked with us - and supported us - over the past year.
On a very mundane, but practical note, if you do find yourself doing some last minute online shopping there’s a way you could help out.
Easyfundraising is as simple as the name suggests – you can raise FREE donations for Bridging Arts .
Log on to Then click where you'd like to shop (Amazon, John Lewis, M&S have all signed up) and access their website through the site.
Once you've ordered, the retailer makes a donation to your chosen good cause. You can now support Bridging Arts.

It doesn't cost you a penny - it's the retailer who pays.
Here’s a link so you can get started:

Friday 11 December 2015

African headwraps - watch this space

Great to meet Jos with Kemal Ahson (Bridging Arts trustee) at the Azawala Gallery in Elephant and Castle, London, yesterday.  We talked about the patterns on African headwraps and possibly running a competition for new designs in the New Year.  Watch this space....

Tuesday 1 December 2015


December 1st and a wonderful calendar from Eileen Tessier of Praze Women's Institute in Cornwall, who stitched this for grandchildren and filled the pockets with surprise presents.... Praze WI worked with us on our World War One project Heart of Conflict.

Monday 30 November 2015

Next steps for skateboards and a meeting in Camborne

A great meeting in Camborne, Cornwall, with the impressive and imaginative Tom Hudson of Roots Skateboard shop. Tom has put our Whatever It Takes skateboards on display and we're thinking about next steps: hopefully, a new competition. Tom striking a great pose for this photo....

Friday 20 November 2015

Fundraising concert for Bridging Arts at St Martins-in-the Fields

Great to see a good audience yesterday at a fundraising concert at St Martin-in-the Field, Trafalgar Square, supporting Bridging Arts and St Gregory's Foundation (which works with vulnerable people in Russia and the former Soviet Union).
The programme was Rachmaninov's Vespers by the chamber choir Illumination, conducted by Alexander Campkin. It was a very calming end to the day in a beautiful setting.
This was part of the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London. A huge thank you to the Festival and the tireless Claudia Jenkins, who organised this, as well as to everyone who came along and supported us.

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Post-war act extended vote to women and all men

The 1918 Act is, rightly, most famous for having brought more than eight million women into the electorate; but, for the first time, it also enfranchised more than five million men over the age of 21 without regard to property or class.
Introducing the Bill, the Home Secretary George Cave said: “War by all classes of our countrymen has brought us nearer together, has opened men’s eyes, and removed misunderstandings on all sides. It has made it, I think, impossible that ever again, at all events in the lifetime of the present generation, there should be a revival of the old class feeling which was responsible for so much, and, among other things, for the exclusion for a period, of so many of our population from the class of electors. I think I need say no more to justify this extension of the franchise.”

Discovered: granddaughter of WWI Cornish rugby player

Alison Pooley of Illogan, Cornwall, has been in touch to tell us that she is the granddaughter of Lesley Rule Pentecost, who played in the three rugby matches on the Front after Camborne Rugby Club sent out a ball. Information about these matches came to light during research for Heart of Conflict.

"Mum had always told us that Grandad had played football on Christmas Day and that he had been a member of St John's Ambulance Brigade and signed up with Captain Blackwood of Camborne," she says, but no one had known any further details.

Putting pieces together after hearing a feature on the matches on BBC Cornwall on Remembrance Day 2015, Alison realised that the Pentecost in the team line up was in fact her grandfather. He had lived in Ennis Road, Camborne, and gone to the Front in 1914 with other members of Dolcoath Ambulance Brigade, under Captain Blackwood.

He survived the war, though was taken prisoner by the Germans for the later years of it. He made friends while in France and often wrote home: Alison still has the letters. He also named his daughters Denise and Louise - French names.

On his return, he married Alison's grandmother, Lily Uren, of Beacon whom he'd met before the War.

Alison does not remember him - as he died in 1957, the year she was born.

Lesley Pentecost survived the war and went on to become honorary secretary of the local Old Contemptibles Association.

Monday 16 November 2015

Anti-slavery course set to launch

The Gangmasters Licensing Authority is launching its first-ever accredited training scheme to protect workers from exploitation.
This is much needed, as we found when we worked on I Packed This Myself with migrant workers and farming communities in Cornwall.

Wednesday 11 November 2015

Heart of Conflict and rugby at the Front on BBC Radio Cornwall

So good to hear our Heart of Conflict story on BBC Radio Cornwall this morning featuring Chris Negus and Derek Head, the grandsons of two of the men who played in rugby matches on the Front after Camborne Rugby Club sent out a ball. Here's the link if you missed it.

Saturday 7 November 2015

More photos from our pop-up exhibition in Camborne

Heart of Conflict in Camborne

A rainy morning in Camborne as we set up our Heart of Conflict pop-up show. But it's looking great ... it's the first time we've done pop-up shows and the graphic panels and banners really help to make it come together.

Friday 6 November 2015

The history of World War One at Penponds

An excellent evening at Penponds Church near Camborne, Cornwall, tonight looking at the history of the unusual WW1 memorial in the church porch. Many thanks to Craig Carey-Clinch and Carol Richards who talked about their research. Part of Heart of Conflict #heartofconflict

Thursday 5 November 2015

Pictures of heroism

Interesting to see Herbert E Butler's The World War 1 Homecoming at Helston Museum's exhibition this week. The painting is on loan from the Royal Institution of Cornwall - and features in an Open University course on the changing face  of heroism. There's no jingoism or propaganda here.

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Praise for Heart of Conflict

A surprise mention for Heart of Conflict from veteran tabloid editor Neil Wallis in his podcast for Talk2MeRadioUK  - click here.
It's long! But you can fast forward to minute 23 and beyond to hear how moved he was to hear the stories of Cornish heroism in World War One.

Tuesday 3 November 2015

Writing workshop with Camborne Guides

Camborne Guide Hut
Camborne Guides' hut
A huge thank you to our volunteer, Rose Taylor, who led a wonderful writing workshop at Camborne Guides who have worked with us on our Heart of Conflict project. The Guides created various pieces of work around memory, in particular messages to soldiers who went fight in World War One a century ago.
We'll put these on display at our pop-up exhibition at the Donald Thomas Centre, Camborne, this Saturday 7 November.
Thank you, too, of course to Guide leaders Sue Norfolk and Karin Saunders for helping to arrange this.

Monday 2 November 2015

Helston Museum launches WW1 exhibition

A lovely opening this morning of Helston Museum's latest World War One exhibition. A tribute to everyone - and to Martine Knight in particular (above, left, in a poppy print dress beside the Mayor).
Splendid refreshments! (below).

Painting on loan from West Cornwall Hospital

Friday 30 October 2015

Setting up exhibition in Redruth this afternoon

Great to have some help unpacking Heart of Conflict for its one day show tomorrow. A huge thank you to Mike Williams for all his help.... in organising this and rounding up help.

Thursday 29 October 2015

Poppy Day at Paddington

Fantastic atmosphere at Paddington Station this morning as soldiers and other members of the armed forces collect for London Poppy Day.

Thursday 22 October 2015

'Dad is by the galvanise house'

Fabulous postcard from the collection of Paddy Bradley, Redruth. It's sent by a mother to her son in Canada - and it's a photo of Recruiting Day in Redruth in 1914.
'Dad is by the galvanise house...' she writes.
How it eventually made its way back to Redruth is a mystery.  Part of our Heart of Conflict project.

West Briton reports our Remembrance Day events

Great to read coverage in the West Briton today of our Remembrance Day events.

Tuesday 20 October 2015

Working through Paddy Bradley's photo collection

In Redruth this afternoon looking through the amazing photo collection amassed over the years by Paddy Bradley, a Redruth man through and through. He even played rugby for the Reds in his time.
Paddy helped with our Heart of Conflict exhibition at the Cornish Studies Library, Redruth, earlier this year and has many photos of Redruth Wesleyan Chapel Young Men's Bible Class.
No fewer than 150 young men signed up for the class after the start of World War One and we have copies of some of the letters they wrote back to the Chapel. These will go on display at our two 'pop up' exhibitions in Camborne and Redruth to mark Remembrance Day this year. This is part of Heart of Conflict, our work marking the centenary of World War One in Cornwall.

Monday 19 October 2015

Spreading the word about our Remembrance Day events

A very big thank you to Dom Whitting, vicar of Crowan, who has mentioned our evening at Penponds on 6 November at 7pm in his pew sheet this week. Despite Facebook, Twitter and viral marketing, lots of people still look forward to reading the news on paper! Crowan also has a very successful parish Chronicle.

Saturday 17 October 2015

Planning Penponds evening event

Penponds Church near Camborne dates from the 1850s
Making plans last night at Penponds Church, near Camborne, for our FREE evening on 6 November looking at the names on the war memorial there. Here congregation member Ruth Beretta and local historian Carol Richards discuss what's on the agenda.
Carol, and Craig Carey-Clinch, church warden, will present their research and local collector Valerie Grigg will display her large collection of World War One memorabilia.
The war memorial at Penponds, unusually, is in the church porch (rather than outside). It has the names of several students at Camborne School of Mines who died in the conflict, as well as those of local men.
The evening starts at 7pm. It's part of our project Heart of Conflict, looking at the centenary of World War One in Cornwall.

Funds for the memorial were raised by Canon James Sim Carah, vicar at the time

Ruth Beretta and Carol Richards
The war memorial is unusual as it is in the porch

Friday 16 October 2015

Redruth Chapel to host pop-up exhibition

Great to meet Mike Williams at Redruth Chapel this morning to make plans for our 'pop up' Heart of Conflict exhibition there on Saturday 31 October from 10am to 4pm. This is the first time we've done something like this i.e. stage a show from scratch for a day, and make it something of a social event.
So it's a privilege to be able to use this wonderful building to mark Remembrance Day this year.
We will be displaying some of the letters written back to the Chapel by men who died in World War One - whose names figure on the memorial plaque by the pulpit.  It will be particularly poignant to do this in the place that they worshipped before leaving for the Front.

Mike Williams showing me the space

Just some of the names on the plaque. Most, thankfully, returned

Monday 12 October 2015

Come and hear stories of our local heroes

Cecil Calvert's heroism in Deeds that Thrilled The Empire

A reminder - if you're in the area - don’t miss a fascinating free event at Penponds Church on Friday 6 November, starting at 7pm.

Local historians Craig-Carey Clinch and Carol Richards will be talking about their research into names on the World War One memorial there. This is an unusual monument as it is in the church porch, and has the names of men attending Camborne School of Mines as well as those living in the village and surrounding areas at the time.

One of the School of Mines students was Cecil Calvert who was recommended for a medal for his incredible bravery in digging out a trapped man from a tunnel with his bare hands to avoid being heard by the German troops above. Tragically he died in another fearless rescue attempt before receiving the award.

There will also be a chance to examine World War One artefacts relating to local heroes, collected as part of our Heart of Conflict project looking at the history of World War One in the Camborne/Redruth area.

Refreshments will be on offer and afterwards a chance to chat further with everyone involved.

For more information, please email To learn more about Heart of Conflict, visit

Saturday 3 October 2015

Researching our November event

A bit more research at Cornwall Records Office. On Friday 6 November at 7pm at Penponds Church, near Camborne, we'll be taking a close look at the World War One memorial in the church. Craig-Carey Clinch and Carol Richards, who live locally, have done some in-depth research into the names on it.
Funds for this splendid memorial were raised by Canon James Sims Carah, vicar at the church for many years.
We're pulling together as much information about him as we can.
Notes from a visit by his Bishop (Bishop Gott) in the late 1890s are particularly interesting - and how intriguing is this blotting paper just inside the cover. It makes everything more 'real' - you can imagine the Bishop at work with pen and ink.

Tuesday 29 September 2015

Planning the next stage at Cornwall Records Office

Always great to see spare folders on offer at the Cornwall Records Office (this isn't the first time we've made use of them - see here - every saving counts!) They're particularly useful as we start plans for the next stage of Heart of Conflict, our project marking the centenary of World War One in west Cornwall. We hope to take the work already started much further - to other parts of the county.

Monday 28 September 2015

Skateboards on the move

It was great to be reunited with the Whatever It Takes skateboards the other week. They've been on display at Penrice College, St Austell, and Jason Wood, Head of Year 11, kindly took some time out of a busy day to bid farewell to them!
We're just making plans for their future display.
In the meantime, Nick Jensen's board  - which was inspired by an arrowhead at the Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro - is still on display there. Nick helped to develop this project, which started with a competition for a Cornish skateboard. The idea: to give keen skateboarders in Cornwall the chance to express something about their identity.

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