Some of you may have seen recent press articles detailing how Bude’s iconic Storm Tower has begun it’s 100 metre journey away from the eroding coastline. To mark this historic event, Storylines has been tasked with producing creative resources for hundreds of local school children.
Bude’s Storm Tower
Sitting precariously on the cliff edge, it was evident that the Grade 2 listed Storm Tower was at risk of being lost to the sea. Coastal erosion and increased extreme weather events, exacerbated by climate change, have seen the sea gradually eating away at the cliff face below. The current move is actually the second time the 190 year old tower has been moved, the last time being in 1881. As a local and national landmark, the Storm Tower is incredibly popular and important to many people. Local fundraising efforts to make this move and project possible are testament to this.
Creative Resources to explore past, present and future
We are now producing creative resources to engage local primary and secondary school children with the history, present and future of the Storm Tower and local coastline. Themes explored include the Storm Tower’s usefulness as a lookout point on this treacherous stretch of coastline and how it became a nationally famous landmark for visitors to Bude. As the changing climate has had such an impact on the story of the Storm Tower, an equally important topic addressed by the resources is climate change. This ties in nicely with our other work as partner on the Bude Climate Partnership’s Storytelling Project.
The site of the original Storm Tower, which has the eight wind directions carved around the top stone cornice, gave its name to the cliffs at Compass Point. These compass points have informed the format of the resources, with each cardinal point providing a series of themed activities. Children will be encouraged to contribute through art, history, creative writing, story gathering and research. For instance, in the West pack children will explore the original architectural drawings for the first Storm Tower, consider what a refuge is and how as architects they would design their own blueprint.
Using stories to engage
Of course, stories feature strongly in any work that Storylines undertakes. Stories of past shipwrecks and epic efforts of the local coastguards who used the Storm Tower. Stories uncovered by children as they become Lookouts, on the hunt for stories from the community. The resources are designed to enable children to imagine in many ways. What must it feel like to be the Storm Tower, being moved from your beloved spot? Or how must it feel to be in a ferocious storm here and at the mercy of the elements?
Film at Budehaven
In addition to the creative resources, we are also looking forward to working with a small group of young people at Budehaven School to create a film. This film will tell the story of the Storm Tower with puppets and spoken word. This will provide a fun and informative way for all ages to learn about the fascinating history of the Tower.
Here at Storylines we hope that these exciting resources will inspire the children and young people of Bude to find out more about the piece of history that is happening right in front of their noses.
The Compass Point Project is being led by Bude-Stratton Town Council. The project is being funded by a £250,000 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, £50,000 from Cornwall Council, £40,000 from Bude-Stratton Town Council – plus £60,000 as a result of a community crowdfunding effort.