Saturday, 24 September 2016

Visit to Treleigh Church - embroidered altar cloth

Visited Treleigh Church, near Redruth, this morning where local historian Paddy Bradley (who has helped us so much with Heart of Conflict, our work on World War One) has set up an exhibition to mark the 150th anniversary of the church.  Fascinating - as ever. The church a spectacular example of mid 19th century architecture.
An unexpected surprise is the altarcloth which is famous for the standard of its needlework depicting a local landscape with mine chineys and engine house. We can't see the golden gorse at the centre as it's Harvest Festival and the sheaf of corn is hiding it. Worth coming back to see.
 Outside in the church hall - what a splendid display of cushions. Very cheerful. If they all matched, it wouldn't be half as inviting.

Friday, 23 September 2016

In search of a key image

Photo research this morning at the Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, where our exhibition Heart of Conflict, Cornwall's World War One, will be opening in mid December.
We're in search of a key image i.e. a picture that sums up the situation at home, the sacrifices people made and the hardship they endured. It isn't easy but there are lots of choices. Images by local photographer A.W. Jordan who was based in Truro of local land army girls are interesting. But the search continues....

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

100 Faces 100 Stories

To Camborne Old Cornwall Society with our volunteer and keen local historian Valerie Grigg. Jo Mattingley makes a presentation on 100 Faces 100 Stories, a Heritage Lottery funded project to gather information and images from Cornish collections on World War One.
An amazing amount of work that resulted in an excellent booklet and website - more here.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Christmas Eve funeral for girls blown up in explosives factory

The week continues in a melancholy fashion: as part of Heart of Conflict, in search of more graves we visit Phillack, near Hayle, where two young women were buried on Christmas Eve 1916 following an explosion at the National Explosives Factory on the dunes.  More in this article by Peter London.  Huge amounts of explosives were produced there during World War One and the work was extremely dangerous.
We don't manage to find the graves but there is a useful contact inside the church so we can email the vicar tomorrow. (Wonderful bonus to find the church open - not that usual these days).

More work at Stithians - we find a Remembrance Day date for a ceremony

Back to Stithians to meet up with Rhiannon Stevenson, our Duke of Edinburgh volunteer who has been doing some research on a local war grave. Joseph Martin died on 5 December 1917 from his wounds at Bagthorpe Military Hospital in Nottingham. He was only 22.
It's a sad story as his parents, John and Mary Martin, lost another son in infancy (the grave notes this).
Fr Simon Bone, team vicar, comes to meet us and we make arrangements for a short ceremony on Friday 11 November at 430pm. Rhiannon is going to write a poem and Fr Simon knows an organist who will play if we choose hymns. Very much appreciate such a great response to Rhiannon's idea.

Sparkling glasses and a tablecloth - World War One memorabilia

A visit to Eileen Tessier in Nancegollan, Cornwall. Eileen contributed to our first Heart of Conflict exhibition in February 2015 and promised to dig out various things that belonged to her grandmother in World War One. The glasses are exquisite - so delicate and such thin glass. They - with the tablecloth - will help to give a feel of what a home looked like in those years.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Visit to Paddy Bradley, Redruth, and an unknown soldier's medal

Always fascinating to see Paddy Bradley's wonderful collection of photographs in Redruth. Paddy specialises in anything to do with Redruth  - and he has whole albums about rugby in the town, in particular the 1913-14 team which we'll feature in Heart of Conflict, our exhibition at the Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, opening in December.
 Percy Lidgey, who played in that side, never returned from the War.

Paddy also has a medal that an acquaintance has given him. It apparently was awarded to J.C. Trengrove. Paddy's friend doesn't know the history - and it is apparently of no family significance. But we can research the story behind this. It would be too bad to think that this soldier might otherwise be forgotten.