Tag Archives: Nicola Benge

East Sussex in WWI – Conversation Cafe 10/02

nursesJust a reminder that we’ll be meeting next Wednesday 10th February 2.30-4.30pm at the Jubilee Library for our next Conversation Cafe, as part of WWI themed The Boys on the Plaque project.
This month, we’re lucky to have guest speaker Dr Chris Kempshall who is the Project Coordinator for the East Sussex in World War one project.
We’ll also be starting a new Great War related novel ‘My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You’ by Louisa Young, which is kindly being loaned to us by Kate Regester, the Libraries and Community Engagement Manager for Brighton and Hove Libraries Service.
See below for further information.
East Sussex in WWI:
East Sussex was almost unique in its placement and activities during the First World War.
Being so close to France the difference between the home front and the war front were blurred here more than anywhere else in Britain. You could regularly hear the guns in France on the East Sussex coast.
Soldiers from all over the world were stationed here. Equipment was shipped en masse through East Sussex ports and wounded soldiers returned through them too.
We are investigating the history of the First World War but also its legacy, significance and history today. Our county has a rich history with the war and we want your help in showcasing it. This website allows you to submit your own stories, memories, and images for everyone in the county to see. You can also share and see events relating to the First World War Centenary as well as participate in our survey of local war memorials.
At the end of the centenary period, 2014 to 2018, everything that you see on this website, all of the stories, images and details, will be archived at The Keep (East Sussex Record Office), to ensure future generations can explore the history of East Sussex in the First World War.

Sussex Stoolball rehabilitates WWI soldiers

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Sussex Stoolball plays a role in the rehabilitation of WWI soldiers.
Our next Conversation Cafes session takes place at Jubilee Library, Brighton on Wednesday March 9th 2.30-4.30pm.
In our March session of Conversation cafes at Jubilee Library for the Boys on the Plaque project, we’ll look at the rich history of stoolball from its early origins, via the Victorians and WWI through to the present day. This will be presented by Stoolball England officer Anita Broad.
The traditional Sussex sport of stoolball, which originated in Medieval times, is still played enthusiastically across Sussex today. However, during the First World War the game was reinvigorated as an opportunity to continue the rehabilitation of wounded soldiers.
Traditionally a rural village women’s game, stoolball played a significant part in the rehabilitation of soldiers injured in WWI. The eccentric Sussex landowner Maj. W W Grantham of Barcombe and Chailey was solely responsible for the promotion of the sport nationally and internationally, both as an ideal sport for rehabilitation and a fund-raising resource.
Maj. Grantham began organising stoolball matches at the Princess Louise Military Hospital at Chailey Heritage and games were played against the soldiers at the Limbless Hospital for Men at the Brighton Pavilion. The popularity of the game quickly extended around the country and between the wars there were over 1000 teams playing stoolball.
Stoolball has always been a sport heavily connected with Sussex and dates back to the Middle Ages where players would use their hand to defend a wooden stool from being hit by the ball. In its modern format, it resembles a mix of cricket and baseball with a wicket comprising a square piece of wood elevated at around head height and teams aiming to score runs with the bat whilst preventing the opposition from catching or bowling them out.
Major William Wilson Grantham is, in many ways, the modern favour of stoolball. He was serving on a military tribunal in Britain with the 6th Royal Sussex Regiment when his eldest son received a serious injury on the Western Front. There were a variety of methods used for the treatment and recuperation of wounded soldiers during the war, such as military massage. The possibility for also participating in sporting activity and contest was highly appealing to the army but they were wary of games such as football, rugby and even cricket and tennis being to strenuous and physical for these men and, as a result, likely to exacerbate their injuries.
In response to this need, Major Grantham pioneered an inaugural stoolball match between wounded soldiers and elderly lawyers (including himself). The soldiers ran out victorious. Following the success of the match, Major Grantham began organising regular games in Sussex for injured soldiers.
Such was the benefit of the sport it was played by both wounded soldiers and children at the St Nicholas Home for Raid Shock Children at Chailey Heritage.
 
 

Family history from WWI

2016-01-13 15.03.37Thank to those who attended the Conversation Cafe, including members of Brighton and Hove U3A, yesterday at Jubilee Library, Brighton (one of the project partners is Brighton and Hove Libraries service).  There was a good turnout with much to share on the theme of family memories of WWI with a number of the group bringing in artefacts, letters, maps and more of near and distant relatives who’d served or fallen during the Great War as you can see from the images on this page.

We also discussed the book we’d be reading as part of the project, the WWI related book A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie, which the group were on the whole, ambivalent about despite the good reviews from book sellers. Brighton featured in the book in a small way, but it also tackled big themes including colonialism, love, religion, war, class and more, which was a lot to process we felt! We will be moving onto our next Great War themed book kindly supplied by Brighton and Hove Libraries Service in February 2016.

The Research group from the Boys in the Plaque Project led by Ross Hammond also joined the group to talk about the information and photos unearthed about the aforementioned ‘Boys’ and what happened to them. Lots of intrepid detective work being done this year it seems, and really fascinating to hear the news.

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Our next event is on Wednesday February 10th at Jubilee Library with Dr Chris Kempshall of the WWI in East Sussex project, who will speak to the group on this theme: http://www.eastsussexww1.org.uk/ Sessions are free and all are welcome.

In the meantime, here is a link to the Boys on the Plaque project blog, which has photographs of the plaque and a list of the names: https://boysontheplaque.wordpress.com/ 

This was mentioned yesterday by Project Manager Clare Hankinson who is based with partner Fabrica gallery.

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Brighton and Hove in WWI -Conversation Cafe Wednesday December 9th 2015.

Bton seafront.jpgThis month, we’ll be meeting for our WWI themed Conversation Cafe at Hove Library.
We’ll be hosting an event with Margaret Curson of the Rare Books Archive and discussing other city based WWI memorials amongst other things.
Refreshments will be provided free of charge. All welcome!
Wednesday December 9th 2.30-4.30pm- Meeting at Hove Library, Church Road, Hove BN3. 

Future sessions in 2016 are as follows – All welcome:
·        
January 13th – Meet at Jubilee Library
Group session to discuss our own families in WWI, with personal experiences, photos and memories. Look at WWI book A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie.
 
·         February 10th – Meet at Jubilee Library
Dr Chris Kempshall of WWI in East Sussex project will speak to the group.
BHCC Libraries Fabricastrike_a_light_logo_transparent107x107px  HLFHI_BLK

New Strike a Light Associates

Strike a Light hosts a dedicated group of related Associates who include specialists in an extensive range of related professional areas from Production Management to Arts Production to Teaching, and Administration.
This way of working means that we are flexible and adaptable, creating a bespoke team for each project. This has led us to a more efficient and economical way of working. We are a practical, friendly, and approachable team  – we care about what we do and we it shows!
We’re pleased to announce our new Associates for Strike a Light:

Associates:

Sam CarrollDr Sam Carroll managed Strike a Light’s Ale and Hearty project from August 2013 to January 2014 and also took on the role of Heritage and Education Resource Facilitator, producing the learning resource and booklet “Ale Tales”.
Sam specialises in Life History Research with a wide range of experience in both the academic and community arenas across many research projects as trainer, tutor, project worker, project manager, student mentor and consultant. She has taught on post-graduate programmes at the University of Sussex and open courses at the Mass Observation Archive. She is the Community Heritage Researcher for the AHRC funded Gateways to the First World War Engagement Centre (University of Kent) and the Administrator for the Centre for Research in Memory, Narrative and Histories (University of Brighton). 

ef1f038bc5f37e201b988d243e3a8f19Clare Hankinson has collaborated with Strike a Light on creative heritage projects in Brighton since 2010 as event organiser, project coordinator, and fundraiser. She is currently the Audience Development Manager – Older People for Fabrica, Brighton to engage older people with contemporary art.

Through this and her parallel Project Manager role, she works with artists and facilitators to explore different ways of meeting and engaging audiences, through exhibitions and events at Fabrica, other arts venues and in the community.  She is also a freelancer and artist in her own right and runs her own creative practice in a studio at Phoenix Brighton.
IMG_0068Cath Tajima-Powell worked most recently on Strike a Light’s Ale and Hearty Heritage Lottery Funded project. She has a wide base of experience working in accessible heritage events and  community projects as well as art festivals and  creative industries.
Direct engagement and good communication are the keystones for her contribution on many successful projects such as Coastal Currents Arts Festival, Stade Development, Ale and Hearty, the Martlett (HLF projects),  and Heritage Open Days. As founder of a popular local lifestyle magazine and brand she also has excellent marketing and fundraising skills.

Luan biog picLuan Blake has worked with freelancers from Strike a Light in various capacities. She is currently working on her new large scale project called Machine Women, drawing out theunheard voices and experiences of female factory workers and machinists in the UK. The project includes research, oral testimonies, clog dancing, film, installation and performance.

Luan is a performance practitioner, and was the Artistic Director of Ragroof Theatre from 2000-2012 (www.ragrooftheatre.co.uk). She led Ragroof to deliver many successful touring, heritage and participatory theatre projects in the South-East, the UK and internationally. Luan is also a freelance teacher, project manager, and volunteer co-ordinator, working within the arts and heritage sector.

Brighton Black History

2015-11-11 14.35.54We had a lovely time at our WWI themed Conversation Cafes yesterday, meeting at Jubilee Library, Brighton with speaker Cuthbert Williams MBE, Chair of the organisation Brighton Black History, sharing stories of the BME community in the city during the Great War. Many thanks to him for taking time to come and meet our group and to Jubilee Library for hosting us for the session.
Our free WWI reminiscence CONVERSATION CAFÉS continue next month, taking place on the second Wednesday of every month. The next session is on Wednesday 9th December at Hove Library with Margaret Curson of the Rare Books Archive from 2.30-4.30pm. All welcome!
This is part of our project, The Boys on the Plaque: Unearthing Hidden Histories of WWI Soldiers from Brighton & Hove. For those interested in finding out more about this project and these themes from WWI in the city of Brighton – join our Conversation Cafes for reminiscence activities, outings and events.
*** See full programme of free events here: Project Dates – Conversation cafes ***
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Cuthbert Williams MBE discusses WWI Brighton's black history – free Conversation Cafe this month

Our free WWI reminiscence CONVERSATION CAFÉS continue this month, taking place on the second Wednesday of every month. This month’s session is onWednesday 11th November at Jubilee Library from 2.30-4.30pm. All welcome!
This month we welcome Cuthbert Williams MBE, Chair of the organisation Brighton Black History.  He will join our group for an informal discussion about Indian soldiers at the Royal Pavilion and BME lives in the city during the Great War.
We will also have a brief look at our WWI themed book to accompany our sessions this winter: A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie. This has been kindly supplied by Brighton and Hove Library and Information Service.
This is part of our project, The Boys on the Plaque: Unearthing Hidden Histories of WWI Soldiers from Brighton & Hove. For those interested in finding out more about this project and these themes from WWI in the city of Brighton – join our Conversation Cafes for reminiscence activities, outings and events.
*** See full programme of free events here: Project Dates – Conversation cafes ***

What's up this month?

wwwcitylibrariesinfo_00798Conversation Cafe’s taking place this month at Jubilee and Hove Library – Run by Strike A Light.
The Boys on the Plaque Conversation Cafe’s will discover, collate and share objects, photographs and documents to tell Brighton & Hove’s personal and community history during World War 1.
Session Two this month takes place at Jubilee Library and is joined by Cuthbert Williams MBE from Brighton Black History for an informal discussion about Indian soldiers at the Royal Pavilion.
Session Two: Wednesday 11 November, 2.30-4.30pm. Meet at Jubilee Library, Free entry

Session Three: Wednesday 9 December 2.30-4.30pm. Meet at Hove Library, Free entry
For more information see below or phone: 01273 778646 or Email: office@fabrica.org.ukConversation Cafe poster
http://fabrica.org.uk/events/conversation-cafes/

A God in every Stone – WWI novel accompanying Conversation Cafes.

We hosted a really lovely session today with our new Conversation Cafe group at Fabrica gallery and the Friends Meeting House in Brighton. Reminiscence activities, new WWI novels, an update from the Boys on the Plaque research group co-ordinator Ross Hammond, a talk about our WWI memorial plaque, plus tea and biscuits.
downloadWe’ve been loaned copies of the WWI novel ‘A God in every Stone’ by Kamila Sharmsie from Brighton and Hove Library service, thanks to them for this. We will be reading this in tandem with sessions up to Christmas.
See you for our next session on Wednesday 11th November!

Conversation Cafes start tomorrow!

Conversation Cafe posterOur free WWI CONVERSATION CAFÉS start tomorrow Wednesday 21st October. Why don’t you try them out!
They will then take place on the second Wednesday of every month at Fabrica gallery and other Brighton venues from 2.30-4.30pm. 
See full programme of free events here: project-dates-conversation-cafes 
We will be hosting a series of twelve Conversation Café’s at Fabrica from October 2015, facilitated by Nicola Benge (Strike A Light), will use Holy Trinity, the plaque and the local area to look into participant histories.

You can book your free place by contacting:

Clare Hankinson, Project Manager – The Boys on the Plaque 

01273 778646 

clare.hankinson@fabrica.org.uk

https://boysontheplaque.wordpress.com/

BOTP LogoThere will be talks from Dr Chris Kempshall, project Coordinator of the WWI in East Sussex project, outings to the Rare Books Archiveand more including discussions will be led around themes inspired by The Boys on the Plaque, including life in Brighton & Hove during WWI, historical experiences of ordinary men and women, and life after the war. We will also consider wider themes about the church in the community, and Holy Trinity’s history with its bi-centennial in 2017. Participants will gain an in-depth knowledge of Holy Trinity as church and gallery over the project.

Sessions organised in partnership with:

  • Strike a Light: A local voluntary arts and heritage organisation using people’s life stories and memories to transform public and private spaces, specialising in intergenerational projects and working with people in the third age.
  • Brighton and Hove Library Services: Jubilee and Hove Libraries: Lucy Castle and Kate Regester – Community Engagement Managers www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/libraries.org
  • University of the Third Age (U3A) Local History Group: A learning co-operative of people no longer in full time employment. With over 450 members and educational, creative and social. Alan Cooke – Chairman of Brighton and Hove U3A and Coordinator of U3A Local History Group. www.brightonandhoveu3a.org.uk

Fabrica
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