Thursday, 23 April 2015

Students' poetry gives inspiration

A busy day - to Helston and to Chiverton roundabout (Starbucks, not my favourite venue for a meeting but convenient to both parties.)

First to Helston to meet Martine Knight, a volunteer at Helston Museum, to pick up papers lent by Valerie Grigg on Bal Maidens. Valerie talked to staff and volunteers in Helston about her research last month.

Thence up the A30 on Chiverton Roundabout to meet a wonderful new volunteer Rose Taylor, who is keen to help with workshops. Rose, a former student at Redruth School, is in the process of researching and writing a children's novel, 'Just Like You', set in Redruth during WW1.

Rose will help to deliver writing workshops around Heart of Conflict. In particular we've been inspired by poetry written by students at Redruth School. We'll aim to focus the Heart of Conflict Education Pack around this.

Soldiers' letters fascinate Boys' Brigade members


An exciting visit to the Boys’ Brigade in Redruth, which meets in the Methodist Chapel where 100 years ago the Redruth Wesleyan Bible Class met: 150 young men signed up to fight from this class. Letters written back by them to their leader, Harry Rich, are held by the County Records Office Truro, which kindly lent them to the Heart of Conflict exhibition at the Cornish Studies Library, Redruth in February.

Boys and girls can now join the Boys’ Brigade. They handled objects from Valerie Grigg’s collection and read the letters. They are keen to do more. One boy said that when they went on their monthly parade, he would now look out for the names on the War Memorial by the Chapel door.

We are grateful to Carole Holmes, Methodist Minister in Redruth, and Mike Semmens, Boys' Brigade Leader, for their help in arranging this.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Camborne Guides present Heart of Conflict work


Maisie (right) wearing her Guide badges at the Heart of Conflict launch
Camborne Guides today took our Heart of Conflict banner to the Royal Cornwall Show ground in Wadebridge, Cornwall, where they presented their work to a county guiding event. This was the Annual Review for Cornwall Guiding where people received awards and did presentations about various projects or visits they had been on.

Maisie, Natasha, Jessica and Kathryn talked about the recordings they had made and the exhibition.

Karin Saunders wrote afterwards: "A slideshow was going on behind with some of the photos of artefacts and the training – it was certainly something different and showcased the project and what could be done. If you ever move into another area I guess Guides there should be a bit more knowledgeable about heritage projects!"

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Carol's work recalls role of Camborne School of Mines

Great to make contact (via the church at Penponds) with Carol Richards who lives in the village and has done extensive research on students and graduates at Camborne School of Mines (CSM) who served in World War One.
She's a graduate of CSM herself and her meticulous research makes sobering reading. In 1914, many students were from public schools - and went straight off to fight as officers.
Several of the names of those killed appear on the war memorial at Penponds Church, which we featured in the Heart of Conflict exhibition at the Cornish Studies Library, Redruth,
We plan further work at Penponds to explore this research.
Carol writes in the introduction to her book:
"Many of us have walked by the World War Memorials in the foyer of CSM without giving them a second glance. There are 70 names on the two plaques that commemorate those who died in the First World War. However, few will realise that two men played rugby for CSM and international rugby for England, sic won the Military Cross (M.C.) and one was shot down and killed by Von Richthofen, the 'Red Baron'. Many of the past students of CSM who died were in tunnelling companies of the Royal engineers and many had no known grave. In this centenary year it is appropriate to remember our past students and their great sacrifice.'

Friday, 3 April 2015

Sancreed Church monument pays tribute to artist's son

A visit to the church at Sancreed - a long way from Camborne/Redruth but there's a link with a famous Cornish artist, known across the county and of course beyond.
In Sancreed Church is a monument to Alexander Stanhope Forbes, son of the famous painter William Alexander Stanhope Forbes.

He was killed weeks after arriving in France in 1916. His father had painted a portrait of him before he left, but the paint had not dried by the time of his death.

This cross was erected where he died on ground subsequently lost to the Germans. When the position was re-taken, the cross was found intact and eventually transported back to Sancreed.