Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage created a magazine recently about Brighton and Hove Jewish history as part of our just completed Mazel tov Brighton project.
You can view the digital version of the magazine here: 18-323-NC Hyman Fine Mazel Tov Brighton Magazine
The project has celebrated the links between Judaism and Brighton and Hove lives with residents of the Jewish Care charity run home Hyman Fine House, many of whom were born in the city in the 1920s and 30’s and remember it well, including shops, people, places and rituals.
The project began in April 2017 and ran until autumn 2018. The project celebrates Judaism through active aging, finding physical as well as mental ways to address early onset dementia.
We have done this through dance activities and physical workshops, whilst exploring Brighton’s Jewish history, with residents of Hyman Fine House (HFH). Dance practitioners have encouraged physical activity with residents and carers that celebrate traditional Jewish performance including Sephardic dance, the Hora, and Flamenco which has links with this heritage.
Through this project, we have revitalised residents, generated energy, uncovered memories, and explored city heritage. This project ensures generational memories aren’t lost to dementia, preserving physical traditions and movement; celebrating Judaism’s rich tradition.
An event to celebrate Black History Month
Presented by Creative Director of Strike a Light- Arts & Heritage – Nicola Benge about the period of history around Indian Soldiers at Brighton Pavilion in WWI and also in conversation with author and teacher Umi Sinha, who will read and discuss extracts from her novel, ‘Belonging’.
This will be followed by a live Q+A with speakers.
Approximately 1.3 million Indian soldiers served in World War One, and over 74,000 of them lost their lives, but history has mostly forgotten these sacrifices.
This hour-long illustrated talk (from both fact and fiction perspectives) explores how the presence of Indian Soldiers hospitalised at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton between 1915- 1916 impacted on the city and the soldiers themselves during the First World War and beyond.
Monday 8th October 7.30pm at Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham.
Tickets available for £6: https://ropetacklecentre.co.uk/events/indian-soldiers-in-ww1-nicola-benge/
This event is part of Shoreham Wordfest
Strike a Light continues with its’ project Mazel tov Brighton! Movement through Tradition celebrating links between Judaism and Brighton and Hove lives with residents of the Jewish Care charity run home Hyman Fine House.
The project celebrates Judaism through active aging, finding physical as well as mental ways to address early onset dementia. We are doing this through dance activities and physical workshops, whilst exploring Brighton’s Jewish history.
We began this project in April 2017 and due to further funding, will be able to run it until summer 2018 thanks to Brighton and Hove Dementia Action Alliance
We are very pleased to be commissioned by The Friends of St Peter’s – Preston Park, Brighton to deliver a series of six creative workshops at St Peter’s, Preston Park between May-September 2018.
The workshops are a key part of their HLF-funded Project Restoring the Chancel: Highlighting the 20th Century History of St Peter’s, Preston Park and are intended to engage local people around St Peter’s to:
- Visit the church for the first time.
- See the church as an enjoyable place to spend time.
- Look afresh at the church and particularly the stencilling in the chancel.
- Find out more about St Peter’s and the history of the surrounding Preston Village area.
- Find out more about the practice and history of the art of stencilling.
We will deliver six creative drop-in workshops at St Peter’s on the following dates: 31st May, 24th June (Preston Village Day), 14thJuly, 31st July, 16th Aug, 8th September. Each workshop will run from 11-4pm, though the timings for 24th June, Preston Village Day, are still to be finalised.
Each workshop will focus on one core creative activity, with some simpler and/or quicker activities running alongside. The activities to be delivered at each workshop will each respond to some element of the church’s interior, exterior or history, or the creative processes embodied within the building, including stencilling, repetitive patterns, print making, mosaics, etc.
Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage activities will include:
- Block printing on paper/calico in the form of flags, pennants or large hangings.
- Creating your own portable letterpress
- Small mosaics
- Other forms of printing
- Stained glass making (using plastic)
- Geometric pattern making with spirographs.
- Brass rubbing
All welcome, and especially families with children up to the age of around 11. However both older/younger children can attend and the range of activities will cater for this.
Children will remain the responsibility of their parents/carers and will not be left in the care of Strike a Light.
One of our event days on Saturday 14th July, is intended to be an adult-focussed activity and will encourage adults to try new things, so this particular date isn’t open to children.
Strike a Light will be working alongside Hare and Humphreys, the conservators who will be undertaking the conservation of the chancel. Hare and Humphreys start work in late-May and from that time on parts of the chancel will be covered with scaffolding, obscuring some of the stencilling.
Her Majesty the Queen turns 91 on 21 April and so to mark this event I am looking back to a day in her younger life when she visited Preston Manor. When I give guided tours of the house people are always surprised by this fact, royalty being more associated with the Royal Pavilion. Preston…
Strike a Light has been awarded a grant by Brighton based The Homity Trust towards a new project called Mazel tov Brighton! which will celebrate links between Judaism and Brighton and Hove lives with residents of the Jewish Care charity run home Hyman Fine House, many of whom were born in the city in the 1920s and 30’s and remember it well including shops, people, places and rituals. We aim to start this project in April 2017.
Brighton in the middle part of the 20th century had a pulsating Jewish heart and it was not just in the synagogues. Waterloo Street had a kosher butcher shop and delicatessen, a lively centre of Jewish eating culture. It was Hove’s own Golders Green. Here, cheek by jowl, stood the kosher delicatessen and bakery Chait, the fishmonger Marks’ and the greengrocer run by Jack Caplin.
The times to be there were Friday mornings, as the community prepared for Shabbat, and Sunday as Brighton Jews queued for their hot salt-beef sandwiches and new green pickled cucumber. Sections of the community could be seen taking coffee on the terrace of the Norfolk Hotel (now the Mercure) distinguished by its sweeping Regency staircase and operated by the Feld family.
These memories are especially significant at the 250th anniversary of Judaism in Brighton (Israel Samuel first moving to the city in 1766).In partnership with the charity Jewish Care (of which Hyman Fine House celebrates its’ 20th anniversary in 2017) and Brighton Museum (Community Engagement Service), we aim to explore the museum’s image archive creating a series of 20 reminiscence sessions with residents at the home.
Participants will work with a facilitator over 10 further sessions to create their own memory books, supporting this with personal photos, drawings, memories and characters from their past, and use archival images to support development of these experiences, reminding residents of their lives, and creating a wider context for Judaism in Brighton and Hove. We notice that as our residents age, moving permanently into the care home, they have to significantly downsize, giving away belongings and losing artefacts and memories of earlier life.
We will draw on a recently created app by National Museums Liverpool ‘My House of Memories’ specifically aimed at older people with dementia, and their carers (with added content from Brighton and other national museums), which locates local memories and artefacts, generating discussion about the heritage of the city. This project is a key way to ensure that this generational collective memories isn’t lost, preserving images, memories, as well as helping to contextualise photographs available free for use within the Museum archive, celebrating this rich tradition and heritage.
We will bring in speakers for sessions on this topic to Hyman Fine House including the Jewish Historical Society. We will train volunteers on a one day course, to help with residents’ life research, provide relevant outings to archives and exhibitions. We will bring in 3 freelance artist and heritage professionals to develop this relationship. We will collate these memories into a series of bespoke books with a small print run (and digital downloadable version) which will be available to view publicly, as well forming personal archives of Jewish lives in Brighton.
We will also specifically work with young people from nearby Brighton College whose role will be to support frail older people to engage in the project whilst also learning about Jewish heritage in Brighton. This will form part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. These volunteers will support each of the activities above. Activities will be delivered on a regular basis over 12 months to ensure that participants benefit including residents from Hyman Fine House, other Jewish people living in Brighton, other older people living in the city, as well as school pupils and the wider community.
With over 40 Jewish residents, the majority with dementia, alongside conditions like blindness and schizophrenia, residents often suffer from isolation and depression. Due to this high dependency, it’s challenging supporting residents with activities, staff being engaged with care rather than pastoral activities.
To combat this, Hyman Fine House and Strike a Light (through a prior engagement relationship) work hard to involve residents in planning and decision-making in regular meetings through a residents and volunteers committee, find out what activities residents enjoy, exploring new ideas for activities to try.
Through this committee, we work towards a supportive programme of events, ensuring resident well-being as they move toward end of life care. Activities requested by residents and which we have been able to provide, from horticulture to improvised music and the home ensure that activities become part of a supportive programme of events, offering residents stimulation and focussed activities.
Scheme residents provide evidence themselves and Strike a Light has seen this through discussion, surveys, and care staff feedback. Residents request events and it is notable that creative activities have immensely improved their emotional wellbeing. Recent activities with residents have indicated that reminiscence sessions and local histories combined with creativity are what have made the participants come to life the most, making them cry with laughter, and be more alert and attentive.
From this contact, and resident requests, we can see how important remembering these lives and histories is to each of them for their own lives and sense of identity, as well as the character of Hyman Fine House care home.
As part of this process the home has had visits from Brighton & Hove Museums Service to look at handling collections and made reciprocal visits to the museum as well as enquiries from Brighton College and other secondary schools about pupil involvement in cross-generational Key Stage 3 learning activities. In addition, we have offers of support from volunteers coming from a range of different backgrounds, and who would like to receive further training to help support their involvement with residents, increasing the way they can engage with and support them.
All types of older people will enjoy reflecting upon Brighton in earlier years and specifically about what types of shops existed and the produce they sold.
People interested in history and cultural diversity will enjoy the stories and how they are made available through print and online with the support of the museum service and heritage professionals. And young people will benefit from increasing their knowledge and understanding of Jewish identity and its historical context in Brighton over 250 years as well as enjoying the company of older Jewish people living at Hyman Fine House. Mazel tov!
Sunday 30th October 10am-5pm
We’ll be delivering free drop in Diwali themed activities for Nutkhut’s Dr Blighty project at this family day at the Brighton Dome on Sunday 30th October. A free all day, family celebration, taking place in Brighton Dome and Brighton Museum.
Join in this annual all-day celebration of local arts and heritage. With a multitude of free children’s activities including face painting, an all- day crafts area and story-telling by Banyan Tree Theatre Group.
Enjoy pop up singing and talks, a Zumba workshop & an opening ceremony drumming procession. Plus music from African Night Fever DJ & DJ Task.
Have your head wrapped in the latest styles, design and print and own your own tote bag, then learn to dance Azonto – and of course, don’t leave without tasting something delicious from the food stalls from Africa and Asia.
Part of the weekend-long programme Africa Arts Festival at Brighton Museum.
The Orange Lilies – Brighton & Hove in the Somme project welcomes booking for a free upcoming WWI community history event commemorating the end of The Somme in Brighton and Hove.
Come along on Friday 18th November 2-5pm to hear speakers, view exhibitions and resources, and enjoy free tea and pastries courtesy of the Gateways to the First world War project.
To book your free place, please visit: http://bit.ly/2du2tPV
Details below and here: the-orange-lilies-community-history-event-18th-nov-2016
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries
Thanks to all who came to our Keep the Home Fires Burning WWI themed Heritage Open Days event last week at Fabrica gallery, part of The Boys on the Plaque project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
We were pleased to assemble a lovely group of performers – The Close Shaves, artist – Fiona Edwards, collector – Colin Kirsch and historians – Douglas D’Enno, as well as exhibitions loaned from Gateways to the First World War, The Brighton and Hove Libraries and Information Service, and courtesy of Brighton Museum and Royal Pavilion for the event.
We’ve since had some lovely feedback from all those who attended the afternoon on 8th September 2016:
‘Thank you for a wonderful event yesterday. It was all so well put together and very enjoyable.’
‘Thanks for a lovely afternoon yesterday. What a lovely bunch of clients you have there! They really enjoy those events.’
Thanks to all who came!
An enjoyable session today at Brighton Museum at the Pavilion Blues exhibition with participants from our Boys on the Plaque – Conversation Cafes group who meet on the second Wednesday of every month.
Nicola Benge of Strike a Light escorted the group to visit the exhibition, and had a guided talk by curator Jo Palache who explained how difficult it had been to find the artefacts now on display with a bit of detective work to track images down.
Some of the items had been found under the floorboards of the Royal Pavilion much later after the time when it serves as a hospital for limbless men recovering from their time in battle in World War I.
Pavilion Blues: Disability & Identity
From 1916 to 1920 over 6,000 military amputees were treated at the Royal Pavilion, Dome and Corn Exchange in Brighton. To commemorate this centenary, the story of the Pavilion Military Hospital for limbless soldiers is being told in the current exhibition, Pavilion Blues: Disability & Identity, at Brighton Museum.
After the closure of the Indian Military Hospital in the early months of 1916, the Royal Pavilion was refitted to provide specialist treatment and rehabilitation to servicemen who had one or more limbs amputated.
The treatment could take between three to six months in order to ensure the patients’ wounds had healed sufficiently for the men to return to civilian life.
The exhibition carries on until November 2016 and we recommend a visit to the museum to view it!
Next Conversation Cafe
Our next Conversations Cafe event will be taking place on Wednesday 13th July at the Rare Books archive in Jubilee Library (Second Floor), Brighton. Free. From 2.30-4.30pm.
We welcome historian Dr Anne Logan who will be discussing the role of women in the First World War. She specialises in nineteenth and 20th century British social history and women’s history.
Look forward to seeing you there!