We’re off to Westminster Abbey in London this Sunday 11th November for the special centenary commemorations of World War I along with the Royal Family, for our work with Strike a Light-Arts & Heritage on The Orange Lilies: Brighton & Hove in the Somme project from 2016 onwards. We’re very honoured to have been invited and feel like we’re representing all the fantastic Great War focussed projects in Brighton and Hove on a national level. Thanks to all our project partners – Brighton and Hove Libraries and Information Service, Fabrica Gallery and Gateways to the First World War, as well as our indispensible volunteers and participants who were involved in bringing this research to life during this time and helping remember the lives of the Royal Sussex Regiment during WWI.
Strike a Light has organised a great programme of WWI themed events for autumn 2016.
For full details visit https://theorangelilies.wordpress.com/events/.
9th September, 6 – 7.30pm – A free WW1 historic walking tour with historian Dr Geoffrey Mead (Boys on the Plaque) 14th September, 2.30 – 4.30pm – Free Conversation Cafe with visitors from the Brighton’s Graphic War book project (Boys on the Plaque) 14th September, 6 – 7.30pm – A free WW1 historic walking tour with historian Dr Geoffrey Mead (Boys on the Plaque) 28th September, 10.30am – 3pm – Free outing to The Day That Sussex Died exhibition, Eastbourne (The Orange Lilies) 12th October, 2.30 – 4.30pm – Free Conversation Cafe on soldiers from the city of Brighton and Hove (The Boys on the Plaque) 12th October, 10am – 12pm – Free outing to Pavilion Blues: Disability and Identity exhibition, Brighton Museum 18th October, 1.30 – 3pm – Free talk, slideshow and Q&A with The Orange Lilies project manager Nicola Benge at Brighton’s The British Legion pop in centre (The Orange Lilies) 8th November, 10am – Free outing to a showing of the film The Battle of the Somme (1916) at the Duke of York’s Cinema (organised by Gateways to the First World War and the Fedora Group) 11th November, 7 – 9pm – Free Brighton’s Graphic War launch for QueenSpark Books at The Lighthouse 18th November, 2 – 5pm – Free study afternoon marking the end of the Somme Centenary at the University of Brighton (The Orange Lilies) 22nd November (afternoon) – Free WW1 Film Club screening – ‘A Testament of Youth’ for secondary school pupils and teachers at Fabrica Gallery 23rd November (details TBC) – Film showing of ‘Oh! What A Lovely War!’ For further information about projects please contact Nicola Benge at firstname.lastname@example.org
Strike a Light, in partnership with Brighton & Hove Library and Information Service, and Fabrica have received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project, The Orange Lilies – Brighton and Hove Soldiers in the Somme.
The project focuses on the city’s legacy of the Somme and The Battle of Boar’s Head (also known as The Day that Sussex Died – where huge numbers of Brighton soldiers fell). The Orange Lilies follows a successful project, The Boys on the Plaque, which uncovered the stories behind a newly discovered First World War memorial plaque in the Fabrica Gallery.
This session will host visitors from the WWI themed Brighton’s Graphic War book project from QueenSpark Books, and a look at an earlier book Brighton the Graphic Novel on e-readers. We’ll be meeting at the slightly later time this month on Wednesday 14th September of 3-5pm at Fabrica gallery, so that those who would like to can attend a related free WWI walking tour of the North Laine part of Brighton at 6pm departing from the gallery with the historian Dr Geoffrey Mead. See details here. We are looking forward to welcoming writer Tim Pilcher and artist Paul Collicutt, to discuss their involvement in QueenSpark Books’ new World War One themed graphic novel project Brighton’s Graphic War.
We will also be reviewing the novel The Suicide Club which we’re finishing, and picking up our new and final WWI era book Love Letters of the Great War, which is kindly on loan from the Brighton and Hove Libraries and Information Service for the project. Many of the letters collected here are eloquent declarations of love and longing; others contain wrenching accounts of fear, jealousy and betrayal; and a number share sweet dreams of home. But in all the correspondence – whether from British, American, French, German, Russian, Australian and Canadian troops in the height of battle, or from the heartbroken wives and sweethearts left behind – there lies a truly human portrait of love and war.
Our project, The Orange Lilies – Brighton and Hove Soldiers in the Somme, in Brighton and Hove continues this autumn with a series of free activities and outings for our project participants and volunteer research group, which is led by our Research Coordinator Ross Hammond. All our activities and events are on our project website here. You can also check Strike a Light’s Facebook page for events. If you would like to get involved with The Orange Lilies project as a participant or volunteer, or have memories or artefacts about The Battle of Boar’s Head, or Brighton and Hove memories of the Somme, then please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you! The project focuses on the city’s legacy of the Somme and a significant event on the eve of this (where huge numbers of Brighton soldiers fell), The Battle ofBoar’s Head (also known as The Day that Sussex Died), as a key part of WWI, and its’ subsequent impact on Brighton and Hove.
From June 2016 – June 2017, intergenerational arts and heritage organisation Strike a Light and partners will – through key activities, training, collaboration and mentoring – work with young people to commemorate the effects of the Battle of the Somme on the city, uncovering Brighton’s Great War heritage for future generations. Visit our The Orange Lilies project website here, get in touch and share family history, join in and receive training as a volunteer researcher and attend activities, events and films, all commemorating Brighton and Hove in the Somme. Email: email@example.com and we’ll get back to you soon. With thanks for the QueenSpark Books Letter in the Attic project for permission to use the above image. The Orange Liliesproject is delivered by In Partnership with the following organisations: with support from
Our free Heritage Open Days events taking place in 2016 will be at Fabrica on Thursday 8th September from 1-4pm. A WWI historic walking tour will also take place on Friday 9th September, which will be led by historian Dr Geoffrey Mead (donations welcome).
Keep the Home Fires Burning
Thursday 8th September 2016 1-4pm
Fabrica, 40 Duke Street, Brighton BN1 1AG
Join us for this special drop-in event, to explore and contribute to our local heritage project, The Boys on the Plaque! Image created by Tom Frost Find out about remarkable young men who lived in our city and fought in the war 100 years ago, and the discoveries we’ve made about their experiences, families and legacies. Keep the Home Fires Burning brings together local research, creative workshops and exhibitions, heritage activities and screenings to explore personal memories of Brighton & Hove residents during WWI wartime and the stories that have been left behind for us to rediscover. Fabrica is a contemporary art gallery housed in the former Holy Trinity Church in Brighton, which was built in 1817 and has a rich and fascinating history. To celebrate Heritage Open Days, Fabrica will open it’s doors to the public for an afternoon of stimulating and engaging activities and exhibits to discover more about our local community, inspiring new ways of considering the home front experience of the Great War. Visitors are also 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 95 local soldiers who are commemorated in the church. Could you be a relative of one of the Boys? They mostly lived in the streets surrounding the church – you can find a list of the names here: boysontheplaque.wordpress.com/the-names-on-the-plaque/ Boys on the Plaque is an HLF project delivered by Fabrica, Strike a Light and Brighton and Hove Libraries Service
Wheelchair ramp built into entrance. Guide dogs welcome. Accessible toilets on site. Accessible parking space (1) in front of building.
Keep the Home Fires Burning is a relaxed free drop-in activity. All ages are welcome. Free hot and soft drinks are available throughout, as well as cakes. Guests are invited to relax and chat whilst enjoying the event and activities. This event will look at the home front of Brighton during WWI with film, song, creative workshops, exhibition, performance and research related to the local history and cultural memory of the city. Please book here: http://keepthehomefiresburning.eventbrite.com
The event takes place in a large contemporary visual gallery which is in a 19th century converted church in central Brighton opposite Browns Restaurant. It is ten minutes walk from Brighton seafront. Find out more about all our events and the project here:http://boysontheplaque.wordpress.com Public Transport Directions: Brighton Railway Station is approximately 15-20 minutes walk. Local buses stop within walking distance: http://www.visitbrighton.com/culture/fabrica-p384651#location
Strike a Light / Fabrica / Brighton & Hove City Libraries Service
Boys on the Plaque Walking Tour, Central Brighton with Historian Dr Geoffrey Mead
Friday 9th September 2016
Fabrica, 40 Duke Street, Brighton BN1 1AG
Led by local historian Dr Geoffrey Mead, this will be a unique Walking Tour of Brighton’s historic The Lanes and North Laine area. Exploring the stories of local soldiers that we have discovered as part of a local heritage project, we get to know the young men who lived in these streets over 100 years ago, before joining a war that took them far from home. 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 is part of a WWI local heritage project The Boys on the Plaque: http://boysontheplaque.wordpress.com The tour will last 60-90 minutes and will take place on the streets of Brighton – sensible shoes and attire recommended. Event not suitable for children under the age of 12. Free to join, donations welcomed. Event not suitable for children under the age of 12.
Come join us this Thursday for a free lunchtime heritage and literary event for the Dr BlightyIndian Soldiers project, part of Brighton Festival. This is a lunchtime event. Feel free to bring your own lunch, and Temptations cafe in the library will also be open for lunches and refreshments. They will serve a specially made Indian Chai drink to accompany the event. Thursday 12th May 12-1.30pm, Jubilee Library, Jubilee Square, Brighton
Dr Blighty Brighton Festival lunchtime event (Free) –
The event includes:
* A talk with Artistic Director of Nutkhut, Ajay Chhabra who discusses Dr Blighty, an ambitious new project inspired by an untold story of the First World War, remembering an unexpected episode in Brighton’s history when the Royal Pavilion Estate became a military hospital for wounded Indian soldiers. * Author of new novel Belonging, Umi Sinha will read from her book chronicling the darkest days of the British Raj to the aftermath of the First World War. The story is a compelling and finely wrought epic of love and loss, of race and ethnicity, of homeland – and of belonging. * Q&A session with event audience and speakers * This will be followed by an author book signing – copies of her new book will be available at the event, or bring your own copy. All welcome! With thanks to Brighton and Hove Libraries and Information Service for their support. (with thanks to Brighton and Hove Libraries and Information Service for their support)
We’re hosting a Conversations Cafe with not one but two speakers this month! The session takes place on Wednesday 13th April at Jubilee Library 2.30-4.30pm. Free to all. We’ll be starting a new book, a novel by local author Umi Sinha called Belonging, provided by the Brighton and Hove Libraries Service. From the darkest days of the British Raj through to the aftermath of the First World War, BELONGING tells the interwoven story of three generations and their struggles to understand and free themselves from a troubled history steeped in colonial violence. It is a novel of secrets that unwind through Lila’s story, through her grandmother’s letters home from India and the diaries kept by her father, Henry, as he puzzles over the enigma of his birth and his stormy marriage to the mysterious Rebecca.’ We’ll be welcoming Dr Sam Carroll of the Gateways to WWI project who will talk about the breadth of this project, and discuss aspects of their activities and experiences alongside discussions about the Great War. Gateways to the First World War is a centre for public engagement with the First World War centenary funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The aim of the Gateways team is to encourage and support public interest in the centenary of the First World War through a range of events and activities such as open days and study days, advice on access to materials and expertise, and signposting for other resources and forms of support. We will also be meeting historian Douglas d’Enno, a historian, linguist and journalist who has made an exhaustive study of the impact of the First World War on Brighton. Douglas is the author of new book, Brighton in the Great Warandwrites: ‘Although the impact of the Great War on Brighton was profound in many ways, the town was spared any direct attack by the enemy. The fear of spies and sabotage, however, was widespread at first and aliens were an issue which had to be swiftly resolved under new legislation. Allies, of course, were warmly welcomed, with accommodation soon being found in particular for those fleeing the catastrophic events in Belgium.’ Sessions are part of the World War I focussed Boys on the Plaque project and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
We’re pleased to add the historian Douglas d’Enno to our Conversations Cafe event for Wednesday April 13th 2.30-4.30pm at Fabrica gallery in Brighton. The event is free and all are welcome. Refreshments will be provided. This session will also include a visit by Dr Sam Carroll of the Gateways to WWI project. Both will talk about aspects of their activities and experiences alongside discussions about the Great war. Sessions are part of the World War I focussed Boys on the Plaque project and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. DOUGLAS d’ENNO is a historian, linguist and journalist who has made an exhaustive study of the impact of the First World War not only on Brighton but also on Britain’s fishermen and their vessels (the first volume of his Fishermen Against the Kaiserwas published by Pen & Sword in 2010, with research continuing for the second). After a career associated with publishing and – primarily – as a professional translator, he has devoted himself (freelance work permitting) to writing and research. Through contributions in the past to The Argus and local/community publications, he has established a reputation as a leading authority on Brighton and the surrounding area. Published works include The Saltdean Story (1985), The Church in a Garden (2001), Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths around Brighton (published by Wharncliffe/Pen & Sword in 2004), Brighton Crime and Vice 1800-2000 (published in 2007, also by by Wharncliffe/Pen & Sword), and a number of ‘then and now’ pictorial books on the Brighton area and on Sussex. A book on the county’s railway stations through time is in preparation. Douglas writes as follows: ‘Although the impact of the Great War on Brighton was profound in many ways, the town was spared any direct attack by the enemy. The fear of spies and sabotage, however, was widespread at first and aliens were an issue which had to be swiftly resolved under new legislation. Allies, of course, were warmly welcomed, with accommodation soon being found in particular for those fleeing the catastrophic events in Belgium. Men flocked to the colours, with many of them making the supreme sacrifice (the names of no fewer than 2,597 of them – and three women – would be inscribed on the town’s memorial unveiled in 1922). Brighton made a major contribution to the war effort in two other ways: by the care of the wounded (the story of the exotic Royal Pavilion being used as a hospital for Indian casualties is widely known locally) and by simply being itself: an open and welcoming resort, offering sanctuary, respite and entertainment to besieged Londoners above all but also to many others visitors, from every stratum of society. In the background, women quietly played a vital part in areas such as transport services, industrial output and food production. Non-combatant menfolk also kept the wheels turning under very trying circumstances. When the meat shortage became acute, the Mayor himself took direct action, requisitioning ninety sheep at Brighton Station for the town which were destined for butchers’ shops in London. Unveiling the memorial at The Steine on 7 October 1922, Earl Beatty acknowledged that ‘it was by duty and self-sacrifice that the war was won.’ It remained, he said, for those who had survived the conflict to ensure that the great sacrifices of the past, both by the dead and the living, should not have been made in vain. We remember them in this book.’
Just 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.
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