We really enjoyed looking through some rare and special resources at this library, complete with its’ own WWI War memorial. The annexe at Hove Library was once a smoking balcony for readers at the library, but a behest in the early part of the 20th century, allowed for the room to be re-built as part of Hove Library proper.
This 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 Stoneby Kamila Shamsie.
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:
Dr 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).
Clare 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. Cath 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 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.
We 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 ***
We’ve just received this moving piece from a project we are involved with The Boys on the Plaque – Ross Hammond who is coordinating a research group at Fabrica looking at those who served or fell in WWI. Names written on a memorial plaque residing inside Fabrica gallery are being researched and uncovered for posterity.
Ross says: On this thoughtful day I would like to share with you one story that we have discovered over the few months that project has been running. I would also like to think of all the fallen on our Plaque, from the First World War and all conflicts before and after. The following words and research are by James Gasston, a Volunteer Researcher on the Boys on the Plaque Project. Gerald Harry Vernon Burghope was born in Brighton on September 19th 1896, to Harry and Ethel Burghope of 6 Highcroft Villas. The oldest of three children, he had two sisters; Gwendolyn was born in 1899 but died before her first birthday, and Audrey was born in 1904.
His Father and his uncle John owned Burghope and Burghope, a tailors and outfitters at 139-140 North Street (now Barclays bank).
Gerald joined the 19th Royal Fusiliers as a private, before transferring to the 1st battalion of the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment. He was made a temporary 2nd Lieutenant on the 5th of August 1916. A little over eight months later, on the 23rd of April 1917, he was killed in action in France, where his body remains. He is commemorated on the Arras memorial at Fauborg-D’amiens cemetery, and at the family burial plot in St Martin churchyard in Westmeston, just outside of Lewes.
I gleaned that information from various online genealogical resources, but none of it really told me anything about who Gerald was. It wasn’t until we visited The Keep, which houses hundreds of years worth of records relating to East Sussex, that I felt I gained some insight into that.
He was a keen poet, and The Keep holds a book of his poetry, published after his death in 1917. On the second page is a photograph of Gerald in his army uniform, and the introduction is written by the Reverend Felix Asher, who was incumbent at the Holy Trinity Church at the time and a friend of the Burghope family.
The following extract from ‘A Vision of Home’, which Gerald wrote in May 1916, having already enlisted, is sadly prescient:
‘O, if your lonely tomb, my friend, lies far beyond the foam,
Then be content, your body rots, yet you yourself come home,
…He could not tread an unknown shore, but once again must hie,
To the kindly Weald of Sussex and the Downs that never die.’
A year after this was written, on the 13th of May 1917, Gerald’s memorial service was held at Holy Trinity Church, led by Reverend Asher.
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 ***
Conversation 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
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. We’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!
The Boys on the Plaque launches with Heritage Open Days events
THE BOYS ON THE PLAQUE – HERITAGE OPEN DAY We celebrated the launch of our WWI heritage project this month with our first public events as part of Heritage Open Days. This was a free afternoon of activities, events and talks which was a great opportunity to get the word out about our Boys, followed by a walking tour event on Friday 8th September at Fabrica gallery (our project partners), where we invited local people to come and see the plaque and share their stories. We have a diverse and interesting afternoon of making WWI love token mementos, talks on Brighton and Hove during the Great War and about the Royal Pavilion as a hospital for soldiers, as well as sharing personal and community connections with the Holy Trinity church where Fabrica is now based. We were treated to a fascinating talk from researcher and oral historian for ‘War Stories: Voices of the First World War’, Jo Palache, plus an illuminating insight into The First World War in East Sussex project with Chris Kempshall. Gateways to the First World War‘s Lucy Noakes came to share project experiences and history and showcased part of a wider exhibition concerning WWI. Project partner Brighton & Hove City Libraries shared WWI resources and images from their collection and encouraged people to find out more from their Ancestry software about their own personal heritage. In addition. Fiona Edwards our workshop artist for the event brought along a beautiful bundle of arts and crafts and encouraged participants to make beautiful WWI keepsakes inspired love tokens from the war. The project’s Volunteer Research Group was on hand to share their findings so far on the memorial and its’ Boys on the Plaque, including some family connections to our soldiers which really brought our project to life. 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 the Fabrica building, 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.
WALKING TOURS We hosted a free heritage walking tour the following day led by popular local historian Dr Geoffrey Mead. We took an interested group through Brighton’s Lanes area, from where many of our Boys on the Plaque lived. It was a really moving and enlightening experience, seeing buildings and venues in a whole new light and hearing the tales of residents past who went to war. We even saw a hidden row of houses which despite having walked down that particular street many hundreds of times, have never noticed! The event was full booked and as a result, Fabrica organised another tour for later in September to allow all those interested a chance to participate. We’re really pleased with how it went. CONVERSATION CAFES For those interested in find out more about this project and these themes from WWI in the city of Brighton, then we will be running free, monthly Conversation Cafes every month from October 2015 – September 2016 at Fabrica gallery and Jubilee Library. To register your interest, please email firstname.lastname@example.org before 21st October.
Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage is a community interest company. We focus on exploring life stories and history through creative projects. Based in Brighton, Strike a Light works with and for the wider community across Sussex