Find out more about our series of free Heritage Open Days events in Brighton from 8th-11th September:
Heritage Open Days – Brighton (Free) Thursday 8th September:
A creatively curated daytime event, with workshops, exhibitions, talks, and a free cafe.
The event taking place on Thursday 8th September1-5pm 2016 is part of national Heritage Open Days events. During this special drop-in event, Fabrica opens its doors to the public for an afternoon of stimulating and engaging activities and exhibits. This free event includes creative workshops, heritage activities and screenings.
Book your free place here Friday 9th September:
Dr Geoffrey Mead will lead an early evening tour for The Boys on the Plaque project, looking at the stories from soldiers on a WWI memorial plaque (based at Fabrica gallery), who with connections to this area of the city. The tour runs from 6-7.30pm and starts from Fabrica gallery, 40 Duke Street, Brighton BN1 1AG. The event is free but booking is necessary here. https://boysontheplaque.wordpress.com/
Friday 9th & Saturday 10th September:
Ale and Hearty – brewing & ale exhibition
Friday 9th from 1-7pm & Saturday 10th from 1-5pm
An exhibition specially for Heritage Open Days which focuses on the history of brewing in Lewes, East Sussex and its related industrial and agricultural links from the 18th Century to the present day, a period of some 200 years. The exhibition looks at working life in relation to Breweries, agricultural workers and rural life and trades.
Find out more here
A project in partnership with Harveys Brewery. The Orange Lilies – Brighton and Hove in the Somme
Strike a Light, in partnership with Brighton & Hove Library and Information Service, and Fabrica showcases its WWI themed project The Orange Lilies – Brighton and Hove Soldiers in the Somme.
The project focuses 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 of Boar’s Head (also known as The Day that Sussex Died), as a key part of WWI, and its subsequent impact on Brighton and Hove.
Come along and find out more about this epic piece of local history, and find out ways to get involved with the project, learn about film making and gain research skills.
These are funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
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.
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.
Conversations Cafes still to come as part of the Boys on the Plaque WWI project in Brighton – All free and all welcome!
• March 9th – Meet at Jubilee Library
Presentation by Stoolball England Officer Anita Broad on sport in Sussex during WWI. WWI Book discussion session (part of World Book Day)
• April 13 – Meet at Jubilee Library
Dr Sam Carroll of Gateways to First World War talking about the project. Historian Douglas d’Enno also to present his new book ‘Brighton in the Great War’. We start reading Belonging by Umi Sinha.
• May 11th – Meet at Jubilee Library
Jo Palache from Brighton Museum talks about piecing together the stories of the Pavilion Military Hospital from it’s beginnings treating Indian Soldiers to its work with British amputees. She will also look at Indian Soldiers at the Royal Pavilion for the Dr Blighty project.
• June 8th – Meet at Jubilee Library
Professor June Purvis discusses the Suffragettes role in WWI and beyond.
• July 13th – Meet at Jubilee Library
Dr Anne Logan discusses the role of women in the First World War.
• August 10th – No Session
• September 14th – Meet at Jubilee Library
A final session and discussion of our themes and events. 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.
• October 12th – Meet at Jubilee Library
The Boys on the Plaque research group to give a presentation on soldiers from the city of Brighton and Hove to the group.
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.
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 Plaqueproject, 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.
Thank 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.
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.
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.
A big thank you to Cuthbert Williams MBE of Brighton Black History for his fascinating talk about the BME community in Brighton up to and including WWI.
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