Friday 31 January 2020

Final trip to Truro this week...

This time to Truro College to meet the Chaplain, Ellie Sheppard, her colleague Victoria  who does youth work at the Methodist Chapel in Truro. Lots of exciting possibilities re rolling out I PACKED THIS MYSELF.

It’s s very drizzly morning. Wet work picking daffodils today.

The Butterfly

A wonderful poem by Pavel Friedmann, which was read by a representative of Cornwall People First at the event marking Holocaust Memorial Day at Truro Cathedral last Monday (27 January 2020).
Friedmann, who was Jewish, was born in Prague.
He died on 29 September 1944 at Auschwitz concentration camp after being deported there from Theresienstadt, where he wrote this poem on 4 June 1942.

The Butterfly (English translation)

He was the last. Truly the last.
Such yellowness was bitter and blinding
Like the sun's tear shattered on stone.
That was his true colour.
And how easily he climbed, and how high,
Certainly, climbing, he wanted
To kiss the last of my world.

I have been here seven weeks,
Who loved me have found me,
Daisies call to me,
And the branches also of the white chestnut in the year.
But I haven't seen a butterfly here.
That last one was the last one.
There are no butterflies, here, in the ghetto.

Thursday 30 January 2020

Meeting with CASH in Fraddon.....

CASH is a great acronym  - Cornwall Association of Secondary School heads. And it was very good to meet David Barton, who heads it up, in Fraddon today.
A very to-the-point conversation about the project and the profile of schools in west Cornwall, where we'll start work with I PACKED THIS MYSELF.
The fourth morning in a row that I've driven up and down the A30 to meetings....

Wednesday 29 January 2020

Models of home in a suitcase exhibition

Many thanks to Rabina Stratton, now living in Denver, Colorado, for telling me about these amazing photographs.  Rabina, a designer, has worked on almost all of our projects... (we re-staged our own suitcase exhibition I PACKED THIS MYSELF last Monday).
In the photos, writer Ahmed Bahr has collaborated with architect and sculpture artist Mohamed Hafez to create models representing the homes (left behind) of refugee families living in America.
Amazing. More on this link.

Monday 27 January 2020

Suitcase exhibition at Truro Cathedral

Good to mark Holocaust Memorial Day today at Truro Cathedral, Cornwall. We put parts of our suitcase exhibition on display for the first time for some years. It's still as relevant as the day we first started work....  The Guardian featured it a decade ago now.... click here

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 1916).
The school where Sylvie works (the College du Sacre Coeur) was turned into a Casualty Clearing Station.
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. 

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