The Boys on the Plaque project at Researching Lives of the Great War event

Our project The Boys on the Plaque will be presenting at this event in September:

Researching Lives of the Great War

Friday 4 September, Cloisters Chamber, University of Chichester, 12 – 5pm.

A research seminar and networking event for anyone interested in researching the history of the Great War, organised by the Gateways to the First World War Public Engagement Centre and the University of Chichester.

If you are interested in researching the history of the First World War, either on a professional basis, as a member of a community group or as an individual, you are warmly invited to our research afternoon ‘Researching Lives of the Great War’. Focusing on the Great War in Sussex you will be able to find out more about three local projects which have received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as hearing more about the support the Fund and the Gateways Centre can offer to projects that focus on the centenary of the war, and a talk from a leading historian on Sussex at War.

Tickets are free but must be reserved. Lunch and light refreshments are included.

Book a place here:

12:00 – 1.00: Lunch
1:00 – 1.15: Welcome and introduction to Gateways Centre.
1.15 – 2.00: Heritage Lottery Fund presentation and questions
2.00 – 2.45: Chris Kempshall, Project Officer, First World War Commemorations, East Sussex County Council: “Locating East Sussex in the First World War”

The County of East Sussex was, in many ways, located between the Home Front and the Western Front. It had a hugely important role in maintaining the army abroad and defending the country. This talk will examine how the memory of the War has changed in East Sussex and how the East Sussex First World War Project has approached the centenary in the region.

2.45 – 3.15: Tea break
3.15 – 3.45: Clare Hankinson, Fabrica: ‘The Boys on the Plaque’
3.45 – 4.15: Veronica Stephens, Zap Arts: ‘Home Fires’
4.15 – 4.45: Katherine Slay, West Sussex Record Office: ‘Graylingwell War Hospital, 1915-1919′

4.45 – 5.00: General discussion/networking.

5.00 End of event at the university.

5.30: The Legacy of Conflict: A Debate at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester.

100 years after the end of hostilities the legacy of WW1 is still a divisive subject. A panel of experts discuss the ongoing cultural impact of the Great War through W. Somerset Maugham’s For Services Rendered.

Places are free to attendees but must be booked through the theatre in advance:

Friday 4 September, 5.30pm, Minerva Theatre, Chichester

Please note that by making this booking you are only reserving a place for the event at the University of Chichester. You will need to make a separate booking for the debate at the Minerva Theatre.

Any questions email
Or visit

Gallipoli screening and talk at Duke of York cinema


Cinema in the First World War

A talk by Dr Emma Hanna (University of Kent) followed by a screening of Gallipoli (Peter Weir, 1981) at the Duke of York’s Picturehouse in Brighton.

The Duke of York’s Picturehouse in Brighton and Gateways to the First World War have co-organised this event as part of the centenary commemorations.

The cinema is hosting Gateways To The First World War’s mobile exhibition from 1st July which will culminate on the 23rd July in a special screening of Peter Weir’s poignant wartime drama Gallipoli, starring Mel Gibson.

Untitled Dr Emma Hanna (University of Kent) who edited the exhibition, will introduce the screening with a free talk Cinema in the First World War.

After the Lumière brothers brought the cinema to Britain in February 1896, music hall managers and fairground entertainers were regularly showing short silent films. By 1910 there were 2900 cinemas in Britain, and in 1914 British people were visiting cinemas 2-3 times a week. The Entertainments Tax in May 1916 made cinema tickets more expensive, yet by January 1917 weekly attendance stood at 21 million tickets. The high demand for cinema showings in London warranted the creation in December 1917 of an open air cinema in Trafalgar Square. This short introductory talk will show how the cinema became the most popular form of entertainment in Britain.

This special event has a one-off special price of £5 per person payable at the Box Office only.


Project Launch: 01 July 2015


Updates on The Boys on the Plaque project and new project blog

Originally posted on The Boys on the Plaque:

Fabrica, in partnership with Strike A Light and Brighton & Hove Library Services, has received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project, The Boys on the Plaque, in Brighton & Hove. Awarded through HLF’s First World War: then and now programme, the project will highlight a recently uncovered FWW memorial plaque situated in the former Holy Trinity Church which houses Fabrica gallery.

Supported by a team of archivists, artists and historians, the local community will come together through research, creative activities and heritage events to discover the hidden histories of the 95 soldiers commemorated on the plaque and consider the personal experiences of ordinary people during the war.

A team of volunteers will receive training and will access local archives to research and collect the stories of The Boys on the Plaque through genealogy, photographs, newspaper clippings, documents, letters and photos of keepsakes, as well as…

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Free events this autumn!

Strike a Light in partnership with Fabrica gallery in Brighton are hosting two free events as part of Heritage Open Days this September.  These events are part funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.v0_largeDetails for booking these free events here:

Fabrica –The Boys on the Plaque

40 Duke Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1AG

Fabrica is a contemporary art gallery housed in the former Holy Trinity Church in Brighton, with a mission to increase access to contemporary visual art to as broad an audience as possible. The Boys on the Plaque is a new Heritage Lottery Funded project that is inspired by WWI soldiers commemorated within the church, and seeks to reveal the histories of local people in Brighton & Hove.

During this special drop-in event, Fabrica will open it’s doors to the public for an afternoon of stimulating and engaging activities and exhibits to inspire new ways of considering our communities experience of the war.

This free event will include creative workshops, heritage activities and screenings to explore personal memories relating to the war and the stories we were left with. Guest speakers will include researcher and oral historian for ‘War Stories: Voices of the First World War’ Jo Palache, and Dr Chris Kempshall, Project Officer – First World War in East Sussex. 

Visitors are invited to bring their own stories and keepsakes to share with volunteers and staff and contribute to our research project, which seeks to uncover the history of each of The Boys on the Plaque, as well as discovering the wider story of Brighton & Hove during WWI.

A free afternoon tea, music and a warm welcome to people of all ages will be provided!

To attend this free event, you can book here:

Opening Times

Thursday 10 September: 1300-1600

Access: Wheelchair ramp built into entrance. Guide dogs welcome. Accessible toilets on site. Accessible parking space (1) in front of building.

Additional information: The Boys on the Plaque event is a free drop in activity and all are welcome even if only for 10 minutes. Free refreshments will be available at the event.

This event will also form the jumping off point for a series of monthly Free activities called Conversation Cafes which will look at aspects and reminiscences about the First World War including talks and trips to the Keep and the Rare Books Archive in Brighton.

Clare Hankinson, Project Manager – The Boys on the Plaque Fabrica 01273 778646

WWI Walking Tour Brighton with historian Dr Geoffrey Mead

Fabrica, 40 Duke Street, Brighton, East Sussex, Bn1 1AG

Walking Tour – Friday 11th Sept 2015, 6pm

The Lanes (Meeting at Fabrica gallery)

Free but donations welcome

Led by local historian Dr Geoffrey Mead, this will be a unique, one-off Walking Tour of Brighton’s historic Lanes, exploring the history and changing social and architectural landscape of this area of the city in relation to the period of time around WWI.

Inspired by a selection of stories from local soldiers commemorated on a memorial plaque at the Holy Trinity Church, the tour will begin at Fabrica art gallery. This tour uses the WWI heritage project The Boys on the Plaque as a starting point (

The tour will last 60-90 minutes and will take place on the streets of Brighton – sensible shoes and attire recommended.

Booking required in advance:

Event not suitable for children under the age of 12.

Opening Times

  • Friday 11 September: 1800-1930

Booking Details

Pre-booking: Required
Booking Contact: Clare Hankinson
Call: 01273 778646
Go to:
Booking opens: 15 July 2015 09:00
Booking closes: 11 September 2015 18:00


Wheelchair ramp built into entrance. Guide dogs welcome. Accessible toilets on site. Accessible parking space (1) in front of building. This a walking tour so the tour will visit sites around the Lanes part of Brighton.

Additional information

Max 20 people per tour/session. This walking tour may last 60 – or 90 minutes depending on the size of the group on the tour.


The event takes place from the start point of Fabrica gallery which is a large contemporary visual gallery in a 19th century converted church in central Brighton opposite Browns Restaurant. It is ten minutes walk from Brighton seafront. Public Transport Directions: Brighton Railway Station is approximately 15-20 minutes walk. Local buses stop within walking distance.


Organised by

Fabrica/Strike a Light

BHCC Librariesstrike_a_light_logo_transparent107x107pxFabricaHLFHI_BLK

Special Daytime Events – Fabrica and Strike a Light

Special Daytime Events – Fabrica and Strike a Light participate in Fabrica’s gallery programme & enjoy contemporary art

Strike a Light will be creating a new Special Daytime Event at Fabrica Gallery in Brighton this autumn.

The event takes place at Fabrica on Thursday 10th September from 1-4pm as part of the wider The Boys on the Plaque project. This event is also part of the wider national Heritage Open Days events, so it’s all free! This event is also in partnership with the Brighton and Hove Libraries service.

Strike a Light has just booked a date for new events and film showings at Fabrica gallery this year for it’s special Daytime events, as part of their Growing an Older Audience project and linking with its’ Heritage Lottery funded The Boys on the Plaque project.

These will have a special World War 1 related theme – linking in with the centenary commemorations which are happening nationally in the UK between 2014-18. We will be curating this daytime event, and following it up with a related evening film. The event will host creative workshops, exhibitions, talks, and a free cafe.

We are currently planning this year’s theme, so please check our web pages over the summer for updates on what exciting things we are planning to have at our next event.

Aimed at all, and especially older people. Visitors can relax, and encounter visual art in entrancing, fun, creative way.

To find out more, or attend this event, please contact:

Clare Hankinson, Project Manager – The Boys on the Plaque


40 Duke Street, BN1 AGH

01273 778646

@fabricagallery #boysontheplaque


You can see more below about previous events of this kind which Strike a Light has organised for Fabrica.

Fabrica worked with  Strike A Light to provide the unique Special Daytime Events outside of exhibitions, during 2011 – 2014.

Each of the events explored a specific theme, and offered a mixture of drop-in arts activities, screenings, talks and performances which could act as a taster for how Fabrica responds to ideas, and what we have on offer throughout the ongoing programme. We aim to give participants a unique, enjoyable day which is an un-pressured introduction to Fabrica, or a chance to catch up with us and other participants.

‘To learn and see what was going on. I didn’t understand what Fabrica meant. What it was all about. So I wanted to come and see.’

Stories Of The City participant

With each event, we learned more about our visitors, and were able to hone the structure and thematic planning of the day into a more successful and enjoyable experience.

‘It has inspired me, because it’s so different.’

Relativity participant



Rituals Flyer


Laughter Lines

laughter Lines Poster





Stories of the City, Stories of the Sea

stories of the city




















‘I have met more people and made friends here today and we are going to meet afterwards.’

Stories Of the City participant

Programme Sponsors

Knees up for Nepal fundraiser a success!

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Pics just in from our fab Knees up for Nepal fundraiser on Friday 19th June!

What a great night -Thanks to everyone who came and partied, but especially to all the wonderful bands – Gyratory Allstars, Oscillator and Fat 45, compere with the mostess Jonny Fluffypunk, Kuru from the Brighton and Susex Nepal Society,DJs, photographer Fran Moore and our volunteer support team who made it all possible by giving their time for free. We’d like to give a big hand for all their support. And to The Latest Music Bar for the use of their venue for the night.

We raised a whopping £903.43 for Nepal Earthquake support with the Disasters Emergency Committee.

All images for promotion/publication of Knees Up For Nepal event only. All images © Francesca Moore

 On Saturday 25 April a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal. It severely shook the lives of at least 8m people and left many homeless.  Nepal’s major cities, including the capital Kathmandu, have been badly damaged and rural areas near the epicentre have been completely cut off by avalanches.Already over 8000 people have been confirmed dead and the figure is likely to rise significantly in the coming days. Even those whose homes are still standing are sleeping in the streets because they are terrified by regular aftershocks.

DEC member agencies and their partners are working urgently to provide emergency shelter, food, clean water and blankets.  Once immediate, life-saving needs are met they will work with individuals, families and communities to support them to rebuild their lives.

The Boys on the Plaque – new heritage project

RP_Limbless-hospital-1916Fabrica gallery, in partnership with Strike A Light and Brighton & Hove Library Services, has received £9,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project, The Boys on the Plaque, in Brighton & Hove. Awarded through HLF’s First World War: then and now programme, the project will highlight a recently uncovered FWW memorial plaque situated in the former Holy Trinity Church which houses Fabrica gallery.

Supported by a team of archivists, artists and historians, the local community will come together through research, creative activities and heritage events to discover the hidden histories of the 95 soldiers commemorated on the plaque and consider the personal experiences of ordinary people during the war.

A team of volunteers will receive training and will access local archives to research and collect the stories of The Boys on the Plaque through genealogy, photographs, newspaper clippings, documents, letters and photos of keepsakes, as well as family tales passed down, to help them build an understanding of what life was really like during this time.

Activities with local older and younger groups will use creativity and reminisence to further explore these experiences and create new legacies for our local history. A series of Conversation Café’s with members of The University of the Third Age will explore local knowledge, personal mementos and family history through discussion and shared discovery. Younger people will connect to the personal histories of The Boys on the Plaque at creative graffiti workshops, considering memorium and identity through contemporary practice.

A range of public events for all ages will share what we have found and provide opportunities for our local community to come together to remember and learn more about the First World War.

The Boys on the Plaque represent so many of the sons, brothers, fathers and uncles who fought and fell in the First World War, and this project will pay tribute to these men by telling their stories and considering the wider impact on the local community.

In 2017 it will be the Bi-Centennial of this church, which was built in 1817, and it will be a fitting time to honour and celebrate the history of the building and its continuing presence as a place of contemplation and community in Brighton & Hove.

The project findings will be digitally recorded and an on-line interactive archive will be created where everyone can access and contribute information.  The archive will allow the public to discuss, contribute, share and research information about The Boys on the Plaque. Working with Strike A Light and Brighton & Hove Library Services will bring the project to the wider community through exhibitions and resources, to continue the legacy of The Boys on the Plaque into the future.

Commenting on the award, Liz Whitehead, Co-Director of Fabrica, said: “We’re so delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting this two-year project which enables us to explore the history of our building, Holy Trinity Church with and through our local community, especially as the project’s culmination in 2017 will mark the chapel’s bicentennial.”

Explaining the importance of the HLF support, the head of the HLF in the South East, Stuart McLeod, said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. The Heritage Lottery Fund has already invested more than £70million in projects – large and small – that are marking this global Centenary; with our small grants programme, we are enabling even more communities like those involved in The Boys on the Plaque to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help local young people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”

For further information, images and interviews, please contact
Clare Hankinson, Project Manager – The Boys on the Plaque
40 Duke Street, BN1 AGH
01273 778646
@fabricagallery #boysontheplaque


Fab Fundraiser on Friday – Knees up for Nepal event tomorrow!


Our Knees up for Nepal benefit gig at The Latest Music Bar tomorrow has been profiled in Brighton Source Magazine.

Advance tickets are available here. Limited tickets available on the door.

Fab Fundraiser Friday!

We all love an occasion to party, especially when it’s for a good cause. Strike A Light are hosting just the night for us at The Latest Music Bar. Knees Up For Nepal is a night of music, comedy and DJ sets raising funds for the 8m people affected by the recent Nepal earthquakes.

We’ll experience an exhilarating night of live music from soul and funk originals Gyratory Allstars, ska-hugging beat poets Oscillator and the exciting eleven piece big band Fat 45. We’ll also hear from representatives of the Brighton & Sussex Nepalese Society, and our debonair compere for the evening will be stand-up poet and storyteller Jonny Fluffypunk. If that’s not enough, Oscillator DJs and Greekboy will be spinning tunes to keep us dancing into the early hours.

All proceeds from the night will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee for their work in the region. For further information visit the Strike A Light website.

Knees Up For Nepal, The Latest Music Bar, Friday 19th June 2015

8 days to go till Knees up for Nepal gig!

download (2)Only 8 days to go till Knees up for Nepal benefit gig on Friday 19th June at Brighton’s Latest Music Bar.

We’ve got loads on for you: 4 DJs, 3 live Bands (Gyratory Allstars, Oscillator and Fat 45), Performers and one debonair compere Jonny Fluffypunk til 2am, and all for only a tenner – What a bargain!

Get your tix in advance through The Latest music bar booking line:

All proceeds to the Disasters Emergency Committee

New Poster

Nek Chand’s mosaics come to Sussex

Rock garden 0039We’re really pleased to hear that there will be an exhibition of renowned outsider artist Nek Chand this summer at the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester. Some of us at Strike a Light worked with this inspiring man in a month long residency creating an exterior mosaic mural from scratch at The Rock Garden in Chandigarh, India some years ago and found it an illuminating and magical experience.

This summer Pallant House Gallery is delighted to announce an installation of sculptures by renowned Indian Outsider artist Nek Chand, creator of the famous sculpture park The Rock Garden of Chandigarh, India. The figurative mosaic works will be on display in the Courtyard Garden, which was designed by award-winning garden designer Christopher Bradley-Hole, and in the Garden Gallery, from 13 June – 25 October 2015.

Born in 1924 in the village of Berian Kala, in what is now Pakistan, Chand relocated to India with his family in 1947. Eventually, he moved to Chandigarh in the northern part of the country; the first planned ‘utopian’ city in Post-Independence India, designed by Swiss architect Le Corbusier.

Nek Chand is a deeply spiritual man, fascinated by the mystical significance of rocks, who was by profession a public roads inspector. However, he began spending his evenings imagining and moulding figures out of recycled and found materials. Pursuing a vision from a dream, Chand cut back a clearing in the jungle on the outskirts of Chandigarh, situated in the middle of the Capitol Complex and the Sukhna Lake; the place where his Rock Garden was to come to life. This space, he believed, had once been home to a glorious kingdom.

His process is indicative of many historically renowned Outsider artists, with a focus on found objects and recycled materials. Chand uses discarded objects, such as broken crockery, electrical fittings, glass bangles and bicycle frames, building up the bulk of the figure with cement and sand mix. A final coating of smoothly burnished pure cement combined with waste materials would then be added. Chand believed that each figure contained the spirit of a human being, god or goddess.

During the making of the Rock Garden Chand was consumed by his vision. He has said of the Garden: “It began really as a hobby. I started not with the idea that it would become so famous. Every day, after I finished my government job, I would come here to work for at least four hours. At first my wife didn’t understand what I was doing every day, but after I brought her to my jungle hut and showed her my creation, she was very pleased.”

In 1972, the Rock Garden – originally an illegal endeavour by Chand in his spare time – became a municipal authority-funded tour de force. Stunned by Chand’s creation, the authorities pumped money and labourers into the project; which is now the world’s largest visionary environment, with several thousand sculptures covering more than 25-acres. In 1976, it was opened to the public.

Although the public’s reception to the Rock Garden has been undoubtedly positive, the park was vandalised in 1996 whilst Chand was visiting the United States. The damage has since been rectified, with the incident resulting in the created of the Nek Chand Foundation in 1997. The Foundation aimed to protect and promote the park internationally. Today, the Rock Garden is overseen by the Rock Garden Society, and opens its doors to over 5,000 visitors every day.

In a country known for the slums that grow out of its waste, the Rock Garden is an example of one man’s unrivalled intuitive vision. Chand’s fascination with the creation of something from nothing; the conversion of waste into beauty, has resulted in one of the largest tourist attractions in the whole of India, second only to the Taj Mahal.

Nek Chand’s work has since been included in the Hayward Gallery’s 2013 exhibition ‘Alternative Guide to the Universe’, the exhibition ‘Raw Vision: 25 Years of Art Brut’ at the Halle Saint Pierre museum in Paris, as well as the Museum of Everything’s inaugural exhibition in Primrose Hill.

The exhibition of Chand’s work reflects the ethos of Outside In; the Gallery’s flagship project providing a platform for artists who define themselves as facing barriers to the art world due to health, disability, social circumstance or isolation. Although Outside In does not explicitly focus on Outsider Art, Chand’s self-taught process and dedication to his project resonates with many of the 2,000 artists represented on the project’s website.

Further information 

For more information on Nek Chand and the Nek Chand Foundation, please visit

The exhibition will include a selection of sculptures from the Nek Chand Foundation and will be in the Courtyard Garden and Garden Gallery at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, from 13 June – 25 October 2015.

Pallant House Gallery

9 North Pallant
PO19 1TJ



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